Trees

Mulberry

The mulberry trees are trees that are widely used both to decorate as to have fruit in the garden as they are. Its growth rate is quite fast, although this does not have to worry you too much if you have a large area.

As if that were not enough, the leaves of these plants are the favorite food of silkworms; So if you want to see how they turn into butterflies, you should definitely get one of them . Next I will tell you everything you must take into account so that they have an excellent development.

Origin and characteristics

They are deciduous trees (they lose their leaves in autumn/ winter) native to Asia, Africa and North America that belong to the botanical genus Morus. They are popularly known as mulberry trees, and they reach a maximum height of 15 meters. The leaves are alternate, simple, with a serrated margin.

The flowers are unisexual and appear grouped in spikes. The fruit is an achene, 2-3cm long, and can be white or reddish when ripe.

The best known species are:

  • Morus alba: or white mulberry, which is native to East Asia.
  • Morus australis: grows in Southeast Asia.
  • Morus insignis: from Central and South America.
  • Morus nigra: or black mulberry, from Southwest Asia.
  • Morus rubra: from eastern North America.

What are their cares?

If you want to have a copy, we recommend you provide the following care:

Location

Mulberry trees must always be outside, in full sun. It is very important to plant them at a distance of at least five meters from any construction to avoid problems.

Earth

They grow in almost (they do not like acids) all types of soils, although they prefer fertile and well-drained ones. If the one you have is not like that, make a 1m x 1m planting hole and fill it with universal growing medium mixed with 30% perlite. You can get both substrates in nurseries, or here the first and here the second.

Irrigation

Irrigation is one of the most important tasks to be carried out, since mulberry trees do not withstand drought, but they do not do well with continuous flooding. In addition, it must be borne in mind that the frequency will not be the same throughout the year: in summer we will water more than in autumn/ winter since the soil loses moisture faster. So how often do you have to give them water?

Well, it will also depend a lot on the climate we have, but generally with 4 or 5 weekly waterings in the hottest time of the year and every 4 or 5 days the rest, the trees will be fine. Of course, you have to water thoroughly, ensuring that the water reaches the roots well.

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These trees need a regular supply of “food” during spring and summer. So that you do not lack anything, I advise you to combine ecological fertilizers (for example: one month we put cow manure, the next month we put guano,…). In this way, we can not only enjoy its beauty but also its fruits.

Multiplication

They multiply by seeds and cuttings. Let’s see how to proceed in each case:

Seeds

They are sown in spring or autumn following this step by step:

  1. First, a forest seedling tray is filled with universal growing medium.
  2. Then, it is watered consciously.
  3. Afterwards, a maximum of two seeds are placed in each socket.
  4. They are then covered with a thin layer of substrate.
  5. The next step is to sprinkle copper or sulfur to prevent the appearance of fungus.
  6. Finally, it is watered again, this time with a sprayer, and the tray of seedlings is placed outside, in semi-shade.

If all goes well, they will germinate in about a month.

Cuttings

It is multiplied by cuttings in late winter, following this step by step:

  1. First, a branch of about 10-20cm is cut, which has about three buds (protrusions from which the leaves sprout).
  2. Then, they are removed if the basal leaves, which are the lower ones, had them.
  3. Afterwards, the base of the cutting is impregnated with homemade rooters.
  4. Finally, they are planted in individual pots with universal growing substrate.

After about a month they will emit their roots.

Planting time

Mulberry trees are planted in the garden in late winter, although it can also be done in autumn if we live in a climate with mild frosts.

Pruning

At the end of winter , dry, diseased or weak branches should be removed. We can also take advantage to cut those that are growing excessively.

Rusticity

They resist up to -18ºC, but they cannot live in climates without frost.

What uses do they have?

Morus alba ‘Pendula’

  • Ornamental: they are very decorative trees, ideal to have as isolated specimens or in groups. They give a very pleasant shade, which is why they are very interesting as garden plants. Although it is true that the fruits make the soil quite dirty, we can choose to use Morus alba ‘Fruitless’ which does not produce any fruit.
  • Edible: the ripe fruits are used to make soft drinks, cakes, wines and pies.
  • Other uses: the leaves of the mulberry, especially the white, are the food source of silkworms.

And with this we are done. What did you think of the mulberry trees?

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