Mulberry: the king of tree fruits (for pigs)


Yes, you nailed it. Although this time of year I don’t like leaving my garden. I have one there too. Coming home are honeyberries failing to thrive there, and maybe other plants? Cuttings off my elderberries to to establish here too. I’ll do that just before I leave.


(see my earlier post with pictures)
Oops! I DID finally get a response from Willis Orchard and here it is:

Jay Young (

Mr. Travis,
I am not aware of there being male and female mulberry trees. The mulberry trees here are dioecious and have both male and female flowers on the same tree. I believe you will need to wait at least another year or two before it will begin reliably producing fruits.


I hope he doesn’t actually believe that…I have several examples of large old Mulberry trees in my own neighborhood that ONLY produce male catkins. Some people don’t want fruiting mulberries because of the berry stains and bird droppings. Also, I believe Jay has diocious and monoecious confused…
From Merrian-Webster:
Definition of dioecious
1 : having male reproductive organs in one individual and female in another
2 : having staminate and pistillate flowers borne on different individuals


There absolutely are all-male mulberries.


Reading this I have heard of females converting. I forgot about that.
More research is needed for a better explanation. I know I read that somewhere?


Maybe he thought that using the word ‘dioecious’ would impress you with his expertise and knowledge and cause you to accept him as an authority on the subject of mulberries.

Why not write back and agree with him that they are?Then give him the definition of the word, and explain that by his definition, they sent you a different plant than what you paid for. Finish up respectfully, but assertively, stating the remediation that you expect.


Thank you for nudging me to confront Willis. I expressed my dissatisfaction to their fraudulent treatment of their customers, explaining that they will destroy their business if they don’t clean up their act. They became a BBB member in December 2014, which should help push them to a higher standard. As a BBB member they have to undergo arbitration for each customer complaint. The BBB also has a place to submit a review, so I would encourage anyone who doesn’t submit a formal complaint, to at least submit a review (I am not sure which course I will take). It would be nice to have a plant expert that would speak on our behalf in the identification of fruit tree varieties. Otherwise, the burden of proof remains with me/us to reject that they sent me/us a Morus Nigra mulberry.


Strangely enough, Morus nigra can be grown from seed. I came across a study named “BREAKING SEED DORMANCY IN BLACK MULBERRY (MORUS NIGRA L.) BY COLD STRATIFICATION AND EXOGENOUS APPLICATION OF GIBBERELLIC ACID by FATMA KOYUNCU”, which achieved an 88% germination rate with just 100 day stratification. It is supported by another study which observes pollen cell meiosis in Morus nigra (no question about it being Morus nigra because you can see the huge number of chromosomes undergoing meiosis): “Meiosis in Natural Decosaploid (22x) Morus nigra L. by Basavaiah, S. B. Dandia1, Anil Dhar2 and K. Sengupta”. Now, the trick is to find real Morus nigra seed. If you order from the US, you probably have about a 5% chance or less of getting Morus nigra seeds…If you could order from the Egirdir Horticultural
Research Institute, Isparta (Turkey), where the seeds for the viability study came from, you would be in good shape. Otherwise it sounds like a crap shoot to me. You have no idea of the mis-information and mis-identification (whether intentional or not) that surrounds mulberries. I read one Indian scientific study of the chromosome count of 15 different mulberry species, which reported a chromosome count of 28 for Morus nigra: They never even commented about that finding (they obviously had obtained the wrong sample).


i don’t doubt this, because there are male and female nigra’s, and there also are nigras in the middle east/ mediterranean region which are several hundred years old(there is even one in england planted in 1700 and still fruiting ). It is unlikely that these were grafted onto alba rootstocks, because albas don’t generally live as long, and even more unlikely that were grafted onto rubras, which supposedly has the shortest lifespan of the three, because any grafted specimen is basically as old as its rootstock.

quite intriguing then that nigras, which should outlive its alba/rubra rootstock if say, growing on its own roots in greece, will actually have a shorter lifespan if grown on its own roots in regions with colder winters, because it can’t tolerate cold feet as well as albas or rubras.


Facebook just reminded me that I was harvesting black and white mulberries 1 year ago today. This time around, all the berries are still very green. I’m anxiously awaiting the first fruits.


Please come and help yourself to all you care to eat. In fact take all the mulberry trees within a mile of my place, take the robins as they are the vector…Please.


I wish I had a mulberry here as the robins are taking 10 strawberries a day! Argh!


Drew, Want one? I’ll keep an eye out for seedlings…

Actually if you’re brave I’ve got an unwanted seedling in the midst of a few roses. I’ve cut it back a few times. I could give you the pick of a few kinds of bud-wood if you want to take it.

Was just reading through the 2016 thread and saw you had kidney stones. Sorry to hear it. Worst pain I’ve had and I have never found any of the stones I’ve passed. I need to remember to maintain my fluid intake when summer break starts as that is what I tend to get them.



Next year I would like one. I’m clearing an area at my cottage for some mulberries next year.


pmulberries – ha ha. Clearly you have the incurable disease of fruit growing!

Since you appear to have some interest in the history of fruits, here is the 1st report from the US Department of Agriculture: January 1, 1863.
Isaac_Newton_1st_Report.pdf (1.1 MB)


Here’s a link to the full report, OCR scanned for text searching:


Thanks! I do like tracking down original historical documents. It usually provides an interesting and often unexpected perspective.

And I’m afraid I’ve already broken with the ‘P’ theme. These days I’m also trying pgooseberries, pgrapes, pche, pquince, and pmedlar. Basically, if it’s free, I’ll stick it in the ground and see what happens.


683 page report in 1863. That’s a big effort. I wonder how many congressmen read the whole thing.


Found the first marginally ripe wild mulberries today on a walk in the park.

Nice to eat something local and fresh. These will improve over the coming days.


I just harvested some tasty Kokuso, Girardi, and Oscar mulberries. The Oscar and Kokuso are real sweet. Girardi has a little acid in them.



Mulberry leaves can be juiced or turned into tea and it can help reduce weight, lower bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure and blood sugars.