Q: My friend has a beautiful mulberry tree and has offered to let me take a branch and try to root it. How would I go about doing that? I would love to try to grow a mulberry, especially for the birds, but also for me. I love mulberries – yum!
A: I’m surprised you haven’t found mulberry seedlings growing near the larger tree. First try looking for those to move to your house. Before you do that, though, make sure you’ve thought about what you’re getting into.
The mulberry was originally imported from China in the 1600′s to feed silkworms in an effort to start the silk industry in the Americas. Silkworms wouldn’t grow here – but the mulberry tree certainly does. It is generally considered a weed tree because of the mess birds make after eating the fruit. Buy a cover for all your vehicles when you plant mulberry seedlings!
The wild fruit is edible by humans but in my opinion is a poor substitute for a July-ripe blackberry. The fruit of cultivated varieties is much sweeter. Look at the Edible Landscaping Catalog for some suggestions.