Mulberry / Morus

mulberry tree

Anyone looking for an extremely decorative tree for large gardens and plants will be delighted with the mulberry tree. Without a doubt, the deciduous tree or large tree-like shrub is one of the most beautiful shade providers in nature. 

Table of Contents

A wonderful solitaire

At least twelve species of the mulberry tree are known and can be found in the subtropical and temperate zones of the northern hemisphere. Characteristic of the deciduous mulberry trees – or mulberries for short – is a gray-brown bark and a consistently interesting growth habit. Regardless of whether it has a sweeping or rounded crown – the mulberry tree is always an eye-catcher.

Blackberry-like fruits

Mulberry trees reach heights and widths of six to 15 meters, adorn themselves with diverse leaves and bear blackberry-like fruits in white, pink, red and black-red. They thrive best in sunny, sheltered locations and on loose, deep, nutrient-rich and calcareous soils. 

White mulberry

As a slowly growing mulberry tree species, the white mulberry, botanically called Morus alba , reaches a height of eight to ten and a width of four to six meters. At the latest, when its blooming ears of wheat appear in May and June, the white mulberry will attract everyone’s attention. But their white to pink fruits are also a pleasure, after all, they are edible. In addition, the white mulberry tree is urban climate-proof, drought and heat tolerant, and even strong frost cannot harm it so quickly. 

Black mulberry tree

Did you know that the black mulberry tree was not missing in any domestic orchard in the past? The reason for its popularity was its edible, delicious fruits: sweet and juicy as they are, you can conjure up all kinds of fine things from them. Whether syrup, jam or tea – there is no shortage of recipes. If processed correctly, you can even make schnapps, wine and liqueurs from the mulberry. Above all, however, the black mulberry tree convinces with its stately size of up to 15 meters and its rounded, closed, dense and almost picturesque crown. It is not without reason that the black mulberry tree has always been found in the most beautiful monastery gardens. 

When there is less space in the garden

The plane-leaved mulberry tree is a special form of the mulberry tree . It is content with a height of eight to ten meters, impresses with a spreading crown and has sycamore-like leaves that are dark green on the top and gray-green on the underside, which sets interesting accents.
The three to four meter high and equally wide dwarf mole is just as extraordinary : it not only impresses with its modest growth, but also bears a particularly large amount of fruit and is extremely hardy.

General characteristics of the mulberry tree

The deciduous mulberry tree belongs to the mulberry family (Moraceae). There are around 15 known species of the mulberry tree. Many gardeners are enthusiastic about its tasty and lush fruit cluster. The blackberry-like common nut fruits grow in large numbers on the morus and have a sweetish taste. Different growth forms and heights make the mulberry tree look extremely decorative – whether in large or small gardens. A mulberry tree has many positive properties. It is urban climate-proof, drought and heat tolerant and relatively frost hardy. They are very robust specimens that have grown vigorously and can live for hundreds of years.

The leaves of the mulberry tree

More forms broadly ovate to heart-shaped or two-three-lobed leaves. They taper to a point at the end. The leaf margin is serrated. The leaf color is usually a glossy light green to dark green. In autumn, the leaves are adorned with a yellow autumn color – a wonderful eye-catcher! The mulberry tree has late leaf shoots compared to other deciduous trees. The upper side of the leaf is shiny and rough. The underside of the leaf is usually lighter in color and hairy.

Leaves with a length of up to 25cm are great eye-catchers

The leaves can reach a length of up to 25 cm. The exceptionally large leaves make the mulberry tree look particularly decorative. The petiole is up to 3 cm long.

Leaves with different shapes provide variety

The deciduous Morus forms leaves of various shapes on a plant. The technical term for this is: leaf dimorphism. The external appearance of the mulberry tree brings variety to the home garden!

Blossom and fruit formation on the morus

Bloom of the mulberry tree

The flowers on Morus are inconspicuous. The wood forms catkins or flower heads. These are in spike-like inflorescences on the mulberry tree. The male kittens can grow up to 3 cm long and the female kittens up to 2 cm long.

