Great Fruit Trees for the Deep South, Part. III: The Mulberry


| 4/3/2013 4:49:00 PM


planting a mulberry treeI remember the first time I saw a mulberry tree. Growing up in South Florida, we were used to oranges, grapefruit, mangos and avocadoes. But… a blackberry that grew on a tree? Wild!

I was 10 years old. My little brother Brian and I were visiting our friends Rachel and Miles, who were eight and seven. Rachel took us down a little alley behind her house to show us the tree. We picked fruit and purpled our fingers and lips… totally amazed by the delicious abundance.

Rachel is now my wife; and though we no longer live in South Florida, we did take a trip back a few years ago and asked Rachel’s mom if the tree was still at the end of the alley. Sadly, it had been removed – but a far-sighted neighbor had taken cuttings before its demise and planted them across the street in an empty lot. We took our children for a walk and found the trees in full fruit. All of us came home purple and happy, our baskets loaded with berries.

In my yard in North Central Florida, I’ve planted a half-dozen mulberry trees and will soon plant more.

The mulberry tree has been praised and demonized… overlooked… fed to silk worms… discovered by hungry travelers… and planted by the Founding Fathers. It grows across most of the United States and is a consistent producer of delicious berries. The range is actually astounding, when you consider that mulberries live and fruit in states with blizzards and ice… and in Miami… where people suntan in February.



I’m always amazed when people pick on mulberries as “messy.” That’s like saying “you know, the Mississippi is a great river… what a shame it’s so damp!”

bevwhit1
7/11/2017 4:07:24 PM

I live in Jacksonville FL. I know where I have seen some mulberry trees. When should I expect them to bear fruit for my picking?


CATRYNA
4/5/2015 4:32:41 PM

We acquired two of the Palestinian Mulberry trees 3 years ago and have had to cut their height down the past two years in order to keep them at a manageable size. Right now they stand at 15 ft with a 10 foot spread. The fruit they have born already (for the past two years) averages between 4 and 5 inches long. We feed the leaves to our ducks, chickens, turkeys and guinea fowl. They love them.


CATRYNA
4/5/2015 4:32:13 PM

We acquired two of the Palestinian Mulberry trees 3 years ago and have had to cut their height down the past two years in order to keep them at a manageable size. Right now they stand at 15 ft with a 10 foot spread. The fruit they have born already (for the past two years) averages between 4 and 5 inches long. We feed the leaves to our ducks, chickens, turkeys and guinea fowl. They love them.






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