How to take care of the black mulberry tree (Morus nigra)

More than 2 years ago, in Gardenprue we told you something about the blackberry and its cultivation. Careful! Blackberry blackberry ( Rubus sp. ). We had pending to tell you about the tree blackberry. The authentic blackberry mulberry and today the day has come. Let’s talk at length about the moral or black mulberry  whose name is ( Morus nigra L. ).


A few days ago, speaking with an acquaintance, a tremendous mess was made with the white, black and blackberry blackberries, even with the raspberries. And this led me to remember that in the blog I had not yet talked about the blackberry, the tree berry, the large and “bloody” Morus nigra L. Let’s shed a little light on this mess:

+ Rubus ulmifolius L. (Mediterranean). Blackberry blackberry. The wild, considered within the fruits of the forest. The one that pricks us when we pick it up in late summer and early fall.

+ Rubus idaeus L. Raspberry. Less abundant in the wild than the previous one and of the most appreciated fruits of the forest. Due to its delicate flavor and its mechanical fragility, they make this product a luxury if we have to buy it.

+ Morus alba L. Moral or white mulberry.  We are getting closer to the blackberry we are talking about today. This is the white mulberry, which we have also talked about a while ago. The cultivation of this tree, more than by the blackberry, we already know that it has been cultivated for the silkworm rearing.

+ Morus nigra L. Moral or black mulberry.  And finally we have here the mulberry tree we are talking about today. The blackberry that we were missing. Acid, sweet, large and with an intensity of color of the juice difficult to match. It is somewhat larger than the blackberry and above all more elongated . So let’s talk about it.


They are different species. We must be clear about that. They are not two varieties of the same tree. It’s like saying that broccoli and rapeseed are the same. They are different species that share the genus Brassica. Well, these two are the same. They share gender (Morus) but the surname is different. Therefore they are different things.

In fact, one of the things that differentiates them is that the white berry flowers and bears fruit much earlier than the black berry. The white mulberry is the only one that bears fruit in the spring. Morus nigra blooms in spring and already bears fruit during the month of August more or less. Whims of nature.


The morals in general ( M. nigra, M. alba, M. rubra …) are originally from central Asia and it was the Greeks and Romans who adapted them and brought them to Mediterranean areas. And what is your interest?

The first thing that comes to mind may be silkworms, right? Natural silk fabrics have been and are among the most appreciated fabrics. Therefore, the silkworm brood is what provides us with the delicate thread. And what do we need to feed it? Exactly, mulberry leaf.

But which? Red, black, white mulberry ?. The white one without a doubt. It is shown that the worm makes a finer and better quality silk by eating exclusively white mulberry leaf . What a foodie the bug!

For this reason, the cultivation of Morus alba throughout the Mediterranean was the one with the most expansion, leaving the black moral in four counted specimens. Even before silkworm farming was introduced in Spain, Morus nigra cultures already existed . In fact, it is not very common to find black morals. The last one I saw was a few years ago in the church of a Burgos town (Castil de Lences) accompanied by a cypress. Here you have a photo. The reason for its cultivation, in addition to its fruit, is that it is a resistant, long-lasting tree with a very good and fresh shade. Here you have a photo:

Photo from:

I perfectly remember the autumn walk and the stop to get “purple”, worth the redundancy. I remember the bloody juice oozing from the blackberries. It did not get out of hand or rubbing with water in the town fountain. A drop of this delicious delicacy on your jacket and forget it. It does not come out even with the best of detergents. Mulberry pigments are like squid ink.

The blackberry is very rich in viatamine C , it is sweet but low in calories , and we are not going to give enough echo of all its possibilities in the form of jams, syrups, liqueurs and other various preparations in which it can be combined in addition to eating it fresh.


What’s good about it? Everything, absolutely everything. We are going to list it for you

  • It starts producing fruit the second year and from there it goes on.
  • It is a species resistant to pests and diseases. It is very very rustic.
  • It is a very long-lived tree The kind that the great-great-grandfather plants and is enjoyed by him and all subsequent generations.
  • It tolerates pruning well although it would not be necessary to prune it. It is usually left to your free will. If you don’t like a branch, or you think you should remove it for whatever reason (aesthetic etc.) you can do it without fear. Only dry wood can be removed from the tree . That is all your maintenance.


It does not have great preferences although it is better that they are deep and loamy soils . It even tolerates saline soils (we have mulberry trees all over the east). Burgos is quite a limestone place so it also tolerates this type of soil without much problem.


Taking into account that it blooms in spring , we have to be careful with late frost areas . And why did I find him in Burgos with such an icy fame that he has? The area where I saw it is a valley protected from the north winds where there are even cherry trees so that may be one of the reasons. I do not see a morale in a wasteland at 1200 meters of altitude.

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