Growth Habit: The black mulberry is an attractive, fast-growing, medium to large tree that can grow to 8-15m in height.
Foliage/Flowers: The heart-shaped, lime green leaves are 10-20 cm long and 6-10 cm broad. Mulberries are deciduous, loosing their leaves over the cooler months. Trees are self-fertile, so only one tree is needed to produce fruit.
Fruit: Fruit are white/pale green or pale pink when unripe, and ripen to red and then dark black. The blacker the fruit, the softer and sweeter, but less tart it becomes. Trees begin to bear fruit at a very young age.
Adaptation : Mulberry trees are very hardy, and will grow well in just about any climatic condition. Plant in full sun and give them enough space to spread out. They are fairly wind tolerant and a great tree for beginner gardeners.
Soils : Mulberries are extremely adaptable and will thrive in a wide-variety of soils, although a deep, well-drained loam soil is best. As mulberries grow and fruit vigorously, additional fertiliser is not necessary for these low maintenance trees.
Pruning : Pruning of these vigorous trees after fruiting is recommended to keep them at a size where you can easily harvest the fruit.
Irrigation : Mulberries don’t need irrigating - save your water for a fruit tree that needs it!
Propagation : Mulberries can be grown from seed but more commonly propagated from hardwood cuttings. Grafted mulberries will not grow as tall as mulberries grown from seed, and are recommended for suburban blocks.
Pests and diseases : Mulberries are hardy and not prone to problems – the most common problem though is birds getting to the fruit before you do! As mulberries crop so heavily there is often plenty to share with the local wildlife anyway. Picking fruit regularly and early (before it is fully ripe) can help beat the birds. Fruit fly can occasionally be a problem.
Harvest: Mulberries are ready to harvest at any stage when the berry changes between red to dark black. Fruits ripen up gradually over a long period of time, so multiple harvests are necessary. The harvest timeframe is between September and November.