In the United States, the red mulberry is native to Florida. The white mulberry is native to China, and boasts a brown, scaly bark. The leaves of the white mulberry are larger than the leaves on the red mulberry. Both trees attract birds and other wildlife, and both are deciduous trees, which means that they lose their leaves in the fall. Both trees flower in May.
Look at the branches. The red mulberry's branches have a wide spread. The crown is rounded. It grows up to 40 feet in height, and its trunk grows up to 18 inches in diameter. The red mulberry's bark is orangish-brown on young trees, but turns brown and becomes furrowed on older trees.
Identify the leaf pattern. The red mulberry's leaves alternate on the branch and are oval with a sharp point. They range from 3 to 5 inches in length and have toothed margins. The leaves usually have two or three lobes, but occasionally, a single leaf appears on the tree. The underside of the leaves are hairy.
Look at the flowers. The red mulberry tree has male and female flowers on the same plant. The green flowers are small. It flowers in the spring, then, two months after flowering, produces berries that are up to 1 ½ inches in length and are red when unripe. The berries turn dark purple to black when they ripen. The fruit stains sidewalks and other landscaping.
Look at the branches. The leaves are not divided and have toothed margins. They are hairy on the undersides. The leaves are 2 ½- to 7 ¼ -inches long. Leaves are usually two- or three-lobed, but some might not have any lobes.
Identify the bark. The bark is brown and scaly. The white mulberry grows up to 40 feet in height, with a rounded crown.
Look at the flowers and fruit. The flowers are small and green. The fruit is dark purple and ripens in July and August. The fruit is inferior to the red mulberry's fruit, but is good to use in recipes. Male white mulberries do not produce fruit.
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Cayden Conor is a family law paralegal who writes on various subjects including dogs, cockatoos and cooking. She has over 15 years of experience as a paralegal, and has been writing professionally for three years. Conor has a paralegal degree and majored in criminology, computer science (programming emphasis) and education.