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Mulberry trees

Mulberry trees are distant cousins of fig trees. They are long-lived and despite references in folklore to “mulberry bushes”, can grow into magnificent specimen trees. But they are very slow growing and take a very long time to reach a large size. Only the black mulberry can be grown for its fruit in the UK. The white mulberry, best known for the use of its leaves to feed silk worms, produces a very sweet fruit but requires very hot summers to do so. The black mulberry fruit has the appearance of a blackberry. It is important not to pick the fruit before it is ready. It is very sharp and almost unpalatable at the under-ripe red stage. It sweetens rapidly as it turns black and once fully ripe has a distinctive sweet sharp flavour, which arguably is one of the most delicious flavours of any fruit. It is very juicy with a dark red juice - so it is best that you do not attempt to pick mulberries wearing your best white shirt! The fruit can be eaten fresh, used for making jams or used for tarts and desserts. It keeps well frozen. The mulberry tree is easy to grow requiring little attention and minimal pruning. It is also self-fertile and a single tree will crop on its own. Click here for a guide to choosing fig and mulberry trees.