If you have planted a mulberry tree and it didn’t start to fruit around the same time as your neighbor’s mulberry tree, there’s no need to panic.
Chances are your mulberry tree is a different variety. Each mulberry type has a different fruiting season.
When do mulberry trees fruit?
The average mulberry tree will start fruiting between late spring and early summer. The young tree needs between 2 and 3 years before it begins to produce fruits. Some mulberry varieties will fruit in mid-summer while others will be only ready to harvest sometime in August.
The type of mulberry tree will determine the fruiting season. Read more to find out when to expect your particular mulberry variety to fruit and what you can do to improve the yield.
Mulberry Tree Fruiting – What To Know
Although known for their abundant yields, it can be a little tricky to pinpoint mulberry trees’ fruiting time.
Most of the time, the ripe fruits have a short window, and you need to harvest them right away before birds get to them. It helps to know when to expect your mulberry to fruit.
Types of Mulberry Trees
Different mulberry trees fruit at different times. Because the fruits ripen fast and in large quantities, you should be prepared in advance.
The following list covers the most common mulberry tree types and their fruit seasons.
White Mulberry (Morus alba)
This is a small to medium variety that grows between 33 and 66 feet high. The tree has a lifespan of around 60 years.
The leaves of white mulberry feed silkworms, but the fruits are quite delicious. The ripe fruits vary in color between pink, white, and purple. The white mulberry fruits between June and August.
Red Mulberry (Morus rubra)
Native to North America, the red mulberry is an endangered species and is being taken over by the white mulberry. It reaches 70 feet high and lives for about 125 years.
The flowers are small and yellow while the fruits are purple-black. It fruits from June to August.
Black Mulberry (Morus nigra)
This is a medium tree native to Asia that grows to about 40 feet tall. The fruits are purple-black when ripe and have rich flavors.
The fruits are larger than other mulberry species and much juicier. The fruiting season is between August and September.
Himalayan Mulberry (Morus macroura)
Native to the Himalayas and China, this medium tree grows to 49 feet high and thrives in high elevations. The large fruits are purple when ripe. The fruit season is between April and July.
Everbearing Mulberry Trees
A small tree that averages between 10 and 15 feet high. It has a bushy growth habit and is easier to manage than other mulberry species.
The fruits are reddish-black and average about 1.5 inches long. They ripen between June and September.
Dwarf Mulberry Trees
Dwarf mulberry trees are a fast-growing species that reach 6 feet high at maturity. However, they require regular pruning to keep them under 6 feet tall.
The tree lives up to 100 years on average. It doesn’t need a lot of chill hours, so it’s ideal for warm Growing Zones. The fruits turn black when ripe, and the tree fruits between May and July.
Fruitless Mulberry Trees
The fruitless mulberry varieties don’t bear fruits and are grown for their ornamental values. They average between 20 and 60 feet tall and have a high tolerance for drought.
|Type of Mulberry Tree||Fruiting Season|
|White Mulberry||June – August|
|Red Mulberry||June – August|
|Black Mulberry||August – September|
|Himalayan Mulberry||April – July|
|Everbearing Mulberry||June – September|
|Dwarf Mulberry||May – July|
When Do Mulberry Trees Begin To Produce Fruit?
Mulberry trees vary in many factors including their fruiting season. Most mulberry trees will fruit between the late spring and early summer.
The harvest season is usually busy and short, but other varieties have a longer harvest season and might only ripen as late as late summer and early fall.
In terms of tree age, some mulberry varieties may fruit the first year after planting while others may take up to three years before they start fruiting regularly.
Are Mulberry Trees Self-Pollinating?
One of the advantages of growing mulberry trees is that you don’t have to worry about pollination partners.
Each tree, regardless of the variety, has both male and female flowers that open around the same time.
The male flowers disseminate their pollen at high speed and cover a large area so that the female flowers have a high chance of getting the pollen from the male flowers on the same tree or from other mulberry trees in the vicinity.
Factors That Affect Mulberry Tree Fruiting
Mulberry trees usually have a high yield, but the crops and fruiting can be impacted by many factors. The type of the tree is a decisive factor not just in the amount of crop but also in the fruiting season as well.
The weather and amount of chill hours can also affect the yields. Other factors include pests and diseases as well as overbearing.
Mulberry Tree Yields
Young mulberry trees usually have small yields, but once the tree matures, you can expect up to 600 pounds of fruits per season. Most mulberry varieties start producing this yield around their 10th year and onwards.
Beware of the Mess
Harvesting mulberry fruits can be messy. The ripe fruits are quite fragile and damage easily. At the same time, birds will try to pick the ripe fruits, which results in a lot of mess under the tree.
When Are Mulberries Ready To Harvest?
Although you usually have a small window when it comes to harvesting mulberry fruits, you should wait for the right time to pick the ripe mulberries.
The fruits don’t continue to ripen after you harvest them, so you’ll need to pick only the ripe ones that are soft to the touch and are either purple-black, red-black, or white depending on the mulberry variety.
The harvest time runs from mid-June to August, but some varieties have a harvest time between late summer and mid-fall.
How To Harvest Mulberries
Harvesting mulberries without causing a mess is as easy as shaking the branches to let the ripe fruits fall under their own weight. The ripe mulberries come off the branch easily.
You’ll need to spread a clean sheet under the tree and use a ladder to climb the tree to reach the branches.
Don’t try to pick the ripe mulberries by hand, as you will easily crush them.
What To Do With Mulberries
You can use mulberries in any recipe that requires blackberries or raspberries. You can make jams, jellies, or puddings. You can also eat ripe mulberries with cream and sugar. They make for a healthy and nutritious snack in the summer.
How Tall Do Mulberry Trees Grow?
Mulberry trees vary in their height depending on the species. Some varieties, like dwarf mulberries, can be kept under 6 feet tall with regular pruning. Other mulberry trees such as the red mulberry can tower over 70 feet tall in the wild.
Are Mulberry Trees Invasive?
Some mulberry tree species, especially white mulberry, are quite invasive. They encroach over any free space available and even crowd out other plants and smaller trees and bushes.
Once they establish somewhere, they spread out to cover open areas and replace native species.
Mulberry trees usually fruit between late spring and early summer. However, some mulberry species are late bloomers and will fruit in mid or late summer until the early fall.
Harvest the ripe fruits by shaking the branches of the tree and collecting the mulberries before birds get to them.