Mulberry staining. How big of a deal is it really?

Hey all. I’ve got a spot about 30 feet away from my house that I’m interested in using for a mulberry tree. It’s not close to the driveway or anything, but I’m planning on solar panels this year or next. Wondering how much I might regret a mulberry tree after the panels are in :sweat_smile:

FWIW, the recommendations I’ve read from other topics seem to point towards a Silk Hope. Seems perfect for me as I’m in the humid southeast (looking to avoid popcorn disease) and want something that tops out around 20 feet so it won’t shade the dwarf peach trees behind it.

5 Likes

I am in southern middle TN and plan to try a Silk Hope myself in the near future.

A few years back I ordered a Illinois Everbearing (before I heard of popcorn disease)… but my IE turned out to be a mix up and was a white mulberry instead… yuck, a bit sweet, but no tartness at all.

I grafted it over with Gerardi dwarf mulberry this spring, and it is looking good now, has fruit already and shoots are growing strong.

I have seen people on youtube complaining about mulberry stains… seen it on their hands, face, carpet… I am sure it is a real issue…

I keep a old pair of crocks out in the garage… and have some garden boots there too… when doing something messy, I wear them outside but leave them in the garage when I re-enter.

Good Luck !

3 Likes

If you are super worried about mulberry staining there is mulberry white in color like the Lavender cultivar that will not stain. Back when I had my Girardi mulberry I never had staining. It was small and I did not have birds going after it for whatever reason. I am sure if it was a massive mulberry that had birds pooping purple all over or kids/pets running around it would be different. Everyone complains about it has kids or pets that they can’t easily wash or avoid the stains.

2 Likes

Have you had an opportunity to try any white mulberries? From poking around other topics they seem to be pretty heavily disliked for being bland, but I’d love to hear of cultivars with a better rap!

As-is I was eventually considering grafting a Honeydrops for a more risk-free way of trying a non-staining variety. Even peaceful heritage rags on white mulberries: “better and more flavorful than other white mulberries, that are often bland in flavor” :laughing:

Never tried a white mulberry. Even Girardi which is a highly praised mulberry tasted like sweet sugar water to me though so I am not a good judge.

1 Like

Silk Hope is a good pick. It’s my current favorite; large fruit, good flavor, heavy bearing… have not (yet) had ‘Popcorn Disease’ issues, like with Illinois Everbearing.
30 ft from the house, and out of main paved traffic routes… worries about ‘staining’ are moot, IMO. And… they’re only in fruit for 6-8 weeks, max.

1 Like

If you are worried about mulberry drop staining the solar panels: it’d be close enough that shading them might be a biggr problem. I do not know if the fruit would permanently stain a panel or not, but virtually everything that lands on them will need to be rinsed/removed periodically to allow the sun to get to them, be that leaves, grass, mulberries, or bird poop.

My wife make me and the kids change before picking our tree. It stains clothing like no business. I haven’t seen any long term staining on the bricks under my tree though.

1 Like

I just did the math using right angle calculations and suncalc.org. A 25 foot southerly tree (at 30 feet away) would need to be at greater than a 2:1 grade to even start shading the solar panels. Given that I am not on the side of the Himalayas it looks like I will be OK :laughing:

Perfect!! That gives me more than enough confidence that it won’t stain the panels.

Would the tree be directly to the South? If it is off to the East or West a bit, the sun able is lower in the sky (earlier morning or later afternoon) and more likely to cause shading.

I think Girardi is a mid-level mulberry. I’ve definitely had worse, but there are better ones. IE is better and Oscar is the best I’ve had.

Directly south, but regardless I promise you the math doesn’t work out for a 25 foot tree causing any significant shade at 30 feet out for panels that themselves are on top of a roof, even if directly Southeast or Southwest (the margins here are huge, hence the comment about a 2:1 grade :grin:). I’m also being a bit generous with my calculations since Silk Hope is supposed to top out around 20 feet with no pruning.

Haven’t heard of the Oscar! I’ll do my research on it. I’m super excited to graft a bunch of varieties to whatever root-stock I choose regardless.

Perfect. If it can’t even shade the panels, it definitely can’t drop on them. That just leaves normal ground-based risks for sidewalks and or carpets after people and pets inevitably step on them and keep walking.