The common mulberry (Morus spp.) Is a deciduous shade tree that is hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 or 4 through 8. It produces small, edible fruits, commonly called “mulberries.” The fruits grow around 1/2 inch long and are dark purple to black in colour when ripe; some mulberry varieties produce white fruits. Mulberries are eaten fresh and used to make chocolate, wine and desserts. Mulberry trees grow in various conditions, allowing them to get a long lifespan.
Although mulberry trees are highly adaptable to a range of growing conditions, their lifespan still is dependent on the care they are given within an extended time period. The two closely related species of mulberry trees are white mulberry (Morus alba) and red mulberry (Morus rubra). White mulberry trees have been known to live for at least 100 years while red mulberry trees rarely live longer than 75 years. Most mulberry trees grown in landscapes possess a lifespan of only 25 to 50 yearsago Improper pruning, inadequate water, insects and diseases shorten the life of mulberry trees.
Growth Rate and Size
Mulberry trees are rated as fast, capable of developing 10 to 12 feet through a six-year period. White mulberry trees may grow to 80 feet tall at maturity while red mulberry trees tops out at 70 feet with a comparable spread. The trees have a dense habit, with a round-topped canopy and tightly knitted slender branches, frequently developing a “witches’ broom .”
Mulberry trees grow best in locations that have full sun exposure, but they perform well in partial shade, too. They prefer moist, well-draining soil that is rich but tolerate a range of soil conditions, such as gravely, wet and alkaline soils, which makes them a great candidate for controlling erosion. They transplant easily and adapt to urban and seaside problems.
Pests and Diseases
Like many trees, mulberry trees frequently are affected by insect-related injuries and diseases, such as white peach scale, bacterial blight, leaf spots, cankers and two-spotted mites. When a mulberry tree is contaminated, the cause should be identified and controlled or it’s likely to kill the tree eventually. Insect pests may be controlled with an insecticidal app; follow all label instructions listed on the insecticide container.