Sometimes you can go from 0 to 100 very fast with fruit trees. Starting 2022 mulberries were the last fruit on my mind. In a small overgrown spot a wild mulberry tree was growing and it was about 7’ feet high. My plans were to remove it because I didn’t think I would like the fruit. As the scion exchange started I got some IE and grafted them all over the wild tree and they grew out faster than anything I had ever grafted 8-10’. As a bonus each scion offered me a quick sample of fruit. I was impressed with the taste. I’m now thinking that if a short scion produced fruit surely these 10’ limbs will fruit heavily in 2023. Then along comes scions trades for 2023 and I got 9 more varieties. I have already made one round of grafts and if all goes well I will have 10 varieties on one tree. This year ought to be interesting because I still don’t know much about growing them but they have sparked my interest. That’s my story about going from 0-100 (0 to 10) very fast.
Mulberry are not hard to grow. They are full proof. I over watered my mulberries when I was new to gardening and then I did not water them enough and they lived. My overwatering killed other plants like cherries at the time. I found the same thing. At this point I will have over story plants, mid story plants, under story plants and ground cover plants. It is going to look like a jungle will I am when everything grows out.
I bought my property about 4 years ago now. I have been treating my little one acre plot that half of is relatively inaccessible as if I have to do every tree-centered project that ever crossed my mind all at once. to make matters worse, I keep buying scionwood I don’t have room for yet and then “have to” buy rootstock to put it on. I can’t plant all the rootstock, so I have what feels like 100 potted trees that I’ll likely give away before I can even get fruit from them. If I’m lucky, my inground stuff will grow well enough that I can turn the extra trees into scion transferred over. Buying the scionwood two or three years from now is clearly the option that would have been better in almost every way. But, it was still far cheaper than a grafting course would have been. LOL
Giving away fruit trees is way easier than giving away puppies.
Been there done that!
I am going in the opposite direction on mulberries now, I had a multi-graft but some were not so tasty and IE was very tasty but the birds were getting it all since the fruit was spread out over a long period. I am turning the tree back to its original variety only, Kokuso. For that variety I get about the first half of the crop before the birds figure it out.
We can all relate to this story in many ways! There is a mulberry out there now i’ve been planning to sex change for years! I’m not sure this will be the year but it might be. I wish you many good things in 2024! @39thparallel is also a big fan of illinois everbearing. Some of the leaves i saw at his place on that tree were dinner plate sized. The fruit can be very large.
@Auburn … my experience with mulberry fruit so far is with the gerardi that i grafted a couple years ago.
In the first season it sent up 8 shoots over 6 ft tall and produced some fruit.
The fruit quality was ok… but not great that first year when it was establishing growth.
The second year (last year) the fruit quality improved a lot… on size, flavor and sweetness.
I started a silk hope last spring and it grew well. 12 ft tall multi stem… and while establishing that growth it did also produce some fruit which was smallish and most shriveled and fell off.
I am hoping that this year i get to sample some good fruit from it.
And… i am planting a Oscar mulberry this spring. I expext it will be next season before i get really good fruit from it.
And it may be year 3 before the mulberries really start getting in that peak flavor range.
I am glad you have enjoyed yours already… but i am thinking that the best is yet to come. Hopefully larger berries, more flavor and sweetness as they mature.
Good luck to you !
I have my own variety i made crossing reds and whites here in Kansas that does well for me if you want to try them sometime. They are not going to compete with illinois everbearing!