Noir de Spain Mulberry Tree

Hi all,

I am a HUGE fan of mulberries and they grow great in my area (Phoenix). I am interested in planting a Noir de Spain mulberry but can’t seem to pin down the mature size of the tree. I’m reading anywhere from 15-30’ which is a huge difference! I have a smaller yard and would like to maintain the tree size to 8’ tall and wide. Would I be in over my head in this attempt? Does anyone have one of these that they can share their experience with and maybe post photos?

Thanks for any assistance!

Well, it can be whatever size you want it to be, Nellie. That’s what they make pruners for :slight_smile: NdS is supposed to be a more “compact” and dwarf mulberry cultivar. Just keep it pruned down to the size you want. I keep everything at “pickable” height. If 8’ is what you want, then keep the tree at 8’.

Patty S.

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30 feet is possible, but you’d be very very old by then, as almost sure they grow just as slowly(or just a little faster since you have a longer growing season and get more rain) there as they grow here in las vegas.

i have two noirs, acquired them ~3 years ago at less than a foot tall, and they have yet to reach 2 feet tall.

and speaking of your intent to have them at 8 feet tall, i bit the bullet and bought two 7 to 8 footers(persian blacks, not noirs, but taste and lack of vigor are the same) last december. Very productive this spring, and though summer is almost over, none of the branches have grown longer than 6 inches…
am a huge fan of black mulberries too. Among fruits from deciduous trees which may be grown in continental usa, totally agree with some publications and posts at fruit forums that blac mulbs are the best-tasting.
ms whitman of supplier of noirs) sent me this winter pic of the ‘mother of all noirs’, which was >10 years but look really runty. It is the dark and gnarly tree in the foreground

here is a thread with some pictures of my noirs

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Thank you both for taking the time to respond! Patty, I’ve always had no issues with size control on my fruit trees. I actually was all ready to order a NDS this spring but spoke to Lucille at Whitman Farms and she said it would be too challenging to control the size with these. I was so bummed! But after posting this I stumbled upon a post that I hadn’t seen when I posted this where you mention you have a NDS and a Black Beauty from Lucille and that you are controlling their size. Did you happen to get any fruit his year? Wondering if there is a huge difference between the two? Maybe the BB would be easier to maintain? Jujubemulberry, thanks for the great info! That picture is crazy and is exactly what I don’t want! Funny these Morus Nigras grow so slow since all other mulberries seem to grow as fast as weeds here in Phoenix which has always been my reluctance to plant anything other than a dwarf. But I love them so much that I’d really like to have a true nigra, even if it involves more work on my part and I’ve read the Noir is the best!

No fruit this year - got my two mulberries also from Lucille (NdS and BB). I have a wicked way with pruners, so both will be kept at the height I prefer, which is “no ladder” height. The only tree that has gotten beyond my preference for height is my Panache fig, and out here, they become monstrously huge. I think Jon Verdick’s Panache is probaby 30-40’ tall, it is ridiculously tall. Never seen a fig tree so huge in all my life, except for a fig tree in Hawaii I saw (which was about 60’ tall - why?!?!) I’ll let our mulberry expects comment regarding taste between NdS and BB, since I have no fruit, yet. But hopefully next year, as they set quickly here in my neck of the woods (where they are almost considered a weed tree.)

nigras grow really slow where am at-- had to buy full-sized trees, and will be buying more due to the ‘domestic’ demand.

never needed to control their sizes, as the desert heat and low humidity slooooows them down.

actually hope i’d still be alive when i finally NEED to to prune our nigras. Of the people have given nigras to, i have strongly advised against pruning as they tend to bear fruits to maturity only on seasoned wood. From my experience,recently grafted nigras will bear fruits on the first year, but will invariably drop them before they ripen. You’d get picturesque bright red berries the first several years but will fall off before they turn purple. It took three years for the smallest ones to bear fruits to maturity, and just three or four mature fruits on each of them, so painstakingly slim pickings after a long wait.

the main reason why i bought small specimens when i first started-- thinking they’d be just as weedy and alarmingly fast-growing like other mulbs around here, but no! Gerardi’s are the only mulbs i know which grow slower.
incidentally, BB, NDS and standard persians all taste the same to me,and all outstanding!
often raises eyebrows and elicits bewildered eyes among folks who’ve never tried nigras before.

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Okay, was waiting for Raf to weigh in. I think they probably grow more rapidly here in my coastal N. San Diego county area - even the nigras, but still, compared to other mulberries they’ll be slower. My neighbor across the street has a Pakistani mulberry and a nigra. The Pakistani is getting big, the nigra is still pretty small - maybe 6’ max, and has been in the ground now for about 4 or 5 years. Thanks, Raf. @Richard, you have a nigra (BB or NdS, can’t remember, you’re going to dig it out?), that’s a fairly sizable tree I think? How long has it been in the ground/pot?

Patty S.

