Mulberry by jlhd32


More Info
Morus alba L., (white mulberry), Morus nigra (Black mulberry) Morus rubra L. (red mulberry,
American mulberry)                                                           (Moraceae)

Fast Facts:
                Acres in Washington: less than 25
                Growers in Washington: less than 15
                Percent of U.S. Production: less than 1%

of crop:
       Mulberry plants are large trees that can grow up to 40-60 feet in height. All three
       mulberry species are deciduous. Commercial mulberry production requires vigorous
       pruning to keep the tree to a height that can be harvested. They have large leaves that
       bear fruits resembling blackberries in size and shape. The fruit is a multiple fruit which
       when immature is white or green to pale yellow with pink edges. In most species the fruit
       is red when it is ripening and a fully ripened mulberry is dark purple to black. Mulberries
       ripen over an extended period of time unlike many other fruits which seem to come all at
       once. Fruit quality is variable and too soft for shipment to market so it rarely enters into
       commerce. Generally the plants bear heavy reliable crops. The foliage and unripe fruit
       may be poisonous.
            Mulberry is grown in Washington State on very limited acreage. Trees are planted as
       ornamentals usually as a hedgerow and the fruits are used for fresh, local markets.
        They have improved on the native varieties and the most common variety grown in
       Washington is the Illinois Everbearing. It has berries that are large, flavorful, nearly
       seedless and has a long growing season. The fruit tastes like extra sweet blackberries. It
       does not need cross pollination and growers can harvest mulberries in late June through
       October, picking the fruit twice a week. Fruits can be harvested by spreading a sheet on
       the ground and shaking the limbs. From transplant to harvest it is 1-2 years depending on
       the variety. Mulberry is often associated with the nursery rhyme “Here we go round the
       mulberry bush”.

Key pests:
      There are no insect or disease issues, however birds are a problem.
Key pesticides:
      Growers can control birds with netting, noises, hanging owls, snakes or hanging shiny

Critical pest
control issues:
       Growers need help finding effective ways to keep birds from eating their crop.

Expert contact:       Michael Dolan
                      Burnt Ridge Nursery, Inc
                      432 Burnt Ridge Road
                      Onalaska, WA 98570
                      360 985 2873

of production: Asotin, Chelan, Lewis and Thurston counties.

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