The morus alba or mulberry is a large shrub or tree of medium size, with deciduous leaves, native to Asia, but also widespread in Europe and North America, since the leaves were used as food for silkworms. It can reach 10-12 meters in height, often maintaining the appearance of a large, rounded, elongated shrub with an untidy crown. The mulberry leaves are cordate, pointed, dark green, usually on the same specimen are also present some trilobate or pentalobate leaves; the stem is erect, but often every single plant develops more parallel trunks, with greyish bark. The flowers are hermaphrodite or male and female, on the same specimen or on different trees; they bloom in late spring and the female flowers are followed by large juicy berries, white or purple, edible, with a sweet taste. These fruits are used in the kitchen, especially to prepare preserves or jams, they have no commercial value because, being very soft, the transport and sale of the raw product are impractical. There are varieties particularly appreciated because they produce male and female flowers on different plants, the male specimens are therefore used as garden plants, since they do not have "the inconvenience" of the fruits, which can ruin paving and paving. M. nigra is very similar, but with smaller leaves, and large fruits, black when ripe.
For what concerns the best exposure, place the morus alba in a sunny or semi-shaded position; mulberries are very resistant to cold and wind, as well as to air pollution, a characteristic that makes them very suitable for street trees; once they were very present in the Po valley along the canals.
These plants are rustic and resistant and can be planted even in places that are not ideal for them, given their great adaptability.
The specimens of morus alba or mulberry at home for some years can endure even long periods of drought without problems, being satisfied only with rain; the young specimens of morus alba should be watered occasionally during the summer months, for at least a couple of years after planting.
mulberries grow in any type of soil, even clayey and heavy; but they prefer loose, deep soils rich in organic and well-drained matter. The placement of the blackberry tree in an excellent soil and with periodic autumn fertilizations leads to better quality specimens and to a more abundant fruiting.
The multiplication of the blackberry tree usually takes place by seed, in spring; in late summer propagation by cutting can be carried out. Being the berries very welcome to the birds, which disperse the seeds, often around a large one blackberry tree it is possible to find many small specimens "self-seeded".
Mulberry, Blackberry Tree - Morus Alba: Pests and diseases
The blackberry tree has a rustic character and these plants are not affected by pests or diseases; the arrival in Europe of the American caterpillar, however, rapidly decimated the mulberry population, whose leaves are much appreciated by larvae and leaf miners.