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  • OT - Mulberry Trees - Good Ones, Bad Ones and What Are You Growing?

    The bug just bit. I want a mulberry tree for south central Texas. I know they can be messy but I am going to do it just the same.

    I would like a variety that is good for eating fresh and one that makes good jelly.

    I would like to here about your experiences with growing mulberry trees.

    Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

  • #2
    I just bought a Shangri La from EL. It's native to Florida, so I hope it does well here in PA. Planning on keeping it in a pot and shuffling it with the figs.
    Zone 7A - Philadelphia
    Flavor Profiles & Variety List / Facebook / YouTube / Blog

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    • #3
      Jerry,

      Even though we have different soils we virtually share the same amount of rainfall and heat here in central Texas. I find Mulberries easy to grow, I'll give you a synopsis of my experiences with them.

      My first was Willis Orchards Persian, which of course I thought was the real Persian, long story short and 3 years later it is not Morus nigra. They propagate easily, and I have 4 in ground, after all I thought they were M. nigra. I keep them short and more open vase like at about 9-10 feet tall. They make beautiful berries that I got last year that are good but not wow. Hopefully the taste will mature as the tree does. These have not broken bud yet.

      My second which is now going on it's 3rd year is a Pakistani. I keep it at 12 feet by summer pruning. Beautiful tree, very large heart shaped leaves, and long berries that are sweet, good, non staining but little to no acidity. It is also very easy to propagate and I now have many scattered about, very fast grower. It is well along in budding. One thing to note, this tree froze to the ground first year of planting, and I think it is not quite as winter hardy as the rest. But since your in my zone, I think you would be ok with extra protection for the first few years.

      Last year I got cuttings off Ebay for Shangri-la, and a Florida unknown. Both rooted and grew easily. This year several are 6-7 feet high, but most are 4-5, i should have watered more because I planted them late. As of today, both of these types have broken bud and have berries, I haven't tasted them yet.

      This year I planted Morus nigra, because thats what i wanted from the start 3 years ago, a Persian, Black Beauty and Noire de Spain they are slowly breaking bud now. I haven't tasted these yet either.

      I just so happen to have small Pakistani in a 4 gallon pot i could send you for shipping, or I will be trimming most of these in summer to keep fruit easy to get and I can send you some cuttings, so far all but the M. nigras have been easy to root...easier than most figs for sure. As a side note my goats, rabbits, chickens love the leaves.

      Comment


      • Harborseal
        Harborseal commented
        Editing a comment
        Where did you get your trees from? Thanks.

      • DonCentralTexas
        DonCentralTexas commented
        Editing a comment
        I got the Persian, and Black Beauty from Peaceful Valley (Groworganic.com), and the Noire de Spain from Hidden Springs Nursery, which I highly recommend.
        Looks like the Noire de Spains are toast, I think just too much rain, which is hard to believe because it won't rain all summer. The others are struggling as well.

    • #4
      I just commenetd on a mulberry thread couple days ago so reposting here

      I grow Several Mulberry cultivars. A Good mulberry is one of my favorite flavors. A great balance of sweet and tart. I don’t care for ones that are Sweet only. Morus Nigra species are pretty much accepted as the best, Many folks and some nurseries incorrectly state Nigra only based on fruit color. The problem with Nigra is that it doesn’t grow well in many areas including mine. The Humidity in the southeast doesn’t agree with it. I still have a small Nigra Black Beauty alive but it’s smaller than when I initially planted it. I lost a couple other Nigra prior. I have lost 2 Pakistan to cold here in zone 7b. It’s a large fruit and taste is nice but there are others I prefer, but I will likely try to plant or graft it again.