Numerous flowers in May and June

The flowering time is in May and June. The mulberry tree has four-fold flowers. The flowers are unisexual and the plant is dioecious. The pollen from the flowers is carried by the wind. The flower color is light green to green, which means that the color of the flowers is hardly different from the leaves.

Fruit – ornamental and tasty

The ornamental fruits on the Morus are edible. They are very digestible and have a sweet taste. They are happy to z. B. processed in jams. The popularity of the tasty mulberry is steadily increasing in Europe. The mulberry tree bears blackberry to raspberry-like fruits. The shape of the fruit on the mulberry tree, however, is a lot longer.

Common nuts up to 3cm in length

They are up to 3 cm long on average. Originally these specimens are nut fruit associations and belong to the group of nut fruits. The colors of the fruits vary between: white, pink, red and black-red. When the fresh fruits form, they are initially white to pink in color. The color intensifies the more ripe the fruit becomes. When ripe, the fruit has finally reached its black-red color.

Self-pollinating – so no pollinator necessary

The wood is self-fertilizing. The sweet fruits can be harvested from June to September. The whole summer you can enjoy the rich fruit cluster of the mulberry. Not all varieties of Morus have an infructescence. Among other things, the variety Morus alba ‘Fruitless’ / White Mulberry Tree ‘Fruitless’ does not bear any fruit because it is a purely male wood. Due to the lush fruit stand, More is an ideal nutrient for birds and insects .

The bark and root of the mulberry tree

The bark on the mulberry tree is gray-brown in color. The fresh shoots are gray-yellow in color. The bark is furrowed longitudinally, which has a very decorative effect.

Strong heart root ensures stability

More forms a strong heart root. Some very strong roots grow deep and finer side roots spread far to all sides. As a result, when the plant is old, when it has grown vigorously, it is an extraordinarily stable specimen.

Growth forms – the mulberry tree offers a lot of choice

The mulberry tree is available as a tree or a large shrub . It often grows as wide as it is tall and therefore has a very spreading habit. Older specimens often have a rather bizarre growth. More are available as single- stem or multi-stem specimens in our range. The shape of the high stem or ball on stem or stem is also available.

Mulberry tree / Morus as a high trunk

In the following, some varieties of Morus are listed as standard from our range:

  • Morus alba ‘Fruitless’ / White Mulberry Tree ‘Fruitless’
  • Morus alba ‘Macrophylla’ / White Mulberry Tree ‘Macrophylla’
  • Morus alba ‘platanifolia’ / Sycamore-leaved mulberry tree

Diverse uses of high mulberry tree trunks

Standard trunks are very popular among our customers. The very expansive crown shape of the mulberry tree can serve as a fabulous source of shade and also as an opaque privacy screen. Since More often grows as wide as it is tall, it is able to replace a parasol – but it also brings fresh and green color to the garden.

Fruit decorations are not delicious, they are also a visual highlight

Furthermore, the mulberry tree is adorned with blackberry-like fruits, which are ideal on the high trunk. The mulberry tree is often used in domestic gardens or parks. High trunks can ideally develop their crown shape when planted solitary. The shape of a high trunk is in great demand in front gardens.

Privacy protection on several levels in combination with hedges

If you combine high mulberry tree trunks with hedge plants , this can result in a very decorative appearance. Gardens can be planted with greenery on different levels by using tall trunks. Consequently, privacy screens can also be implemented on different levels with the shape of a high trunk. Tall trunks can form opaque privacy screens on the visual axes between your own terrace and the neighboring windows. For this reason, tall trunks can often be seen in densely built-up new housing estates.

Special high trunk shapes such as trellises and roof trellises

More  as a trellis shape or roof trellis can be used individually in the garden. The shaped crowns of the trellises are very popular. These high trunks are often used, especially in modern garden design. The clear and linear structures of modern architecture are optimally reflected in the garden by a few trellises. For example, the following variety of mulberry tree is available as a roof trellis in our range: Morus alba ‘Fruitless’ Roof trellis / White mulberry tree ‘Fruitless’ .