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Fantastic info! Thanks you! I have such a limited amount of space left for planting and don’t plant without doing a lot of research but for some reason, I haven’t been able to find really good info on this tree that is consistent! One question I have but have neglected to ask, how are the roots with proper deep watering? Are they invasive as mulberries can be known for? I’m assuming with it’s slow growth rate and pruning way down the line if need be it shouldn’t be an issue but I’m the last one that should assume anything!

Raf, since you say the BB and NdS taste the same, would you recommend one over the other? Like does one bear more fruit, grow a bit quicker, etc?

M. nigra is a bush of the genus, and not from the north American or east Asia continents.

The Black Beauty cultivar sold on Russian Mulberry (Morus alba) rootstock grows every bit as fast as M. alba in my location. After having it in the ground for about 1.5 years I cut it back to 4 ft. a few weeks ago. That only made it mad :smile:. My wife does not care for the taste of the fruit so I’ll be digging it up and giving it away to anyone who’d like to come get it. I do not ship plant material.

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i hope it does, as more nodes(on seasoned stems), the more berries!

literally buying my way to more mature stems by hoarding tree-sized nigras. With nigras, time is money, and money is time. So hoping you and @nellieg get to enjoy your nigras much sooner than i did, as wouldn’t want anybody experience my three-year itch lol

paks also grow fast here, just as fast or even faster than white mulbs.

i have the same assumption. And being slow growing in high deserts, also assume it won’t cause much problems(compared to faster-growing/larger trees) with pavements and plumbing, at least not in what few decades might be left of my finite existence. [quote=“nellieg, post:8, topic:6954”]
say the BB and NdS taste the same, would you recommend one over the other? Like does one bear more fruit, grow a bit quicker, etc?

from what have observed the past four seasons, they are virtual peers in vigor, taste, and performance. Quite possible they will differ in growth rates with various rootstock. But here, they are all very slow-growing here,and will only be reliable producers once they start bearing mature berries.
incidentally, do you have star nursery in phx?

“Paks” are “white mulbs”.

i meant other white mulbs, but not really worth belaboring as to whether or not you want to designate it as macroura or alba, or whether or not you want to distinguish it by color of buds.

Is Morus macroura considered a white mulberry, or propagated for fruit?

my stand still holds— it is not worth belaboring.

we’ve been through this before Richard. If you read through your posts here Mulberry Tree Suggestion - #6 by Richard

you mentioned paks as albas, just as i did, and you also mentioned paks as macrouras(another ‘designated’ name for the pak species) which basically separates it from the term alba, which pertains to ‘white’. So perhaps i should ask you-- is macroura still a white mulb or is it no longer?

What you call “Paks” and “white mulbs” are the same species (M. alba) albeit different cultivars.

Are you growing Morus macroura?

grain of salt, Richard, considering your post adamantly stating paks being sold by ‘reputable’ nurseries as alba, and then correcting youself later and saying it is macroura.

totally understand your conflicting claims, since there are several cultivars of macroura.

check and enter morus macroura. You’d see there are several entries. There is an entry for ‘pakistan’, there is a ‘red’ , a ‘white’, and even one that is outright erroneous at worst, or gravely misleading at best-- being named ‘black mulberry’.
moreover, there is also a morus alba entered as pakistan.

contingent to whether or not the pak alba is same as pak macroura. This latest post of yours now deem paks being albas, but the entries in the repository show two species(one alba and one macroura) of the same label ‘pakistan’.

Raf, where did you buy your larger NdS trees? Bareroot I’m assuming? I’ve been planing on ordering from Whitman Farms because I’ve had such great experience with her before. Would this be a good decision for this tree? Hoping to plant one this fall as I’ve had far better success with fall planting here in AZ since our summers are so brutal they have more time to establish.

i bought them from Star nursery(but they are persians, and not noir), and they were 7 to 8 feet tall, which fruited heavily as soon as they planted them in spring.
the noirs i have were from Ms Whitman, and each were 8 to 10 inch sticks when obtained some 4 yrs ago.
in las vegas, all cultivars of nigras grow excruciatingly slow, and small specimens take many years for wood to season. I would strongly advise(or should i say, beg) you spend 100$ on one 8 ft tall nigra, instead of buying four 8-inch tall nigras at 25$ apiece. The 100 bucks on that one tree would be worth much, much more than the 100 you paid for the tiny ones.
the trouble with young nigras is that instant gratification could take forever, lol

Wow, they were really that small!?!? My Girardi I got from her in May is 27" so a bit over 2’. Has grown a few inches but it was prob 2’ when it arrived. Was your girardi that small when you got it? I checked Google and it looks like there is a Star Nursery in Kingman but that’s a 3+ hour drive from me :frowning:

Raf, are there any other online sources of Morus nigra in addition to the Whitman Farms?

BTW, does anybody know if “Persian Fruiting Mulberry” sold by DWN ( is indeed Morus nigra? It is described as “tree to 25-30 ft.” which would be unusual for M. nigra (unless one waits for dozens of years).

Also, any experience with “Dwarf Mulberry ‘Dwarf Everbearing’” from Logee’s (