      On propagation some cultivar cuttings seem to root fairly readily and others are very difficult or it seems at least for me. Most I found most graft pretty easy but I a couple I obtained failed. I think there are some graft issues between species and you will see some conflicting info on how many species exist and what species some mulberry are.
      Phil North Georgia Zone 7 Looking for: All of them, and on and on,

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      • #5
        So funny that this thread came up about Mulberry trees. Ya see I live in this new development that had not a single tree on it anywhere.. Except one! It is a great giant mulberry tree that I discovered while taking my dobe out for a walk last summer. I had never seen or really heard of Mulberry's before this but when I saw this tree I was in awe! At first I thought.. Am I suffering heatstroke?? This beautiful tree had the LARGEST BLACKBERRIES I've ever seen! Lol but thought better of it when I looked to my right and saw the blackberry thicket not far from it & remembered they do not grow on trees.. So I googled it naturally & discovered I had found a bonafide wild mulberry tree.. Gathered some fruit, went home to try it, and then hit that tree up for the rest of the summer! Lol! Wish I still had pics of the fruit to show you all but I had to delete.. Not enough space on my stinking iphone.. Knew I should got the 64G lol
        My Plant Inventory: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...HZcBjcsxMwQ7iY

        Rooted Cuttings Available 2021:
        https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...fxsT1DuH8/edit

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        • Admin IT
          Admin IT commented
          Editing a comment
          Jamie, Forever.com offers a free 3gb for photo storage; you can purchase 20gb for a one time fee. They guarantee access to your photos regardless of company ownership, or evolution of technology. They are the only company that does not have access to or own your photos. The property remains yours, they have no claim as does all other photo sites.

          Forever had 3-4 redundant servers world wide for secure storage.

        • Jamie0507
          Jamie0507 commented
          Editing a comment
          LOVE IT!!! Going straight over there right now, what a HUGE help this will be Thank you so much.. I'll tell ya lately I can't keep that "icloud is full" message off my iphone lol and I refuse to purchase more space.. Im a bit stubborn with that sort of thing hehe Thanks again!

      • #6
        I have a few mulberry trees on my farm. my mulberries start out green, then red, then they turn a black color. they are very flavorful when they turn black, but very tart if you pick when they are still red. I dig up sprouts from my uncles farm and plant them at my place. His most mature mulberry tree is about 30 ft tall.

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        • #7
          I dont have a mulberry yet but growing up there was one at my aunts house that I assume came from Greece. The berries would start out green, then I believe they got a shade of pink and then white if I remember correctly. They were very sweet and I hope to figure out what they were or else I will find a way to get some cuttings next time im up there to graft or whatever I have to do. Any thoughts on variety would be appreciated
          2021: The year of figs and a new love of Citrus thanks to http://www.madisoncitrusnursery.com

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          • #8
            I spent half my youth up in mulberry trees, I assume they were Rubra but could have been Alba or Hybrid between the 2. Rubra is the only mulberry native to U.S, but Alba is widely naturalized and pest tree and invasive in areas. I have never really tasted what I thought was a bad Rubra, but it is a larger grower. Alba seem more variable some being bland others very nice.

            Illinois Everbearing is probably the most planted cultivar. It doesn't seem to fruit heavy in my area, but has a few fruit over a long period of time. Aggressive grower and the fruit will be out of reach unless you really prune heavy and likely more than once a year. It's supposedly a rubraXalba cross I like the taste a good grazers tree. I gon't grow Silk Hope but supposed to be similar and more productive in Southeast, but the person I know growing it has been disappointed. I have only gotten a few I.E. to root after many attempts. Many times I get some minimal roots then they die. Shangri La, Middleton, Kokuso No. 20 I have had better luck rooting. The tree I really like is Girardi dwarf spelled couple different ways been very productive with nice decent fruit. A true compact dwarf with fruit in reach. I never even got it to attempt to root however. But for those that want to grow a smaller bush like tree that many Nigra have but can't because of climate I recommend it. growing few others as well.
            One good source for mulberry is Lucille at Whitman farms if you want an established tree
            http://www.whitmanfarms.com/category...ts/mulberries/
            Phil North Georgia Zone 7 Looking for: All of them, and on and on,

            Comment


            • Refigs17
              Refigs17 commented
              Editing a comment
              Based upon all the comments I contacted Lucille at Whitman Farms and bought a Girardi dwarf. I hope I have good luck with it.. Thanks.

