Morus Nigri - black mulberry

elizabethk1May 14, 2014

After much research, I have decided to purchase a morus nigri. So, I got my credit card out and went to Burnt Ridge's website: . nigri - Well, they have 3 varieties: Noir of Spain, King James II and Persian. Ugh! Very confusing for me! I called them and the girl who answered the phone had no knowledge of mulberry trees. She said someone would call me back (eventually). Next, I decided to check Whitman Farm's website: - turns out they have 2 varieties of morus nigri! - Noir of Spain and James II. Neither website has descriptions that really explain the differences between them. Can someone please explain the differences to me? BR states the the Persian is a "SW and West Coast" variety and WF lists Noir of Spain as a "west coast tree". Yet I have found a lot if info about these by growers that claim they do well in the Charlotte, NC area. I need help deciding. My requirements: a tree that will flourish in Charlotte, on the small side, (a dwarf or 10-12 ft tall would be perfect), juicy, sweet, berries. That's it! I would also love a white mulberry - same requirements. I would appreciate any opinions/ experience with any of these varieties. Thanks! Oh, one more thing- while I was talking to WF's very lovely and knowledgeable Lucile, she highly recommended morus Kokusa for my area, so I purchased one. After all, she knows her stuff. She also mentioned that Noir of Spain is her favorite and she sends one to each of her relatives in Georgia , and that every tree has died. But I thought maybe folks in Charlotte have had success since we are further north?

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poolecw(Georgia 7b)

Take a look at Raintree's offerings...

Here is a link that might be useful: Raintree Mulberry link

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 2:10PM
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Silk Hope supposed to be good for the Southeast and is somewhat small. I got a Geraldi dwarf mullberry that I planted this winter and it is producing like crazy but I will have to see how it does over time.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 6:56PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

I'll be certain to let you know how my dwarf everbearing comes along, since I'm close to you. It survived the winter beautifully, and that's the first hurdle.

I would probably go by size as long as they are m nigra. Some get really large! OTOH, some are only listed to z8, and you and I can get hit by winters where we are colder than z8, so you might choose by hardiness as well.

I don't know if that's just listed hardiness or real, in-many-gardens hardiness, though. Hopefully folks will chime in about whether these are really z8 or more like our z7b. It could depend on the cultivar, absolutely. Some are from very warm places.

My little guy looks very happy, and he was teeny (really teeny) going through the roughest winter I remember ever (with protection), so that's good news for your luck with them in general, I'd think :)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 7:30PM
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I live in Florida, and my black mulberry is supposedly a "Persian" of middle east origin. It loves my yard and produces LOTS of fruit. I've read (willis orchards) that it will thrive in zones 4-10, so you're cool there.

I don't think it can be called a dwarf by any stretch, but you may be able to keep it a manageable size, but they grow real fast, so keeping it down may be hard :-)

Be aware that fruit not eaten and dropped will stain everything horribly.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 9:48PM
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Many people say that all Morus nigra varieties are very similar, apparently being just bud mutations of the same asexually reproduced plant that long ago lost the ability to set seed (so all M. nigra produce seedless fruit).

My 'Black Beauty' M. nigra have super tasty fruit. They ripen late and over a long season (July to September). The birds are not a problem because the berries are well hidden among the leaves. Staining is also not a problem, probably because the berries tend to stay on the tree past ripe until they begin to shrivel somewhat.

Lastly, it seems that M. nigra really does not do well in the East. In the arid West it is very cold hardy and dependable, but humid zone 7 might be a problem...

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 11:02PM
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"My 'Black Beauty' M. nigra have super tasty fruit. Lastly, it seems that M. nigra really does not do well in the East. In the arid West it is very cold hardy "

Apparently the fruiting season depends on geographical area, in South Florida, I've been eating them since April and I'm still feasting... They're a great tree, and if the the fruit is pureed it freezes great! This is my first big harvest and I'm hoping it goes to July like yours.

East and west of what and where?

I read that they grow from England to Syria, to New York and down to Florida... that's some pretty far reaching east and western areas :-)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 8:51AM
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Wow, thanks everyone, for all the great info on your experiences. I'm going to go by size and zone. From reading above, it sounds like the Persian and Dwarf everbearing might work for me. Meredith, where did you buy your dwarf everbearing? Thanks all!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 9:31AM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

I got it in a plant trade, so I don't know where it came from really. But the lady didn't grow a lot of special cultivars of fruits, so I'm guessing it's commonly available compared to ones you'd get from a specialty nursery. Google has it listed on Amazon, I believe. I was trying to find out a cultivar name for it and info, but it is apparently just called 'Dwarf Everbearing', because that is certainly sold around the web.

If it fruits this year, I'll definitely let you know if it's yummy! As a nigra, I'm guessing it'll be good enough for me :) I hope, lol.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 9:41AM
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Of course I meant East/West sides of the Continental US, but you are right, I should have been more specificâ¦

Perhaps what I should have said is that Morus nigra tends to do better in a drier summer climate, especially where winter hardiness is a concern. So trying to grow it in a humid (read: Eastern US) zone 7 is probably not a good idea. I stand firm on this!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:11AM
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Great plant where blackberries are hard to grow. I'm in the South Sierras, California at 4200'. Have low grafted Black Beauty from Burnt Ridge and Bay Laurel Nurseries. These would be known as Persian. Better than the best blackberries flavorwise. Dense foliage leaving ground dark in sunlight (can pick them on the hottest days). Need ladder now for 5 year old tree to get the top ones. I get a years supply from one tree and now have 12 trees. Some bird predation but there are so many berries I'll get by :-) The ripest berries are very dark and might fall off the tree if touched but should be immediately eaten :-) Magnificent source of anthocyanins. Can be dried, frozen, but do not ship well I've heard. Prices approach $20 a pound and are in extremely high demand.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:58PM
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I purchased 2 dwarf everbearing mulberries from Florida Hills Nursery in Nov 2013. They were essentially plugs about 4" tall. They languished at first (almost died) because I didn't baby them enough.

In a last ditch effort, I removed all soil from the roots, which included a cloth-like wrap around the roots. Then I put them in a 6" pot with the 5-1-1 container mix found on this forum. I put them in a clear storage bin indoors under grow lights, to increase the humidity for a while. In Mar 2014 or so, I moved them outside slowly. I have been fertilizing with kelp, fish, acid lovers fertilizer.

Now they are about 2-3' tall and just outgrew their pot-- now in a 7 gallon root pouch. No fruit yet, but they seem to grow pretty fast.

Florida hills is much cheaper than the other places, like Ison's for >$20, though other's plants might be bigger to start.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:30AM
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