Mulberry trees (genus Morus) are native to Asia and North America and in the same botanical family (Moraceae) as figs, breadfruit and osage orange. Exotic, sweet, and delicious, Mulberries are very popular in Central Asia and the Middle East. Now we can grow and enjoy this juicy and nutritious fruit! Mulberry fruit resemble a petite, elongated blackberry and are delicious fresh or dried for tasty winter snacks. Mulberries form an attractive tree with dark green, tropical looking foliage. Along the ancient Silk Road in Central Asia, mulberries are widely grown for their foliage, which is used to feed silkworms. Mulberry fruit that are dark red to black in color can stain surfaces that they fall on, like sidewalks and driveways, so keep this in mind when choosing a planting location.
Some of the most popular species of mulberry to grow for fruit are Morus nigra and Morus alba. While these Latin names might appear to specify the fruit color, the fruit of each is actually not necessarily the color given in the name. For example, the Oscar Mulberry produces black fruits, but the Latin name is: Morus alba. Mulberry fruits have abundant phenolic compounds and antioxidants and are a healthful fruit. The mulberries are also said to contain pharmacological properties that can help prevent disease. Tasty for fresh eating, the berries are also great for making jams and jellies.
Mulberries are relatively easy to cultivate here in the PNW. Please keep in mind, white mulberries, Morus alba, have the potential to become invasive in some regions of the U.S. This is important to consider this when planting, especially in locations where the native red mulberry could be displaced by it.
These trees are self-fertile and typically begin producing fruit 2-3 years after planting. We planted the mulberries at the nursery about 5 years ago and they now produce more fruit than we can snack on! For this reason these trees also make a great treat for wildlife.
Most of the varieties we carry will reach about 15-20 ft in height at maturity, and occasionally 25 ft or more. Pruning on them, especially in summer is encouraged to keep them at an easily harvestable height. The Contorted and Dwarf Black Mulberry will only reach about 8-10 ft in height and are great choices for gardeners who are tight on space. Mulberries enjoy a site with at least half day sun and are somewhat drought tolerant once established. We’ve never seen any pests or disease issues on any of the mulberries we grow, making them a great addition to the low maintenance edible landscape or forest garden.
At OGW we offer a diversity of food plants and their companions from around the world. We offer unique and rare fruit and nut trees, shrubs, and vines. We've been sharing our passion for edible plants and organic gardening since 1994. We are a family owned and operated nursery in Portland Oregon. We ship our seeds & plants to all 50 states. At our retail garden center we offer seasonal fruit tasting, preservation and plant care classes as well as hold events in the community. We support local food sovereignty- grow your own One Green World!