Illinois Everbearing Mulberry

Whitman Farms (OR) and Edible Landscaping (VA) occassionally offer Geraldi.

Edible Landscaping is out currently until this summer, Whitman can ship Monday :slight_smile:

I got 2 from Whitman last year - both in one gallon containers. I planted them, they leafed out nice and healthy. Then surprisingly they both set fruit (a lot for the 2 foot size of the things) in their first leaf. The only problem was I was out of town when most of them ripened and the trees were almost bare and the birds were fat by the time I got back. The that I was able to protect when I got back did taste was promising, but certainly not enough for any verdict.

By the way, a deer wandered into the yard later in the summer and ate all the leaves off one so, just like most fruit trees, beware of deer pressure. Since they are short and always will be you’ll need to protect them. I used a raw egg and dish soap spray suggested by Alan and that seemed to keep them off.

Also, they are grafted on some type of root stock (probably just seedling alba, rubra or hybrids that pop up) so beware of anything coming up from below the graft because the shoots from the rootstock will grow much faster than the Geraldi and will quickly dwarf the dwarf. Seeing that they were grafted, I did snip a little wood off them when they were dormant and will try grafting it to chance seedlings the birds have generously planted in my strawberry bed. Perhaps they were paying me back for the fruit they had stolen.

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You could also consider a contorted mulberry. They stay small. I’m not sure about fruit quality, though.

Did You make this experiment? I’m interested in dwarfing mulberry rootstock.

Yes, I grafted several varieties onto Gerardi. They grew like crazy, up to 10’ in the year of grafting. This thread has a lot more details:


I am a fan of mulberries but be advised that a mulberry too close to your house can lead to a car, deck , or sidewide covered with purple bird droppings.

I am a fan of IL. everbearing . I get good takes when grafting it compared to other varieties .

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Does anybody know if it is possible to keep a Illinois ever bearing Mulberry tree pruned into a bush shape rather than a standard single trunk three that will reach to the skies. I have one planted that is about 7 foot tall, and is growing fast but I want to keep it pickable from the ground .

You can but from what others have said be prepared to prune it 3 or 4 times a year. I’m growing some in containers, but also will be planting out and trying to keep it fairly small. What I did is buy some root stock and I have three cultivars on one rootstock. I’ll try and make three scaffolds. I have two like that. One will be in ground and one will stay in a container. They have different cultivars so 6 different ones. I may switch them around and put the three best tasting ones on one tree. Also see which can survive my winters, may limit my options. One huge experiment. I have a couple other trees in containers. Only room to plant one out.

I’m looking for IEB scion if anybody wants to trade. I have these to offer besides my stone fruit.
Kokusa Korean
Beautiful Day
Silk Hope
Geraldi Dwarf Mulberry
Sweet Lavender

Contact me for other fruits I have.


I can help you, Drew.

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Here’s something I found a few years ago.Most Mulberries like to grow a lot,so like Drew pointed out,they need to be pruned much to keep them at a desired height.
I just checked on YouTube and there seemed to be a number of videos about


I am very keen to keep my mulbs pick-able and under 10’ tall. Is that possible? The ones I grow are so vigorous, producing shoots that can exceed 8’ in a season! Summer pruning strategies/pinching tips seem like a good bet to reduce vigor. I have also been thinking about a biannual pollarding plan, I would head back to a basic scaffold structure and get a good harvest every other year. By alternating which limbs were pruned, an annual bearing could perhaps be possible…

My local IE mulberry tree was planted in Buckfield 25-30 years ago by an ethusiastic octegenarian orchardist, David. I visited that tree to collect scion wood several times over the years, and also stopped by to collect some fruit. “The birds cant keep up with it,” David said. Which seemed true, as any time I came by between July and October the were alway fruit for the picking from this generous tree. Easy to get a couple quarts just from the lower hanging limbs on a 35’ tree.

The flavor is very good, comparable to blackberry.

I was somewhat surprised when I came by to find that the tree had been removed, all that was there was a 23" stump and later found out David had also passed away…
I heard the had been a windstorm that damaged the tree, which had already been ‘repaired’ with cables. I will miss David, and somehow feel that remembrance in the trees I have grafted from his tree…


A pick came across on the web. Somewhere ?
Mulberry .
Looks like a full time job !
They seem to fruit on new wood. (Current season growth)
So maybe cutting the new growth back to a few buds each winter would work ?


Drew, can you compare the mulberries you do have?

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No, wish I could! All will produce fruit this year, but even first year fruit is not great for many fruits. I know my choices were based on what people like with the exception of Silk Hope. I have seen many negative responses to that one. And zero to the others. Silk Hope was gifted to me as it looked great from descriptions, but I saw a few personal accounts where it was stated to be rather bland. Sometimes you have bad years and I have learned I have to try myself. So sure what people say you should take into account, but final verdict needs to be your own taste. Many a fruit described as bland was great for me!
Oscar has been the most praised. Wellington and Kokusa Korean tied for second most praised. Of course excluding Morus nigra trees. Speaking of which I have a seedling that was produced by a nigra tree in an area farther north than my location in zone 6. In Bulgaria. The tree was in trouble and produced male and female flowers so all genetics come from this tree. It is one foot tall, going on 2nd leaf in the spring. This has potential for us in colder zones. All those in zone 7 should have no trouble growing. I grew it out from seed the tree is famous really with two articles about it on the net.
Tsarigradska mulberry seedling from Vratsa Bulgaria

It’s possible it could be a male plant. i will just have to wait and see…

For now I’m protecting it from temps lower than 25F. I have high hopes for this extremely rare mulberry. It for sure is a Morus nigra too!


I can say that for me Kokuso (Korean) is #1 in size and taste. Illinois Everbearing is a very close second in flaveo (but not size) and when I don’t prune the heck out of it (I pollarded it a couple years back) it produces 10X the fruit of Kokuso (Ie trunk diameter is 5", Kokuso is about 2.75")

Beautiful day is white and though I haven’t gotten much off it, its sweet and I don’t recall noting any of the grassy flavors I’ve found in wild whites.

Sweet Lavender is small and I’ve got it potted (in a huge pot) and I only got 3 fruit off it last year. One was terrible (spoiled) 1 great and 1 not quite ripe.

My pitiful morus nigra needs rejuvenation (which will mean repotting and babying this next year. Fruit is small (1/4th Kokuso in size) and yummy.

I pull at least 100 seedlings a year in my tiny yard, I can’t imagine the genetics that must be contained within (there are at least a half-dozen other “wild” trees in the neighborhood)



I’m intrigued…Are the leaves on your Silk Hope lobed (Silk Hope has lobed leaves)? Maybe that is a mulberry that is heavily influenced by climate. I live in zone 9a and I prefer Silk Hope over Illinois Everbearing. Illinois can be a little on the dry side, while Silk Hope is juicy. On the flip side, many report favorably on Shangri La…Here in Florida it has no flavor.

By memory yse they are, look like fig leaves which is related. Both are in the family Moraceae.

Yes, i think you’re right. heck some I can’t grow that are not nigra like Shangri la Pakistan mulberry etc. They need warmer temps. I tried but I killed Shangri La. Too much trouble, If I’m going to go to the trouble of protecting a plant it might as well be a nigra!

Yes, and I decided to try it, and it is hardy enough to grow here. I’ll make my own mind up.

Wife and daughter love the Illinois Everbearing Mulberries. Bet it goes good with vanilla ice cream.