Where on property to plant Gerardi dwarf mulberry

I’m in Maryland zone 7b

I should be receiving a Gerardi Dwarf mulberry and 2 jujubes later today and I keep debating where to put the mulberry. the below picture outlines possible options

  1. the pink dots are my existing gooseberry bed.
  2. the yellow circles are black walnut trees
  3. the blue circles are existing white mulberries
  4. the red line is my fence line
  5. the dark red Xs are trees that are dying and will be removed in the next year or so
  6. the purple dots are where I plan to plant my 2 jujubes (honey jar and sugarcane) as they get a lot of sun there.
  7. the green box is my veggie garden (all grown in grow bags on top of landscape fabric to prevent juglone from poisoning them
  8. the grey line is my septic.
  9. the 4 dark blue dots are potential locations are my potential spots for the mulberry

from north to south - all spots inside the fenceline to discourage deer browsing
spot 1 - next to an existing dying mulberry and could also get sick and die. also we are planning to one day extend the deck across the entire rear of the house on the north side and this might be too close to that location
spot 2 - might get too much shade from my black walnut. I know mulberries are juglone tolerant so no worries on that front. not sure if it will produce in partial shade.
spot 3 - might be too close to my septic system and might shade the veggie garden in the morning
spot 4 - will likely shade the veggie garden in the afternoon

mulberry planting location

I’ll be interested in how the Gerardi performs in your region in terms of vigor, tree size, and crop quality.

any thoughts on the 4 locations?

In my 10b location the M. alba are huge trees in 10 years and the Gerardi become large with only fair crop quality. I suspect it will be a smaller tree in your 7b region with perhaps better tasting berries but I hesitate to recommend a site on your property given your concerns about shade.

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I am in zone 7a TN and have mine in a full sun location. It grew 8 shoots over 6 ft last season started as bark graft. It is producing a lot of fruit this year… but dont think the fruit quality has quite reached potential yet.

Nice size plump berries with a nice fruity flavor… semi sweet… but no tartness yet.

Strudledog in North GA describes his fruit flavor as sweet tart. I dont have the tart yet… and i prefer some tartness in fruit.

I would recommend… a full sun location… or as close to that as you have… based on how mine has done.

Good luck.

Hard to really dig into it much without knowing you’re spot, like you do. It also depends on how you want to grow and manage it. I follow more of forest garden model in my plantings, so I tend to look to planting things together. Gooseberries would be a good partner, for example, since they won’t mind a bit of shade (probably helpful in your locale actually) and you’re already presumably watering, mulching, otherwise tending to that spot, so it’s sort of a gimme. But that’s more of a “wild and wooly”approach. Others want things more tidy and grow things separately with perfect bark mulch rings. Different strokes.

Bottom line is you know your yard, not us. It’s not complicated really, or doesn’t have to be. Give it sun, water, and good soil in proper measure and it’ll do well anywhere.

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In some climates it is necessary for water conservation and cost.

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Having lived in the edge of the painted desert for a short time, I can well appreciate that

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Hi @Bigmike1116 I’m across the river in Arlington from you and have been growing Gerardi for 5-6 years. I recently did a quick video of mine and how the fruit was this year.

Mine gets morning sun and is in shade from my oaks starting sometime between noon and 2pm, depending on the time of year.

I’ve found the taste will “wash out” if we have a really wet spring and do find that mulberries in general seem to have a lot more variability in taste due to water, sun, or whatever than a lot of other things I grow. So while you’ll still get fruit in less sun, I wouldn’t want too much shade or you may not get full sweetness, although that is just a guess.

If I let them get dead ripe, they will be primarily sweet, but if they have some lighter red, etc. will have more tart. My wife’s nephew has been asking for a tree for the last few years and absolutely loved the flavor when he first tasted it. I grafted him one this spring. Another lady who came by to buy some blueberry plants I offered on Facebook marketplace tried Gerardi and pronounced it the best berry she’d ever eaten. So it is a lot like many things with fruit, tomatoes, etc. in that people have different preferences for flavor. I’m pleased with the flavor, although I definitely find blackberries and raspberries have more range or flavor and intensity.

While things always do better in the ground, Gerardi is small enough and produces very quickly, so that if you wanted to keep it in a big container for a few years and try it in a spot in that container before planting it there, that would be very workable.


thanks everyone for the help! I’m thinking I’ll transplant it from the quart pot into a tall 10 gallon grow bag (I use these for my figs) and keep it in my veggie garden on drip irrigation untilit get stronger and in year 2 after I cut down the existing white mulberry I’ll plant it in that space offset to get the most sun.

I have gerardi in 7b full sun, about 4 years old and 6ft tall and wide. Berries are sweet tart but more sweet only if fully ripe. A lot of people who try it really like the taste it’s better than I thought it would be.