Tree Friend #1 Data Sheet
Morus alba ‘White Mulberry’
I have chosen the White Mulberry and propose to plant it in Canberra ACT, Australia for a number of its benefits including quick growth, self-pollinating (and attracts pollinating insects and birds) and edibility of its leaves and fruit.
- Average expected life of tree, in years, from sprout to death (approx numbers)
The reported average life span is from 50-70 years, with some varieties reportedly living significantly longer.
- Years until trees first fruit
Trees grown from seed will start to fruit after 5 or 6 years. Grafted saplings will most likely fruit after 2-3 years. Fruit yields of 3-5 kgs can be expected in early fruiting years, and can increase 10-fold by maturity (20-30 years).
- Season of year when productive tree fruits
Fruit ripens mid-spring to late summer. Not all fruit ripens at the same time, prolonging the harvesting window. Harvesting season can last between 6-8 weeks.
- Expected or average number years tree expected to fruit for once it begins. (ie year 8 to 20 = 12 yrs)
Once productive, reports indicate that the tree will continue to bear fruit for much of its life.
- Country/area of origin
Native to northern, eastern and central Asia. Is now grown widely in Asia, Europe, America and Africa.
- Average annual rainfall in area of origin
Best yields are in locations with 600-1500mm per year
- Latin name of tree and family
Morus Alba, Moraceae
- Any other products, benefits, useful or interesting facts about of tree:
The White Mulberry is a useful tree in permaculture and other garden systems.
- Trees are very fast growing, so can be used to quickly establish shade and wind protection.
- They produce significant bio mass so are good for soil fertility.
- The flowers and fruit also attract bees and other insects. Some growers have reported that mulberries make good companion plants for other fruit trees, as birds are attracted to the mulberry fruit (which is plentiful) and leave other fruiting trees alone.
- The trees are also drought hardy and frost tolerant and require little maintenance.
- The fruit is sweet and pleasant tasting. Fruit has a limited shelf life but can be dried or frozen.
- The fruit can also be used for fodder for animals.
- The leaves are edible, with young leaves being most palatable. They must be cooked first, and the water discarded. Leaves can be used as a substitute for spinach or vine leaves.
- Leaves can also be used for animal fodder and are a primary food source for silk worms.
- Wood can be used for cabinetry, and trees can be coppiced to produce straight poles.
- Height, width and shape of tree at maturity.
Depending on variety, grows between 9-18m high and up to 8-18m wide, with trunks about 50cm. The tree has a dense network of limbs, growing tall and wide.
- Challenges or special requirements, such as needing other varieties in order to fruit
As the trees are fast growing, they may need careful pruning to ensure tree will fit the purpose that it is grown for.
The White Mulberry is considered a pest tree in some areas of Queensland, Australia due to its prolific growth in that environment. It is not considered a pest tree in Canberra, Australia.
Varieties with darker fruit may stain, either at time of picking, or from bird droppings. Some mulberry trees have also been identified as triggering more cases of hayfever.
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