The white mulberry is a medium large deciduous tree with a broad canopy renowned as a shade maker in hot climates. The species is a native of China where its leaves are used to feed worms used in the ancient process of silk making. The strong trunk and branches bear a pleasing grayish-white smooth bark from which it received its common name. Leaves are very large, oval to heart shaped and bright glossy green. Foliage turns butter yellow in the fall.
In early spring the white mulberry produces insignificant flowers which are followed by large quantities of insipid yet edible raspberry-like fruit. It is considered a nuisance for littering pavement with fruits, but is appealing to birds and other forms of wildlife. White mulberry grows in all soil types provided they are well drained. This tree is notoriously surface rooted, which can damage paving and foundations. It is a very fast grower if provided regular water, but is also very drought resistant. To compensate for prolonged drought trees simply slow growth and may become stunted over time. Due to the fruit, the species is rarely grown in gardens, but its many fruitless cultivars have become a staple shade maker for homes in the far western states. (info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Not available for sale in Wisconsin.Genus - Morus
|Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours, repeat process daily for 4 days
Stratification: Cold stratify for 90 days. Place the white mulberry seeds in a plastic bag with the moist vermiculite or steriler soil/sand and seal the bag. Place the bag in a refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit for two to three months.
-Fill a seed tray with rich loam and sow the white mulberry seeds onto the soil. Place the tray in a greenhouse. The ideal temperature for germinating the seeds is 86 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 68 degrees Fahrenheit at night. White mulberry seeds germinate in one to two weeks under ideal circumstances.
-Select a planting site for the white mulberry seedlings. These trees prefer fertile soil with good drainage. White mulberry trees grow best in partial shade, especially during the afternoon in warm climates.
-Remove the white mulberry seedlings from the seed tray when they are large enough to handle. Plant the seedlings in the permanent planting site, spacing them about 15 feet apart.
-Apply a 1- to 2-inch layer of mulch around the seedlings to retain moisture. Water the seedlings as necessary to ensure they get at least 1 inch of water per week during the growing season. White mulberry trees are drought-resistant as long as their roots do not dry out.
-Provide an annual application of 10-10-10 fertilizer in the spring if the white mulberry tree is in poor soil. These trees generally do not require fertilizer when they have good soil (the type indicated in Step 4).