          • #9
            I grow a number of mulberry trees. My all time favorite has been a Black Persian mulberry (morus niger) for around thirty-five years. The mulberries were big juicy and black when ripe with a delicious rich blend of sweetness, complexity and acid. You have to wait until they’re fully black for their superb taste. The birds and ants like them too, but there is enough for all. It blew over a few years back and stopped producing even when I propped it up again. I’ve added another BP tree but found out they need a few hundred chill hours in the winter, which, alas, we don’t have any more here. I don’t know if either tree will ever produce again. I also have two Black Beauty (morus niger) mulberry trees. They stay small and bush-like, around four plus feet so far in my yard, and have a similar flavor to the Black Persian. However, the berries on my tree were smaller than on the Black Persian and dryer. They also only produced a few berries each year over the past few years in spite of being large bushes and might also be affected by climate change.
            Both my Pakistan Mulberries (Morus alba), one from Dave Wilson’s Nursery and the one a Pakistan Cooke’s Selection, are long, sweet, bland tasting and somewhat dryer compared to the morus niger. They ripen even before the cherries and lack any acid or rich flavor when compared to the Black Persian. There isn’t much difference in flavor from the red stage to the black. They have the mouth feel of a caterpillar. Both will give a second crop in the fall here in SoCal.
            My Mulberry Australia from Top Tropics is similar to both of the Pakistans in taste and form but stays green when ripe so doesn't stain. I have it in a 15 gallon pot and it hasn’t been that productive yet, only a few berries each year.
            My young Shangri-La and Kokusa mulberries have produced two or three fruit on them for the few years I’ve had them but the taste was dry and unremarkable compared to to the Black Persian. The Kokusa tree has hardly grown at all but the Shangri-La doubled its size last year and has a good crop of new berries developing on it this year.
            When I was a child, my grandfather had a large mulberry tree in his back yard. We would go there for Sunday dinner which was always delayed while all the women caught up on the gossip. The hungry grandchildren all learned how to climb and pick mulberries.
            Mara, Southern California,
            Climate Zone: 1990=9b 2012= 10a 2020=?

            Comment


            • Altadena Mara
              Altadena Mara commented
              Editing a comment
              VICtort, Thanks for your comments on my descriptive writing. I grew up in a home where the best everyday reading after the Bible were the Sears and Parks Seed catalogs. I still remember the baby chicks I bought described as “veritable egg machines” (they weren’t).
              I might add my favorite mulberry this last year was Shagri La. The tree grows fast and produced two crops of medium sized, juicy sweet berries with a good flavor. The Black Persian is still disappointing.

            • Laeotis
              Laeotis commented
              Editing a comment
              Did you get those chill hours you weren’t expecting?

            • Altadena Mara
              Altadena Mara commented
              Editing a comment
              Laeotis, we had a little more chill last winter. The second Black Persian mulberry is beginning to leaf out but not my original one. All the other mulberries are flowering. The Shangri-La and Pakistan trees fruit get better every year.

          • #10
            Just got my first mulberry tree in the ground, a Pakistani. Thanks Don.

            Anyone have experience with the weeping mulberry?
            Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

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            • cjmach1973
              cjmach1973 commented
              Editing a comment
              I am growing one in Zone 5 in MA. It produces berries every year since it was three feet tall.

          • #11
            I've been growing Russian Mulberry trees (Morus Alba) from, http://www.coldstreamfarm.net/russia...orus-alba.html for a few years, due to my colder zone (5 - 6) there are few cultivar options available.
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            Last spring there was no dieback and the trees produced mulberries from late spring thru mid summer, which was a surprise. My Illinois Everbearing died the previous winter from the polar vortexes...
            Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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            • Jamie0507
              Jamie0507 commented
              Editing a comment
              Thank you Pete that would be awesome if you could make an airlayer for me! I was thinking of going on over to the tree I discovered down the street to make a few airlayers if you are interested in one? I'll also take some cuttings and pictures of it as well. I really would love to positively Id the type of Mulberry tree this is.. I cannot describe how surprised I was when I found this tree.. It is a really large tree that produces a massive amount of large tastey fruit.. I'm afraid they may bull-doze it soon to continue building homes since it's spring now.. That would be a real shame bc it truly is a magnificent almost magical looking tree Just say the word and I will make you an airlayer and/or mail out some cuttings your way as well 😉👍

              I wonder if anyone has successfully grafted fig scion wood onto Mulberry rootstock? Sorry if this is a silly question, I just thought it may work since they are related to one another and at least some types of Mulberry trees appear to be hardier than most figs?

