Simple guide to mulberry cultivation

Surely we still have many spaces in our garden to be completed with trees like the one we present today, the mulberry or Morus alba as it is scientifically known. Everyone knows its fruits and the use that is usually given to its leaves, so why not have it in our garden?

GROW A MULBERRY TREE IN YOUR GARDEN

The mulberry or  morus alba  is one of the most representative species of the Moraceae family. It is a tree that if we let it grow after many years can reach 15 meters in height, although it is normal to find it at most 5 m in height.

Originally they come from Asia and it is a geographical area where a lot is still being cultivated, although today it is spread throughout the planet.

In Spain it is typical to see it in parks, gardens and as an alignment tree on sidewalks , although it has the disadvantage that the blackberries that fall to the ground stain the road or stick in an annoying way to the shoes.

GROW GUIDE AND HOW TO PLANT MULBERRY TREES

CLIMATE CHARACTERISTICS OF MORUS ALBA

It is an ideal tree both for areas that suffer from cold temperatures in winter and very hot in summer. The mulberry tree practically withstands everything in terms of temperature and that is why it is widespread, as we have said, all over the world.

It has a growth range between 15ºC and almost 40ºC , that is, a wide range of temperatures.

TYPE OF SOIL IN THE GARDEN 

Although mulberry cultivation in poor soils has always been associated with the simple fact that they continued to develop under those conditions, it is not true to say that it is an appropriate crop for these soils, since many limitations appear when the characteristics of the soil are not good.

It grows in many types of soils and the ideal soil structure is loam (hence a little sandy or a little clayey is not a problem), but it does not appreciate soils that are constantly wet.

Regarding the pH value , the ideal is usually slightly acidic soil, around 6.5-7.

IRRIGATION AND FERTILIZER NEEDS

The mulberry is a tree resistant to drought , which does not mean that we are going to induce it, right?

It is a crop that usually has good humidity conditions (although it can do without them), avoiding at all times that there is an excess and there is a flooding (which is very bad for the tree). Dryness, although it can resist it, affects its growth and the size of the leaves.

A good idea may be, before planting the mulberry, to make a special deep terrace for trees, where we will add organic matter mixed with the soil at a depth of 20-30 centimeters.

Over time we will notice how the tree grows much faster and more vigorous.

MULBERRY MULTIPLICATION

There are many ways to obtain new species of mulberry trees, different if we use seeds, or identical if we use cuttings or layers.

In the multiplication of Morus alba through seeds, it is not the best way since the seeds have a relatively low germination power (50%), but it is a good idea if you want to obtain new varieties of mulberry with new characteristics.

The seeds will be arranged in a low pot or seedbed, with a sand or clay substrate and organic matter that must constantly be humid.

In the multiplication by cuttings , we select a piece of young branch (6 months to 1 year) with a good volume of buds. Each cutting or stake will be between 15 and 20 centimeters in length that we will induce the growth of roots by growing it in a pot with good moisture content, a substrate similar to that of the seeds and a good temperature.

PRUNING CHARACTERISTICS

Morus alba  is a tree that supports pruning, in order to generate a wide shade. We can differentiate 2 types of pruning, training and maintenance .

Basically the first of them is carried out in the first years of life, where the future branches that will form the main structure of the tree will be defined.

With maintenance pruning , criss-crossed, diseased or old branches are removed, and you can do it every year. But be careful not to go overboard and remove only those necessary or thin branches, as you could cause growth problems for the tree.

MORA VS ZARZAMORA

Finally, as said in the cultivation of the blackberry , the mulberry has nothing to do with the blackberry, although they produce both blackberries.

Well, rather the moraceae produce blackberries ( morus alba, morus nigra, morus rubra ) and brambles produce blackberries, which would enter into the blackberries, ( rubus fruticosus, rubus, ulmifolius, rubus, glaucus, etc.)

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