Weeping Mulberry Tree: Unique Ornamental With Tasty Fruits

If you have encountered a weeping mulberry tree, you are likely familiar with its aesthetic appeal as a popular decorative tree often found in various landscapes.

They are best known for their slightly whimsical appearance, creating a dome that is speckled with berries during the summer, and they add color and curiosity to your garden. 

How big does a weeping mulberry tree get?  A weeping mulberry tree will grow to be between 10 and 15 feet tall and wide, but size can vary based on tree type, care, and pruning. They grow fast and will reach their full mature size in about 10 years. Pruning can control the growth and shape of the tree.

Many people choose to grow weeping mulberry trees, but few have these tips and tricks to grow one like a pro!

Read on to understand all the details about these cascading trees and tips on how to grow them best.

You’ll find pruning, fertilizing, and environment recommendations as well as details about the fruits and when to pick them. 

Ever wondered about the fascinating array of mulberry varieties out there? Satiate your curiosity by exploring my article on the Best Mulberry Tree Varieties today!

Weeping Mulberry Trees

Weeping mulberry trees are unique compared to the other mulberry species since they grow smaller than most and have a weeping habit.

Look at the chart below for more details as well as insight into the overall aesthetics of the tree. 

Botanical nameMorus alba ‘Pundula’
Mature height10 to 15 feet tall
Mature width10 to 15 feet wide
Growth rateFast
Light preferencesFull sun, partial shade
Ideal soilLoamy, well-draining, slightly acidic
Watering needs1 to 2 inches per water per week
FertilizationSpring, right as flowers begin to open 
Years to bear fruit5-6 years
FlowersInconspicuous white sepals
Fruit Dark-red/black fruit, medium to large berries, considered sweet and tart, sometimes with notes of spices or citrus
Harvest timeJune-August
Fall foliageLeaves turn yellow and brown

Appearance

A weeping mulberry tree is a beautiful tree and a great landscape ornamental because it remains small. It is also more convenient to pick berries from since the branches hang down rather than grow upward.

It can end up looking like a dome once mature because the branches hang down to the ground and arch shortly after growing from the trunk.

Tree Shape

With a unique weeping appearance, these trees don’t appear like most normal trees. Instead, these take on a weeping branching pattern with the branches growing downward rather than upward. 

Many people prune and train them to develop an umbrella-shaped canopy sitting on top of a single straight trunk.

Leaves

The mulberry leaves are large and glossy green in the summer. They can be lobed or unlobed and are medium in size overall. During the fall, they turn yellow and drop once the bitter cold comes around. 

Bark

The bark is rarely seen because the branches hang down to cover it, but in the winter when it is exposed, you’ll see a lightly textured gray and light brown bark. 

Seasonal Beauty

Being the most beautiful in the spring and summer, weeping mulberry trees amaze with their lush green foliage that is dotted with red and black berries during the season.

In the fall, the leaves turn a vibrant yellow before turning brown and dropping to the ground. In the fall and winter, its drooping curved branches are curiously whimsical since they don’t grow straight like most trees. 

A large weeping mulberry tree in winter completely covered in snow.

Growth Rate & Mature Size

The weeping mulberry grows fast and will reach its short mature height of about 10 to 15 feet in about 10 years.

Trimming the tree can help to maintain its manicured shape but will reduce its overall size. They grow to be about the same height and width, averaging 10 to 15 feet wide at maturity. 

Flowers

You’ll notice the mulberry tree grows modified flowers. There are separate male and female flowers. The female flowers look like tiny berries ready to grow, and the males look like long thin berries known as catkins.

They will begin to open in early spring, around March or April, and last for a few weeks. Mulberry flowers smell like fresh mulberries and cherries with hints of citrus sometimes. 

Weeping Mulberry Fruit

The weeping mulberry tree, or Morus alba ‘Pendula’, will grow dark-black, blue, purple, or red edible juicy berries among the green leaves.

Enjoy the ripe fruit right off the tree, or make beverages (teas, cocktails, wines, smoothies, etc.), preserves, syrups, baked goods, savory sauces, and more.

Be sure to only pick them when they fall off the branch easily and have full color or else they may be more bitter than sweet. 

Fruitless Weeping Mulberry Tree

Sometimes a mulberry tree is just wanted for its beauty and not for the fruit, or perhaps you’re worried about the fruit attracting pests or staining concrete.

Plant a fruitless weeping mulberry tree, such as the popular fast-growing ‘Chaparral’, to avoid these issues.

If you’re in a hot area, a non-fruiting weeping mulberry tree is a fantastic choice because it tolerates extremes better than the fruiting varieties.  

Fall Foliage

The lush green leaves in the summer are more beautiful than the fall foliage; however, they do transition to a bright yellow before dropping off in the winter. 

The yellow foliage of a weeping mulberry tree in autumn.