            • Harborseal
              Harborseal commented
              Editing a comment
              AscPete , how does this taste?

            • AscPete
              AscPete commented
              Editing a comment
              Harborseal ,
              Bob C, they are not as intensely flavored as Illinois Everbearing, mostly sweet with a very mild additional tart flavor.

          • #12
            Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread. It has been very educational for me.
            Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

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            • #13
              If these can be rooted or grafted my neighbor has msyne 50ft tall tree he is taking down tis spring because is damage his home. I can get 100's of cuttings at least.
              Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
              1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
              2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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              • #14
                When I purchased this property 40 years ago my neighbor had a giant mulberry tree in his yard, was a GIANT. 20' tall and as wide. He had to prop up the limbs. They were so heavy with wood and fruit several ended up breaking. He told me it was wild and growing in the yard when he purchased his property, which was 30 years before me. The trunk was 3' in diameter and separated above into 3 main growing verticals that were 1.5' wide. He had a swing hanging off of one of the large limbs for his 6 children. He is gone and so is the tree. The property sold and the new owner cut the tree down along with several other very old trees.

                "If I would have know then, what I know now!"

                The berries were large dark, sweet and delicious. All the neighborhood children raided the tree until there were so many bees eating the berries on the ground that it was unsafe to walk under the tree.

                I have several wild white mulberry trees that are not as prolific as the neighbor's dark berry tree, but they bring on a lot of fruit for my family and the local birds, bees and other visitors. I wonder what type they are. Any ideas about a wild white mulberry in Pennsylvania. IT is more bush like and now is 10' tall and 4-5 feet wide. After reading these posts, i think Ill prune it and take some air-layers. I'm going to take a good look around to see if maybe there is a black mulberry hiding somewhere close. Wish me luck.

                Thanks for the interesting OT posting, maybe we should petition wills to create a mulberry forum. There seems to be a nice interest base for such a forum!

                Best always,
                Wish List: 🙏🏼 Mavra Sika

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                • #15
                  Originally posted by jmaler View Post
                  The bug just bit. I want a mulberry tree for south central Texas. I know they can be messy but I am going to do it just the same.

                  I would like a variety that is good for eating fresh and one that makes good jelly.

                  I would like to here about your experiences with growing mulberry trees.
                  Jmaler,
                  Less than two years ago, I planted a Click image for larger version

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ID:	75197 dwarf variety (Morus nigra) in a small container (later transplanted in a 25 gallon container). It grew very well in Texas 8B zone, it is about 10-12' tall now. This year the plant is bearing fruits. I have yet to test the taste to recommend if they are good for eating fresh and for making jelly. I will report you the results as the berries start ripening. Click image for larger version

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                  Zone 8B, Texas

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                  • #16
                    Wow Inkfin, that thing really grew. Be sure to keep us posted.
                    Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

                    Comment


                    • #17
                      i had a beautiful mulberry tree starting last year. quickly grew to 3 feet and begain to put out side limbs. One morning I went outside on my screen pool enclosure and looked in my backyard and saw mamma deer finishing stripping my tree of leaves. Egad I ran out side and screamed and ran at the deer. She pooped, ran away and jumped the fence to where here two babies were waiting and trotted off down the back. It put a few leaves back on and looked pretty good again. same thing. Sprayed the tree with tobasco and it put a few leaves out but never really took off. will see how it does this year.

                      Comment


                      • Seattlefiggirl
                        Seattlefiggirl commented
                        Editing a comment
                        how are the fruits this year? thanks for sharing

                    • #18
                      Bumping this thread up... I'm thinking of going the M. nigra route - Noir de Spain and/or King James - I'm curious if anyone is growing the Shangri-La hybrid on EL? It's likely I'll get few different cultivars, grow them for a bit, and decide which one to put in the ground. Any thoughts or words or wisdom from those growing them (especially those of you in Texas or the southwest since I'm in Dallas) is appreciated.