Trunk with a clearly defined crown – typical for high-trunk trees

Trunk and crown are clearly separated from each other – this description applies to the shape of a high trunk. The trunk is single-stemmed, straight, free of knots and flaws. Often a continuous leading drive from the crown shape to the tip can be seen. Either the crown is artificially formed or a natural crown shape is on the straight trunk.

200-225cm trunk length to the beginning of the crown

The trunk length is usually between 200 and 225 cm plus the crown structure. Very young standard trunks with z. B. a trunk circumference of 6-8 cm can deviate from this standard. In order to obtain a high trunk, the side branches are repeatedly removed from the trunk that has just grown in the first few years in the tree nurseries.

The trunk circumference is the size for standard mulberry trees

Standard trunks are measured by their trunk circumference and accordingly classified into different categories. The trunk circumference is always measured at a height of 1 m. For example, tall trunks with a trunk circumference of 14-16 cm (StU) and many other sizes can be ordered from us in our range.

Special tips for planting and caring for tall trees

Individual branches should be removed before planting. This allows the plant to concentrate on root growth and grow strong and healthy. It is recommended to use a pyramidal shape of the crown when cutting back.

Cut back gets the typical high trunk shape

Regular pruning is essential to maintain the ornamental shape of the standard trunk. The surface of the ball should be flush with the level of the earth when the root ball is placed in its hole in the ground. It is recommended to secure tall trunks with a support post at the beginning, as their long and thin trunk can make them more susceptible to wind.

More standard trees from our range

You can find more beautiful high stems from other plants in our range at:

  • Standard cube
  • Standard pyramid
  • Evergreen high stems

Crown shapes – the right shape for all wishes

The shape of the crown on the Morus is rounded to broadly expansive. The picturesque crown shape is very densely bushy, heavily branched and can be used as a privacy screen. One should consider that the deciduous wood is deciduous and therefore no privacy protection is given in winter. Other crown shapes are also available on the mulberry tree, so that a suitable wood can be found for every wish:

Pyramidal to round crown :

  • Morus alba ‘Macrophylla’ / White Mulberry Tree ‘Macrophylla’

Roof trellis :

  • Morus alba ‘Macrophylla’ roof trellis / roof shape / white mulberry tree
  • Morus alba ‘Fruitless’ roof trellis / White mulberry tree ‘Fruitless’

Mourning form :

  • Morus alba ‘Pendula’ / Hanging white mulberry tree

Umbrella shape :

  • Morus alba / white mulberry tree ‘umbrella shape’

Growth sizes – the mulberry tree reaches a height of up to 15m

Morus reaches a height and width of up to 15 m. The smallest specimen from our range is the Morus alba ‘Nana Issai’ / dwarf mulberry tree ‘Nana Issai’ with a height of up to 4 m. This specimen is ideal for smaller gardens or for a tub planting. In general, the mulberry tree is one of the slow-growing deciduous trees in our shop.

Site and soil recommendations for the Morus

The gardener should choose a large area for optimal development, as the wood develops a spreading growth with age. In general, More is location tolerant. Waterlogging should be avoided at all costs to avoid damage to the plant. A sunny location is preferred. Still young specimens should be protected from the wind as much as possible. The mulberry tree is particularly at home in a warm location.

Loose and nutrient-rich soil is ideal

The soil should be loose, deep, nutrient-rich and calcareous. In general, however, the mulberry tree is a soil-tolerant specimen. The ideal pH value in the soil is between 7.0 and 8.5.

Planting and care tips for the mulberry tree

Heavy soils should definitely be loosened up by working in sand before planting.

The mulberry tree is frost hardy – but protect young trees

In general, many of the Morus varieties are very hardy. Young plants and certain varieties should, however, receive winter protection measures. Spread a layer of leaves on the roots of the plants to protect the mulberry trees from the cold. The trunk can be wrapped with fleece to protect the bark from frost cracks. Further planting and care tips for deciduous and coniferous trees can be found on our blog, as well as additional tips for every gardener in our annual garden care calendar .

