Please help identify what kind of mulberry tree I got from mail order

I got this mulberry over a year ago from Willis orchards. When I got the tree it was over 6 feet tall and in over a year it has grown to over 11 feet high. Now it had over hundreds of flowers on it but almost all have since fallen off. It is supposed to be a black beauty mulberry growing to only 15 feet with about 1 inch long berries and self fertile. But it’s looking like some kind of a male mulberry variety instead I don’t know. Here are some pictures. Does anyone maybe have a black beauty mulberry and can help me if this is or isn’t one and if i possibly received the wrong kind of tree? It also all flowered all at one time. Also I though black beauty fruits in summer but this one now in early March is almost finished with all its flowers most have already fallen off.

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I believe it is a cultivar of Morus alba.

The tree is definitely not Black Beauty. They don’t grow any where near that fast.Probably an Alba or Alba/Rubra cross.
Did any of the fruit ripen? Brady

None of the fruit has ripened. Almost all the flowers have fallen off the tree. Almost all at once soon after they all appeared about the same time also. When I saw pictures of black beauty it looked like they had small black fruits even when the tree is still small but this tree is producing very long thin flowers in copious amounts but none seem to ripen. I tried to contact Willis orchards where I got it from and sent them pictures and they said they think it is a black beauty and I have the right tree. But something doesn’t seem right really. This tree doesn’t look like other black beauty mulberry trees I saw online


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At 11 feet you will know in one more year exactly what you have. What’s the worse case scenario? You can graft it over and have a vigorous rootstock tree if its not what they say. The pictures do look like its a male but the blooms look bigger than any I have seen. In this case I’m not at all sure and would wait it out. Male mulberries can be grafted to females so either way it will work out.

We can’t really take care of a massive tree as we live in a small area and have to do the maintenance ourselves. If this turns out to be some kind of giant tree without fruits we definitely want to remove it asap and plant a true black beauty mulberry or any kind of semi dwarf mulberry with fruits that drought tolerant. I think we can wait another year although too bad the birds won’t have any fruits either then this year. What should we look for next year how can we tell next year what we have. If there are no fruits again next year or if the fruit is white or red then that means for sure its not black Beauty ?

It looks like a male alba to me. Hopefully a mulberry expert will show up here, but it looks like you have a dud. Willis is not a reliable nursery so its not a big surprise.

Mulberries can be kept shorter with summer pruning, I would still consider grafting it over. You could also put multiple varieties on the one tree.

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Just so you know, Last year I posted a photo of the Black Beauty that I bought from Willis Orchards 2 years ago. Everyone who saw the photo and heard my description of how fast it was growing told me it was NOT a real Black Beauty. Mine is still dormant this year so I don’t know if its going to bloom/behave like yours, but I’m pretty sure we both got burned from Willis!

i hate to break it to you, but not only is it not a morus nigra(black beauty), but from what i see as noted by @clarkinks , those seem to be male catkins.

white mulberries may have white, red, pink, or black fruits at maturity
red mulberries don’t have white fruit, and only comes in deep red/maroon/dark berries when mature or near maturity
rubra-alba ‘crosses’ are all dark fruited as far as i know
nigra’s(such as black beauty) are all dark-fruited when ripe

nigra’s are the easiest to identify from the rest, simply looking at the buds(black or darkbrown), the leaves, and the growth habit of the stems/leaves.

And if fruiting, by how the fruits are borne.

the nursery is wrong about it being black beauty. And that nursery is not even a place where true nigras are grown.

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FYI, @Saskatoon , here is a link to the 4 photos I posted of my suppossed black beauty from Willis Orchards. Just curious, does this look like yours. It may look more bushy because I let 2 equal scaffolds grow 3 inches from ground (as shown on photot) so its sort of like 2 trees attached together at the base (and it may split there one day). It was actually on 3rd leaf last year and has never bloomed/fruited.

Hi I tried to look at your mulberry bush and it does seem similar to mine. Because the leaves some look heart shaped and some other shapes and the fact that they don’t have fruits but mine is more of a single trunk tree. It seems strange that the trees are not producing fruits. I was readin about black beauty trees and they seems to bear fruit even when very small trees. So it’s not really making sense we have large trees that don’t fruit

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Can anyone suggest the best place to get a true black beauty mulberry that is self fertile and only grows to about 15 feet that I can order online ? I

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I bought another to replace mine at Grow Organic/Peaceful Valley.They are not available now,but probably will be again at the end of year or beginning of next.
Whitman Farms,I think has them sometimes.Lucile looks likes she knows her stuff.
Burnt Ridge Nursery has one they are calling a Dwarf Black,but I’m not sure. Brady


If it turns out that you have an alba and/or rubra, then I would recommend you topwork it with the Geraldi cultivar. Geraldi is a natural dwarf that is compatible.

I got some wood from a generous forum member here that I will be grafting soon.

Maybe I could share some wood with you next year.

Geraldi also goes by several other erroneous names, such as Gerardi, Girardi, Giraldi, etc etc.

Definitely not black beauty. True BB fruit are formed on very short stems. Also, the leaves are too thin, BB’s leaves are thicker. My BB, 4 years in a pot, is barely 3.5 feet tall.

Those catkins are male. I bet either you or someone in your family gets stuffy and stays that way the entire time that tree is in bloom. I’ve got Illinios Everbearing, Sweet Lavender, Black Beauty and Kokuso. IE will be getting a severe haircut (think pollarding) in a couple weeks, I’d you want to graft yours over. Be warned, Illinios Everbearing is a fast-growing big tree. (At about 10 years the trunk is about 5-6 inches in diameter). SL and K will also be getting much smaller prunings as well (SL is just 2nd year and I’m taking out one of the leaders) Kokuso, at 5-6years is only about 8-10 feet tall. All of them fruit, though BB does so very lightly (because it’s in a pot I suspect).


I read that black beauty fruits over an extended period of time and that the berries are smaller also that if you cut the tree back after its finished fruiting then it can fruit again. I saw that bay laurel nursery had black beauty but they are old sold out for this year and their season is closed until December

both sell true nigras.
and i agree with @Matt_in_Maryland that gerardi/geraldi is the only alba which is a true dwarf and which will likely survive frigid winters better than nigras.
gerardi actually has shorter internodes than nigras.

I believe the USDA suspects that Geraldi is an alba/nigra hybrid.

Here is the link with more information:

not doubting that one, as it is just as slooooooow-growing as nigras! Branches are also tortuous, just like true nigras.
actually bit the bullet by buying a 7 ft nigra tree, as the two foot tall ones have painstakingly been growing 6 inches in height and width, the past 3 years, considering that we have long growing seasons here.