Persian Black Mulberry (Morus Nigra)

ichoudhury(7B)November 15, 2010

I ran into a Mulberry tree once at a park (while photographing birds) and tasted (what I thought at that time was a cousin of Blackberry :p) .. they were sour (even the almost purple/black ones. Then I ran into another one by a restaurant in the Hapeville area (what a mess it made :)) ....

So I started looking around in my backyard and came across few (but they never fruit like the ones I've seen at the park or by that restaurant). I figured, I don't have the right variety ...

So I read about them and found "Illinois Everbearing Mulberry". I should go ahead and get it .... well, not quite ...

I started to research a bit and come to find that M. Nigra or Persian Black Mulberry has the best taste and if I could have just one, that should be my selection.

Where do I get one? Any reputable Nursery you have in mind? I know to avoid TyTy Nursery, but there has to be one where you always want to go :)

Thanks!

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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

The following info was correct the last time I checked. Changes may have occurred since then, but I'll leave the facts for you to verify...

Bay Laurel Nursery has Morus nigra 'Black Beauty', Morus nigra 'Persian Black', and a very good Garden Watchdog rating. Their website is at www.baylaurelnursery.com

Burnt Ridge Nursery has Morus nigra 'Black Beauty' and a very good Garden Watchdog rating. Their website is at www.burntridgenursery.com

Forestfarm has Morus nigra 'Black Beauty' and an excellent Garden Watchdog rating. Their website is at www.forestfarm.com

Trees of Antiquity has straight species Morus nigra and an excellent Garden Watchdog rating. Their website is at www.treesofantiquity.com

Raintree Nursery has Morus nigra 'Kokusa Korean', Morus nigra 'Persian Black', and an excellent Garden Watchdog rating. Their website is at www.raintreenursery.com

Whitman Farms has Morus nigra 'Cox', Morus nigra 'Kokusa Korean', and an excellent Garden Watchdog rating. Their website is at whitmanfarms.com

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 3:27PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I couldn't resist looking at a few of those website, which I should have done before posting the first time. I found that some of the nurseries mentioned above have cultivars I didn't list. Whitman Farms, for instance, now seems to have straight species Morus nigra, Morus nigra 'James II', and Morus nigra 'Noir of Spain', but not 'Cox' or 'Kokusa Korean'. Oh well, the list should still get you started anyway.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 3:36PM
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alpharetta(z7 GA)

I have few different mulberry in my yard now. I got them from Rain tree. The most I like is White Fruiting mulberry. Fruit in the first year, lot of fruit and very sweet. The next best for me is Pakistant mulberry: big fruits and sweet too. Illinois ever bearing is just soso. Korean Oscar has not given fruit yet. Will see what happen in the next spring.

I wish I have Black Persian... But My heart now goes on the mushroom project now...

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 1:16PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Morus alba (white mulberry) is a borderline invasive in GA. It's not a big problem in most areas, but the fact still might be something worth knowing. The GA-EPPC has it listed as a category 3 pest plant.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 9:50PM
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ichoudhury(7B)

I purchased couple of trees from Willis Orchard(Persian Black, Also another one called Black Beauty) from their site. I will update this forum once I get my Tree and eventually write a review of my experience from there. I read their review and people have mixed feelings, but so far my experience has been good. I will keep you posted!

https://www.willisorchards.com/category/Mulberry+Trees

(By the way, Thanks for all the suggestion and I might get more from some of the link you have suggested and yes, I will avoid White Mulberry :-) ... I just have to get Mulberry though to keep those darn squirrell off of my Bird Feeder, and my other berry plants!!!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 10:07AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I've been watching Willis for a while now. The first time I heard about them, it was a negative review. Then I watched as the owner (can't think of his name right now) went out of his way to defend the company and assure customers of good intent, etc. For a little while, I became impressed with his sincerity. I got the feeling that they were actually probably a pretty safe bet.

But lately, I see pretty strong indications that the company is not living up to the owner's earlier assurances. They don't even seem to care any more when people give them negative reviews on websites like Garden Watchdog, and most of what I've heard recently is negative. I think it's a bad sign.

I wouldn't count on the cultivars being correctly labeled, etc. But who knows, maybe (hopefully) you'll get lucky.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 9:54PM
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ichoudhury(7B)

You are making me nervous :p

Well, I decided not to spend a lot of money at first. I will give them a shot and see how they turn out. Like I mentioned, so far they seems to be very friendly, quick communication, good response ...