Planting time of the mulberry tree

We recommend spring planting for the mulberry tree. Occasionally, varieties of the mulberry tree can be sensitive to frost, especially when they are young. For this reason, a spring planting is more suitable than an autumn planting. This gives the wood more time to get used to the new location and to anchor the first roots in the ground before the first frost sets in. It is possible to plant our container goods all year round as long as the ground is not frozen.

Cut back – high cut tolerance of the More

The Morus is one of the cut-compatible specimens among the deciduous trees. The mulberry trees tolerate a shape cut wonderfully. Pruning is best done in the spring before flowering. Old, dead or broken branches should be removed from time to time as required.

Large specimens can easily be cut back

If the mulberry tree has grown too tall or too wide, it can be cut back to the desired size. When pruning, a white sap emerges from the interfaces and sticks them together. Further information can be found on our blog: Pruning deciduous and coniferous trees .

Watering the mulberry tree

Thanks to the deep and strong heart roots, the mulberry trees are undemanding specimens. Watering should be particularly thorough in periods of intense heat and drought. We also recommend watering More regularly in winter – but only on frost-free days. Setting up rain barrels or wine barrels in the garden is an optimal solution to always have sufficient lime-free irrigation water available. Waterlogging should be avoided at all costs in order to prevent damage such as root rot.

Fertilization – consider high nutrient requirements

The nutrient requirement is relatively high due to the lush fruit cluster. Compost should be added in spring and worked lightly into the soil. If you notice that the plant needs more nutrients, fertilization in April and June is recommended. For potted plants, fertilization with complete fertilizer is recommended, which is best done on a weekly basis.

Individual varieties of mulberry / morus

In the following you will find the different varieties of the mulberry tree in our range and the most important properties of these deciduous trees:

  • Morus alba ‘Fruitless’ / White Mulberry Tree ‘Fruitless’ : medium-sized tree, available as a high trunk and roof trellis, growth height up to 10 m and growth width up to 8 m, light green leaves, up to 15 cm long, inconspicuous flower spikes, gray colored and furrowed bark , no fruit
  • Morus alba ‘Macrophylla’ / White mulberry tree ‘Macrophylla’ : medium-sized tree, available as a high trunk and roof trellis, growth height up to 15 m and growth width up to 7 m, lush green leaves, up to 25 cm long, inconspicuous flower spikes, raspberry-like fruits, sweet taste , gray colored and furrowed bark
  • Morus alba ‘Nana Issai’ / Zwergmaulbeerbaum ‘Nana Issai’ : small tree, available as a high trunk, growth height up to 4 m and just as wide, light green leaves, up to 18 cm long, inconspicuous flower spikes, gray colored and furrowed bark, blackberry-like fruits, sweet taste, extremely hardy
  • Morus alba ‘platanifolia’ / Sycamore-leaved mulberry tree : medium-sized tree, available as a high trunk, growth height up to 10 m and similarly wide, leaves similar to plane trees , light green in color, up to 15 cm long, inconspicuous flower spikes, gray-colored and furrowed bark, blackberry-like fruit, white to pink in color and slightly sweet taste
  • Morus alba / White Mulberry Tree : medium-sized tree, available as a shrub, high trunk and roof trellis, growth height up to 10 m and growth width up to 6 m, light green leaves, up to 18 cm long, inconspicuous flower spikes, gray-colored and furrowed bark, blackberry-like fruit, initially white to pink and later purple, slightly sweet taste
  • Morus nigra / black mulberry tree : small to medium-sized tree, available as a high trunk and roof trellis, growth height up to 12 m and growth width up to 8 m, dark green leaves, yellow autumn color, up to 12 cm long, inconspicuous flower spikes, deeply fissured and olive-green to gray-brown in color Bark, blackberry-like fruits, sweet in taste, relatively frost hardy
  • Morus alba ‘Pendula’ / Hanging white mulberry tree : small tree, also available as a high trunk and small trunk, weeping shape, growth height up to 6 m and growth width up to 4 m, deep green leaves, up to 14 cm long, inconspicuous flower heads; light gray, furrowed bark; white to red berries, very sweet in taste, antifreeze recommended
  • Morus alba ‘Macrophylla’ roof trellis / roof shape / white mulberry tree : small tree, roof shape, growth height and width each up to 8 m, lush green leaves, up to 14 cm long, white flowers, no fruit , gray colored and furrowed bark
  • Morus alba / white mulberry tree ‘umbrella shape’ : medium-sized tree, multi-stemmed, growth height up to 10 m and growth width up to 6 m, light green leaves, up to 18 cm long, inconspicuous flower spikes, blackberry-like fruits, slightly sweet in taste, gray colored and furrowed bark
  • Morus alba ‘Fruitless’ roof trellis / white mulberry tree ‘Fruitless’ : medium-sized tree, growth height up to 10 m and growth width up to 8 m, light green leaves, up to 15 cm long, inconspicuous flower spikes, gray colored and furrowed bark, no fruit

