Eastern US Black Mulberry sighting


Someone recently sent me pictures of a true Black Mulberry (Morus nigra) that was growing in Norfolk Virginia. I know you West Coast people aren’t impressed, but a large, healthy Black Mulberry growing in the eastern half of the US is a rare occurrence. I surmise that there are plenty more in the more northern reaches of USDA zones 7 and 8. Fitting climates should be had in coastal Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Long Island (Can anyone in the forum vouch for that statement?). I would love to see pictures of eastern US Black Mulberry sightings.


I don’t have any pics to share, but we have a lot in NJ… I would say they are quite common! Although good, I prefer the white mulberries with a hint of purple. I don’t know the name, but those are the best!


A black mulberry Morus nigra without a question, with the telltale almost nonexistent fruit stems…Awesome find!!!


I have no idea what variety yet in Vermont there is an old Mulberry tree with dark blackish mulberries that has seen about -40 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s in someone’s back yard in a somewhat sheltered spot.


Morus nigra’s in NJ would be just as exciting @RUenvsci . The species is supposedly not as resilient to eastern usa winters…


Just for the record, having black fruit does not a Morus nigra make. I’ve only tasted nigra in Malibu and understand the excitement about hardier types. Nigra is good enough to be a major fruit- I’m actually surprised there is no effort at commercial production in warmer parts of the U.S. where it can already be grown.


I sincerely apologize for my skepticism but “a picture is worth a thousand words”…A closeup of leaf, stem, and fruit (at this time of year, a zone 6 Morus nigra should still have fruit) would be much appreciated.
And as @alan has stated:


Mulberry trees are amazing…There are some cultivars that withstand a -40 degree F winter, and the same cultivar can withstand a tropical climate. Black Mulberry (Morus nigra) is generally exclusive to USDA zones 7 through 10, but forum member pileta lays legitimate claim to a zone 6 Black Mulberry.


I’m pretty sure mulberries are done for the year in NJ. I’m working in DC, but am going back to NJ later today. I’ll go checkout the tree I had in mind.


I used to live in Vermont, next time i visit I will try to see if I could get some cuttings. I was not in to plants at all the last time I had seen the tree and so I remember very little about it, I have no idea when I had seen it last yet as far as I know it’s still alive. Someone who still spends a lot of time in Vermont thinks that it’s still there. What I remember about it the most is the stained sidewalk and the smell of rotting fruit on the sidewalk, flies and that sort of thing. Most (Morus nigra) that are old are seedlings, and each seedling has different levels of cold tolerance.


Wild native mulberries aren’t all that rare in Kentucky.


Yes…The native Morus rubra (Red Mulberry) is right at home in Kentucky and quite common.


We have black mulberries here in eastern S.Dakota; I’m not sure of variety since they were already planted when I bought my home. We’re zone 4 B.


Zone 4b is out of most mulberries comfort zone, but there are still quite a few mulberry varieties with black fruit that can handle zone 4 and even zone 3. The species Black Mulberry (Morus nigra) however, to my knowledge, has never been found colder than zone 6.
Zone 4b, with winters to minus 25 degrees F…you have to be made of tough stuff; whether you are a mulberry tree or human!


I’ve read that mulberry is hard to harvest on a commercial scale and has a very poor shelf life. Worse than raspberries or strawberries.

Only had mine for a year, so no personal experience.


Does the fruit on the Morus rubra ripen into a dark black berry? All the wild mulberries around here(eastern PA) get as black as night when they ripen. Makes for a messy tree!

They are like a weed here, everywhere a bird poops, one seems to grow. I don’t care for the fruit much but always let a few trees stand and crop as the birds seem more interested in them than my sour cherries. The ones here ripen the last week of June / first week of July.


Yes…unfortunately mulberries only have a few days shelf life, but when I was in Thailand I found mulberries at their stores and markets, but they use local produce to a much greater extent than in the US. They freeze well though.


Yes…but usually more of a purple black when ripe. White Mulberry (Morus alba) varieties are more prone to looking completely black (and more shiny) than Red Mulberry.

Many gardeners grow mulberries for that reason alone (or at least because they like to feed birds).


Problem is not many of us can easily identify a morus nigra.


They also do a good job of distracting squirrels and giving one the opportunity of dealing with them before they go after more important fruit. I have a large Illinois Everbearing tree that has helped save my crop this year. More squirrels this season than for a long time. The mulberry has been loaded with ripe fruit for a month and it has been a magnet- also a smaller one on another corner. I suffered my first major fruit loss from my Tang0’s peach because it is on another side of my property. Hopefully I killed the squirrel yesterday that was the culprit. Most of the peaches destroyed were cracked anyway- Tang0’s is not the greatest peach on wet years, except that it always has some flavor no matter how much rain there is. On dry seasons it’s great, but usually the squirrel favorite- green or ripe. Birds also.