                      Note: I wrongly thought this thread was in the other fruits forum but here it is in the fig forum - can it be moved? Sorry about that.
                      Last edited by Blake; 01-23-2018, 11:18 AM. Reason: Wrong forum?
                      Dallas, TX (zone 8a)
                      Want List: Coll de Dama de Ciutat, Noire de Barbentane, Gris de Saint Jean, Bordissot Negra Rimada, Paratjal Negra

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                      • #19
                        We have some kind of white mulberry tree that came with our property. Maybe 20 years old or so? Fruit ripens white to maroon. Very sweet when ripe, very low acidity. Darker, more acid balanced varietals sound better. But, ours is perched over our front walkway & sidewalk and is quite a mess as it is!
                        SoCal, zone 10a

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                        • #20
                          My area is supposed to be very good for growing the real Morus Nigra. Are there varieties that I can grow in a pot and get a lot of fruit from? I’ve no more land

                          What are the differences between Noir de Spain, Black Beauty and Persian?

                          Comment


                          • DrDraconian
                            DrDraconian commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I've read that there is much less variation in the fruit of the morus nigra trees than there are for alba and rubra. Some say that they are all close to being indistinguishable. One thing that is said consistently is that Black Beauty tends to be smaller than most of the others, maturing at 12-15 ft. That is what I'm considering as the most likely candidate for my yard, to replace my Dwarf Everbearing mulberry, because I too have run out of room. As a naturally smaller tree, it may be more amenable to growing in a pot than some of the others. I'm planning on getting a few varieties to try potted for a while , however, just to see if I do like one over the others.

                          • ramv
                            ramv commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Thanks! I have a few cuttings I got of Black Beauty at the CRFG. Can these be rooted? Or do they need to be grafted to seedling stock?

                        • #21
                          Having grown many varieties here in NC and OR too.I've concluded best is Illinois everbearing because:
                          Large fruit
                          long bearing ,others produce a couple weeks and then zero
                          healthy,takes 8F here in stride, heat too.
                          attractive tree
                          fruit has balanced sugar/acid perfect for fresh eating,drying,pies, jam, jelly etc,many others lack this flavor balance, either too sour.too sweet,not rich flavor
                          I have also: Silk Hope small fruit,not great flavor
                          ShangriLa too sensitive to cold.
                          Pakistan black long fruit but not long on flavor, mine takes cold fine
                          Oscars slow to fruit
                          wild M.rubra massive quantity of fruit thats dry and flavorless
                          M.nigra from hidden Springs nursery..small tree takes our Z8A cold ok.fruit has best flavor of any mulberry have tasted but fruit must be PULLED or CUT off tree as is firmly attached unlike others this causes squish and juice allover you all fruit ripens over short time, not as many fruit as Illinois everbearing of similar size.also tree grows slower remains semi dwarf

                          Complaints about Illinois everbearing growing too large are strange.Nobody complains about needing to prune a peach or apple tree.A vigorous tree gvies more fruit, Besides not necessary to climb a big mulberry tree to get fruit any size mulberry (exceptM.nigra) one can place plastic sheet under tree and shake trunk or individual limbs and any fruit really ripe fall off, easiest fruit to gather! Also takes severe pruning if that's your style, but unlike apple.etc. bears perfectly if never pruned.
                          Z8A NC SANDHILLS

                          WISH LIST ZAFFIRO, THERMOLITO

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                          • ramv
                            ramv commented
                            Editing a comment
                            This is very useful information!
                            How does the fruit of Illinois Everbearing compare with Morus Nigra? I might get this one if Nigra is that slow growing and not productive over long period.

                          • YATAMA
                            YATAMA commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Nigra has wetter jucier slightly more tart fruit but amjor difference is nigra is firmly attached and if puled off bleedjuice all over and mash fruit,also smaller terr equals less fruit and over shorter bearing period.I like IE as can shakelimbs and ripe ones fall on tarp unharmed.
                            ON my former site in OR Rogue Valley I cleft grafted IE to in ground nursery fruitless mulberry that were about 6 ft tall when planted from nursery containers, has tons of fruit and trees got25 ft tall looked nice with fine shade for ferns planted beneath.Theres reason IE is main one in nurseries, Here tried many others and they are inferior,Interestingly theres a white fruit mulberry TEHAMA less acid and real sweet big fruit I tried on visit to Nor cal once. nice tree and god fruit for fresh eating bears slow first couple years then loads. If I were in Seattle would plant IE or maybe cleft graft a landscape containerized fruitless mulberry as rootstock to IE and later play around grafting other cultivars to a few IE limbs to have fun.
                            Nice thing is no diseases, pests,pruning, etc.

