Mulberry trees are a delight to grow in UK gardens because it’s not a fruit readily available on shop floors. Growing Mulberries is not for the impatient gardeners amongst us – after all, you can be waiting 8 or 9 years for yours to bear its first fruit. When you do get that delicious fruit though, it’s ready to pick in August and September.
Mulberry trees produce large heart-shaped leaves and the fruit turns from red to black as it matures. You can also grow white mulberry trees which, as the name suggests, produces white fruit. Black mulberry trees are far more common in the UK than white and you can make wonderful summer puddings with them. You can also use the mulberries for gin or just enjoy them on their own with some cream. As well as producing wonderful fruit, they also make beautiful ornamental trees – a focal point of any garden.
Did you know: Buckingham palace holds the national collection of mulberries in its garden. Between Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, and Marlborough House there are 35 named varieties of mulberry.
How To Grow Mulberry Trees
Growing a mulberry tree is special because it allows access to fruit you might not otherwise get to sample. With this in mind, it’s vital you carry out annual tasks at the correct time of year.
If you don’t have enough garden space for a larger variety, there are now lots of dwarf mulberry tree varieties to choose from.
When To Plant Mulberry Trees
Mulberry trees should be planted in spring, once any risk of frosts has gone. They do well in soil that is warming up after the cold winter.
Where To Plant Mulberry Trees
Mulberry trees tend to spread well so your chosen location must have enough room for this spreading to occur. They enjoy well-moisturised soil but it shouldn’t be too wet. Mulberry trees need plenty of sunshine and some protection from any winds. Young trees will benefit from stake supports and you have the option of training them against a wall.
How To Prune Mulberry Trees
If you are pot training your mulberry tree then each spring it is advisable to move it into a slightly bigger pot to allow healthy growth. Once leaves have fallen from your tree, you can prune it. Each winter you can remove any evidence of disease within the branches or the shoots. Pruning helps maintain a lovely shape for your mulberry tree and to prevent any branches from growing across each other.
When To Harvest Mulberries
When it’s time to pick your mulberry fruit, be sure to wear some gloves as boy, does this fruit stain! Mulberries can be harvested in August and September and you can collect the fruit by shaking the tree or bush. It can take up to 9 years to see results from your mulberry tree so patience is definitely required.
Keen on producing your own mulberries but still unsure of some of the basics? Don’t worry, we help put to bed your fruit gardening worries with our very own mulberry tree FAQs.
The size a mulberry tree grows to depends on your preferred method of planting – bushes trained against a wall or in a pot will be ideal for smaller gardens. Left to their own devices, mulberry trees can grow as big as 15 metres – wow! Harvesting that tree will come with its own set of issues!
Some mulberry varieties will produce fruit from around 4-5 years but you can be waiting longer than this. Mulberry trees spread out width ways as well so it’s not all about the height.
Due to the fact that male and female flowers grow on one tree, meaning mulberry trees are self pollinating and you only need one specimen for fruit. This is good news as these trees take up a lot of space once they get going.
To grow a Mulberry tree from seed, the seeds must first be thoroughly washed to clean off any fruit still attached. They should then be popped into the fridge for 4 months to allow for cold stratification to occur. You can then pot them individually in shallow soil and pop somewhere warm. You should see evidence of germination during this period. They can be planted outside, preferably once the frost has disappeared.