Once I get my plants, I will see how they are shipped. And finally how eventually the tree turn out ... (I will keep you all posted)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 7:22PM
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lucky_p

From a 1997 POMONA(publication of North American Fruit Explorers) article, by Dr. AJ Bullard of Mt.Olive NC, the long-time Southern Mulberry Fruit Interest Group chairman, "Mulberries from a Southeastern US Perspective":
"To most plates, M.nigra is generally agreed to be tops, although in our region it cannot be grown successfully, due to climatic problems. Temperature fluctuations, high humidity, and fungal leaf and twig problems have doomed it here, and most Southern nurseries ceased to carry it in the early 1900s."

Dr. Bullard touts several M.albaXrubra hybrids - Silk Hope, Sullivan, Wellington, & Illinois Everbearing; Silk Hope performed best for him, and IE did not do well in his orchard. In my own KY orchard, IE is the top performer, Wellington is a 'dog', Silk Hope hasn't yet reached a level of production for me to properly evaluate it.

Dr. Bullard calls it a 'toss-up', flavor-wise, between the top M.rubra and top M.alba selections; rubra tends to be more tart, while alba tends to be lacking acidity. His top picks for M.rubra selections for the Southeast are (Carlton)English and (Janie)Watts - neither of which I've ever seen in the nursery trade. I have two superb M.rubra selections, one from KY, one from east-central AL - both produce large tart-sweet black fruits - larger than Illinois Everbearing, and equally its match for flavor, but the fruiting period is short, ~ 2 weeks, whereas IE will bear heavily over a 6-8 wk period.

I've never had a bad M.rubra, but have had some M.albas that were pretty sorry. Never had a white-fruited selection that appealed to me - sweet, but sort of 'grassy'-flavored; a friend had one that he claimed tasted like muskmelon - no thanks.

Top M.alba picks for the Southeast, from Dr. Bullard: Shangri-La(originated in Naples, FL) and Pakistan(originated in Islamabad, Pakistan). Pakistan is 'borderline' for parts of the Southeast - in its native site, the lowest temp recorded was 26F; he recommends planting it with the graft union below ground level in the event that it freezes back to ground level, regrowth will be from above the graft, and not just the seedling rootstock; I experienced this - my Pakistan froze to the ground 3 years running, and would re-grow 8-10 ft in a season, but never ripened any fruit, before I took it out and replaced it with something that could survive here. Shangri-La fruit is smaller than Pakistan's 3"+ berries, but tends to break dormancy too early and gets zapped by normal spring frosts some years.

Kokuso and some of the other 'newer' varieties may not have been available for Dr. Bullard's evaluation at the time he wrote this missive, so some of the varieties mentioned earlier in this thread may well be worth trying.

I've been satisfied with plant materials from Raintree & Burnt Ridge; Edible Landscaping in VA has offered some good mulberries in the past; Just Fruits & Exotics, in Crawfordville FL probably has some good mulberries in their offerings.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 12:24PM
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ichoudhury(7B)

My Pakistan and Persian growing very nicely so far. I think it will be a while before I get a chance to taste anything from those trees (if I can get some before the Squirrell or the birds when they do bear fruits).

I am watching them closely and the leaves are quite interesting in the Persian (sawtooth like) while Pakistan has leaves similar to regular wild mulberry trees I have in the backyard woods.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 11:18AM
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Jacky5

I have at least 6 kinds of ants like fabaceae_native here in east Kern County, California. No problem with them with garden or orchard. The little bitin' red ones will swarm up your legs if you disturb their nest and the big jawed red ones I use ant poison on so I don't have to remember where their nest is. Black Beauty mulberries don't have any bug problems here and only a minimal problem with squirrels, chipmonks, and birds. Those varmints work over the apricots, apples and peaches pretty good though. One 8-9 year old Black Beauty tree/bush yields enough berries for all year, roughly 6 cubic feet of berries and juice in a freezer. I pick every day for a couple of hours mid season and every third day, early and late season. Last of the berries in a week or two. There is considerable variation in even Black Beauty cultivars from different nurseries. I have both Burnt Ridge and Bay Laurel trees. They look different than L.E Cooke trees. Amount of fruit, how the berry stems stick to the tree, which side of the tree ripens first, different ripening period, flavor changes during the season, etc. But they're all good!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 8:29PM
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