                        • #22
                          I originally had planned on planting a Shangri-La on my property but was advised that it would be marginal at best in our zone 7a winters. So I opted for Illinois Everbearing which I got from Raintree. Glad to hear enthusiasm for this variety from others. I might try grafting Shangri-La or another cold sensitive type onto a branch to see how it does. Mine hasn't fruited yet but maybe this year it will.
                          Steve
                          D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
                          WL: Nantes Maroc

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                          • #23
                            i have Dwarf Everbearing Mulberry mours nigra from Wellsprings garden nursery. I have had it for about 4 years now and it does stay small. Fruits are on the small size Here in South Louisiana they fruit mainly in april. My grandkids love them. They eat them fast as i can pick for them
                            Last edited by Nick Costanza; 01-23-2018, 06:52 PM.
                            Independence Louisiana Zone 8B

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                            • #24
                              I've ordered a red Pakistan mulberry and a white Pakistan mulberry. Not from Just Fruits and Exotics, just linking to the varieties. This area(east of Dallas, Texas) hit 6 degrees at a weather station just down the road a few weeks ago(9 degrees for sure in my backyard). That would kill them both without protection. I'm debating using a large 30-40 gallon pot with side holes, partially buried. The side holes would allow the tree to stretch out some roots for nutrients and water in the surrounding soil. I could dig the trees up, chop them at the roots when it goes dormant, and store them in the garage without worry if I go the pot method. I've heard some good reviews, so I'm surprised to hear bland as describing the flavor from above posters.

                              Comment


                              • YATAMA
                                YATAMA commented
                                Editing a comment
                                well my pakistan in ground has survived anything you all get in Dallas, But probably because first 3 years after I planted it we did not have winters below 20, now has shown no damage winters with maybe a night or two 8F,EVEN 3 F one winter.We just has a night with 1F last week, but think will be ok, If tree is inground and not a baby might surprise you how much cold it can take, amazed me here/

                                For someone who has not tasted one of the superior mulberries,a pakistan would seem perfect and it is not essential every fruit one has is the very best.I enjoy T bone most but find a good dish of fried liver and onions tasty also!Thus I have pakistan ANd Illinois Everbearing.I believe you will enjoy whatever mulberries you grow and taste is purely an individual matter..Personally would not bother digging up a big mulberry tree every autumn

                              • chadspur
                                chadspur commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Wow. That's crazy! I thought they were very sensitive to the cold. Maybe I'm mistaken or it's the possibility of late frosts? I've grown a generic black mulberry and an everbearing mulberry in pots, but the tiny fruit was a pain to pick. Nice taste, but messy and a hassle to pick without the things breaking. I ended up selling them off on craigslist. If these aren't worthwhile, I'll pot them back up and do the same.

                              • YATAMA
                                YATAMA commented
                                Editing a comment
                                well just to be careful, I would wrap the trunk first 3 winters til gets bigger and tougher,but my experience in Texas is everything grew fast and big.if it was suited to the soil type at the planting site.Even hard black clay grew one variety of grape ok! LOVE TX!

                            • #25
                              I never noticed this thread and don't know much about mulberry trees but we have native mulberry everywhere in southern NJ. I have a couple in my yard that had actually been firewood that started to root while waiting to be split. You almost can't fail with it here. I don't care much for the taste of them but I wonder if one of the more popular varieties would be a successful graft on the native kind.
                              7B Southern NJ

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                              • YATAMA
                                YATAMA commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Yes by all means try grafting illinois everbearing to native trees.I did that on a dozen at our veterans organization farm herein NC and fruit is so much we cannot use it all and chickens and goats get a feast
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