Native to Eastern and Central North America, the red mulberry tree (Morus rubra) is a common sight in nature, as well as in man-made gardens and landscape. This special tree is highly valued for its sweet berries and its fragrant wood that can be used in preparing cured meats.
A Tree with Peculiar Characteristics
A medium-sized deciduous tree, the red mulberry usually grows to be 35 to 50 feet tall, reaching its maturity at around 10 years old. The plant can bear only one type of flower (male or female) or have both types. If you are planning on enjoying the berries of your red mulberry tree, make sure you have two trees of each type of flower or a tree that carries both.
The fruit of the red mulberry is white at first but grows into a beautiful dark purple when ripened. The berries are very sweet and attract a lot of birds. They can make quite a mess underneath the tree, so keep that in mind too.
How to Plant and Care for a Red Mulberry Tree
Mulberry trees need a wide area and at least 15 feet in between them and other trees. It’s also a good idea to provide them ample space with a little bit of shade, while still ensuring that they get plenty of sunlight for a few hours each day.
The water intake needs to be constant and average, as the tree will be affected if the roots are left to dry. Adding mulch around the base will help with the drainage.
The red mulberry prefers sandy soil, clay or loam, so the soil in Illinois is typically fit for planting these wonderful trees. Caring for a red mulberry tree involves controlling pests, as they can be susceptible to those, especially insect infestations.
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