White Mulberry Morus alba

Description & features

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Product description

MORUS ALBA – White Mulberry

Charactreristics

White mulberry is a short-lived, fast-growing, medium sized tree, which can grow to 15m (50ft) tall. The species is native to northern China, and is widely found elsewhere.

It is widely cultivated to feed the silkworms employed in the commercial production of silk. It will grow quite well in the south of England, but there has never been any success in establishing a silk worm industry despite several attempts, the first made by James 1st.  The tree is quite hardy though likely to have late growth shoots damaged by winter frosts.

The young, vigorous shoots have leaves that may be up to 30cm (12”) long, and deeply and intricately lobed. On older trees, the leaves are generally smaller and not lobed and serrated on the margins.

Where to grow

Grow in moist, humus-rich, fertile soils ideally with shelter from cold, dry winds and the worst of winter.  Prune in late autumn or early winter to prevent bleeding.

Did you know?

The white mulberry is scientifically notable for the rapid plant movement involved in pollen release from its catkins. The stamens act as catapults, releasing stored elastic energy in just 25 µs. The resulting movement is approximately 350 miles per hour (560 km/h), over half the speed of sound, making it the fastest known movement in the plant kingdom.

 

Features

Mature height
Medium - 10-15 metres
Spread
0-5 metres
Shape / habit
Round Headed
Growth rate
Medium
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Difficulty / hard to grow
Medium
Evergreen / Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Summer
Leaf
Green
Foliage
Cut leaf
Large Leaves
Berries / fruit colour
Red
Other
Needs shelter
Dislikes cold sites
Uses
Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
City/Urban Sites

Features

Mature height
Medium - 10-15 metres
Spread
0-5 metres
Shape / habit
Round Headed
Growth rate
Medium
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Difficulty / hard to grow
Medium
Evergreen / Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Summer
Leaf
Green
Foliage
Cut leaf
Large Leaves
Berries / fruit colour
Red
Other
Needs shelter
Dislikes cold sites
Uses
Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
City/Urban Sites

Aftercare

For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.

Watering

The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.

Staking

If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.

Ties

Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


Comments

By Claudia Napier on 25/07/2015

Dear Sir/Madam,
Last year I had some magnificent morus alba trees from you, (they really were great, thank you!) I would like to purchase some more.
Please can you tell me what you have in stock?

By Simon on 05/08/2015

Dear Claudia,

Very pleased to hear you are enjoying your mulberries. For current stock, please click the contact button on the order form above, or call us on 01275 333752.

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