It is also worth taking a look at the rarities and unique items category for particularly decorative trees .

Special features and uses of the mulberry tree

Interesting facts about the mulberry tree:

  • The leaves of the mulberry tree are a source of food for the silkworm. Therefore, Morus has been used in silkworm breeding for around 5000 years.
  • In Afghanistan, mulberries are dried and used like raisins.
  • More has been known in Germany since the 16th century.
  • The fruits are z. B. used in jams, schnapps and teas.
  • In Asian countries musical instruments are made from the very hard wood.
  • It is common in monastery gardens.
  • The mulberry tree was already known to the ancient Romans and Greeks.
  • The black mulberry tree was a symbol of wisdom among the Greeks and was dedicated to the god Pan.
  • In Asia, the bark is peeled and used to make Japanese paper.

To be found as a house tree and in parks

The mulberry tree is a popular deciduous tree both as a house tree and in parks. As a street or espalier tree, it often adorns long paths or gray streets. It is used in both small and large gardens. The smaller specimens in shrub form are suitable as a hedge element due to the dense bushy growth and serve as an excellent privacy screen.

Popular fruit tree and shade provider

Because of the tasty mulberries, More is very popular as a fruit tree. Above all, the shapes of the umbrellas serve as a source of shade. However, you should be careful not to put light-colored upholstered furniture under the deciduous trees because of the falling fruits. Because of its expansive growth habit, Morus is mainly used as a solitary wood.

In a planter for the terrace or balcony

It can also be used as a container plant. This means that the trees can also be used on terraces or balconies. Mulberry trees in the bucket should be moved to a protected location over the winter. The temperatures there should not be too warm to prevent pest infestation. In the garden shed, in the garage or on the south wall of the house, More can also survive the winter more easily. A styrofoam or wooden board should be placed under the bucket. The bucket can also be wrapped with bubble wrap: The film must not be wrapped around the plant!

Versatile use with delicious fruits

The mulberry tree is versatile. Every gardener should be able to enjoy the decorative appearance and the sweet taste of the fruits!

Distribution focus

The mulberry tree is widespread in the subtropical and temperate zones of the northern hemisphere. The warmth-loving Morus feels particularly at home in regions with a wine-growing climate. There are mainly three types of mulberry to be found in Germany: Morus alba, Morus rubra and Morus nigra.

Diseases and pests – rarely on the mulberry tree

In general, the mulberry tree is one of the most resistant deciduous trees against diseases and pests. The top priority for a healthy plant should always be coordinated care measures. However, it can happen that pests are on the wood or that disease spreads. Rolled sheets or spots on the leaves are often drought damage caused. An infestation with fungi occurs very rarely on the mulberry tree. If the morus is in the bucket, it is more susceptible to an infestation with spider mites. The mulberry tree should never be too warm in its winter quarters. Spider mites can be recognized by their fine webs on the plant. In the event of an infestation, the wood should be hosed down with the garden hose. If the infestation is well advanced, an insecticide can help drive the pest away. Powdery mildew can occur on the mulberry tree, but it hardly causes any damage.

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