Life Expectancy

These hardy trees last a decent amount of time, and you can expect to grow yours for around 40 years. Get ready for seasonal harvests for plenty of years to come! 

Weeping Mulberry Tree Growing Conditions

Weeping mulberries don’t require much and are tolerant of fairly tough conditions, but some TLC will help ensure your tree remains vigorous and reaches its maximum potential.

See more details below on how you can help get your mulberry tree thriving. 

Grow Zones and Hardiness

Weeping mulberry trees are cold-hardy, so they grow well in colder areas. USDA Hardiness Zones 4 through 8 are the best environments; however, they will grow in Zones 9 and 10 if kept out of the heat and direct sun. 

Sun Requirements

Aim to ensure your tree is receiving 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. Partial shade is fine and recommended for higher Grow Zones, but make sure it is still receiving direct sunlight in the morning so it can soak it up! 

Soil Preferences

The weeping mulberry will grow in most soil environments, but it does prefer loamy well-draining soil to help keep an equal water-and-air mixture for the roots.

While nutrient-rich soil isn’t necessary for the mulberry tree, extra fertilizer will help it produce lush foliage and bountiful harvests. You’ll want to ensure the pH is lower with a pH of 5.5-6.5 being ideal. 

Weeping Mulberry Tree Maintenance and Care

Weeping mulberry trees don’t require much care, but working to improve their environment will only benefit you.

Prune them to prevent disease spread, fertilize them to fill in nutrient gaps, and monitor them for pests to ensure they live without harm. See some tips below for how to care for your tree in the best way possible.

Watering

During the growing and fruiting months, the tree should receive 1 to 2 inches of water per week.

If you notice that the soil is drying up quickly, add more water. If you notice the water isn’t absorbing and the soil remains wet, limit watering until the soil dries up 2 inches below the soil surface. 

Fertilization

It is best to use a fruit tree mix that is well-balanced with any N.P.K. of 5-5-5 or similar. This one is perfect for mulberry trees.

Down to Earth Organic Fruit Tree Fertilizer Mix 6-2-4, 5lb


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Apply the fertilizer after the flowers open to ensure the tree doesn’t revert back to growing leaves or produce watery, tasteless fruit. 

Pruning

Pruning a weeping mulberry is important because it will grow all the way to the ground if left unmanaged.

Trim the lowest branches to at least 2 feet from the ground to prevent pests from easily accessing the tree and fruit.

If desired, you can strategically prune to a desired shape or to keep the tree small. Prune away anything that is dead, diseased, or dying to help promote a healthy tree. 

Harvesting

Harvest the fresh, ripe berries in summer from June through August when the summer heat begins to take its toll.

Look for berries that are 90% colored to avoid picking one early because it will be tart rather than sweet. If the berry doesn’t drop into your hand easily, it’s not ready, and you should leave it to ripen longer. 

Many people place a tarp beneath the tree and gently shake the branches to dislodge ripe fruit. Others simply pick what they can reach and let wildlife enjoy the rest of the harvest.

Pests & Diseases 

Common pests and diseases can affect mulberry trees, so it’s important to always be on the lookout for insects like Japanese beetles and signs of disease like Armillaria root rot from overly moist soil.

Common Diseases

  • Bacterial canker
  • Armillaria root rot
  • Bacterial blight
  • Cotton root rot
  • False mildew 
  • Powdery mildew

Common Pests

  • Japanese beetles 
  • Thrips
  • Scale
  • Grasshoppers
  • Spider mites

Landscape Uses & Wildlife Value

You’ll notice these adorable trees planted as landscape specimens because they make great deciduous trees that can be shaped into whatever size weeping dome you prefer.

Strategic pruning can allow you to plant other varieties underneath, or you can let the branches grow long almost to the ground!

Birds, squirrels, foxes, raccoons, and more will most likely be interested in your mulberries! The tree provides food for many native species and it helps attract pollinators in the spring when it begins to flower. 

Companion Plants 

While this tree is difficult to plant under due to its weeping habit, plant these companion plants nearby! Since the mulberry trees prefer more acidic soil, acid-loving plants grow well alongside the mulberry trees. 

Planting chives, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, marigolds, nasturtiums, and lemon balm help to grow more backyard bounty and increase the beauty of your landscape! 

Where To Buy 

Weeping mulberry trees should be easy to find if you’re thinking of planting one! Check out your local garden center and nurseries as they’re bound to have some.

If you can’t find one locally, purchase a weeping mulberry online and have it shipped to your door. Here are a few highly rated options:

Final Thoughts 

Plant a weeping mulberry, and you won’t regret it! Its unique appearance, tasty berries, easy care, and small size make it great for all landscapes.

You’ll be able to grow it easily without even thinking about it, and it’s a great introductory fruit tree for beginners!

A weeping mulberry is a gorgeous option, but there are other varieties that are worth exploring too. Check out these mulberry trees next: