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Mulberries Mulberries

There are two types of mulberries commonly grown in the UK, the Black mulberry and the White mulberry. Originally from western Asia, they have been cultivated in Europe since the time of the Greeks (8th-6th Century BC). They became popular in the UK during the 6th century when they were introduced to Britain for the silk industry – the leaves are fed to silk worms.

The Black mulberry is by far the superior tree if growing for fruit, as the White berries are rather bland and tasteless (the White mulberry was more popular for the silk industry as when fed to silkworms the leaves of the White mulberry produce better silk)

They are a long lived tree and some of the trees planted by James I in 1610 still stand in the grounds of Buckingham Palace today.

Mature trees can also be quite large, growing to a maximum height of 9m (30ft) so they are generally to big for many gardens. If you have space however the fruit is delicious – something akin to the loganberry (great for wines, jams and jellies, and pies), and the tree itself can be quite an elegant feature in the garden.

Growing Mulberries

Mulberries will grow pretty much anywhere in Britain although they prefer a deep moist soil. They are fairly hardy, and require little or no pruning.

Most trees are supplied container grown from nurseries, so can be planted any time of year. Make sure you insert a stake for support when the tree is young.

Pruning Mulberries

Mulberries bleed when pruned. Limit pruning to removing dead or diseased branches.

Propagating Mulberries

Mulberry cuttings can be taken very easily. Select a branch that has growth at the base at least two years old, and plant deeply in its final growing position with only two buds above ground.

In fact you can even take cuttings from pretty much any healthy branch with mature wood.

Mulberry Varieties

Look for a Black mulberry. King James is the commonest and easiest to find.

Phyl @ The Allotment Gardener

Lifelong gardener and allotment enthusiast. Now have 3 allotments!

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