How to Make Black Mulberry Trees Produce More Fruit
A mulberry tree produces an aggregate fruit similar in appearance to blackberries. However, unlike blackberries, mulberries are a delicate fruit that will not survive rough handling. Because of this, mulberries are not widely sold in stores and fruit stands. If you have a mulberry fruit tree, you can grow your own seasonal fruit for jelly, jam or pies. Proper care of your tree will increase the fruit yield that it produces yearly.
Select both male and female mulberry trees from a tree nursery that specializes in mulberry trees for your landscape. Fruit is only produced on female mulberry trees, while male trees produce pollen. A good variety of both trees will ensure that the flowers of the female trees are pollinated and produce abundant fruit. A tree nursery employee can help you select the correct gender of tree.
Plant your trees in loamy, well-drained soil. Mulberries perform best when roots are kept moist but not wet.
Avoid pruning as much as possible to encourage blossoming. Pruning reduces the amount of fruit that grows on the current season’s growth. If you must prune, then only remove dead wood or branches that rub and are less than 2 inches in diameter. Prune trees in late fall when the trees are dormant and do not drip sap.
Fertilize your mulberry trees with a fertilizer that is rich in potassium such as 5-8-5. Potassium-rich fertilizers help to increase blossoms in plants, which leads to more fruit production.
Harvest your berries as they become ripe to prevent birds, squirrels and other wild animals from taking them. To harvest berries, spread a clean tarp on the ground and shake tree. Ripe berries will fall from the branches and onto your tarp.
Mulberry Trees Apart
Red and white mulberry trees grow throughout most of the United States, except for in very warm regions of the far South and cold regions in the North and Northeast. They will typically grow only 20 to 30 feet tall. Red mulberry trees are the largest, standing over 40 feet tall. Harvest for white and red mulberries occurs when the berries begin to appear in the spring. Black mulberries must be pulled off the tree by hand because the fruits cling to the branches, but white mulberries can be shaken off the tree. The flavor of white, red and black mulberries will help you tell the difference between the trees. Red mulberries are more likely to be found in thickets with moist soil, from sea level up to 3,583 feet. Black mulberry trees come from the western part of Asia, and white mulberries were brought to the United States from their native location of eastern and central China.
- Mulberry tree nursery
- Pruning shears
- Potassium-rich fertilizer
- Clean tarp
- California Rare Fruit Growers:Mulberry
- Institute for Traditional Medicine:Fruit as Medicine
- University of Florida IFAS Extenstion:Red, White & Black Mulberries for Florida Yards
- California Rare Fruit Growers: Mulberry
- University of California Cooperative Extension Center for Landscape and Urban Horticulture: Fruitless Mulberry Tree