When To Plant a Mulberry Tree (Plus Care & Planting Info)

The mulberry tree is a deciduous tree that self-seeds but produces hundreds of pounds of delicious fruits every year. Between its fruits and ornamental values, the mulberry is a great addition to every fruit garden and orchard.

When should you plant a mulberry tree? You should plant the mulberry tree when the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold. The early spring is the best time for planting bare-root mulberry trees. However, you can also plant it in the fall or even in the summer if the weather in the summer is quite mild. 

Read more to find out when to plant the mulberry tree and how to take care of it until it establishes and starts producing fruits.

When To Plant a Mulberry Tree – Quick Guide

The mulberry tree doesn’t like either the extreme heat of the summer or the cold temperatures of the winter. Frost is always a threat, so you should wait for the threat of the last frost to be over before you plant the tree. 

Best Time To Plant a Mulberry Tree

Ideally, spring is the best season to plant your bare-root mulberry tree. Once the last frost is over and the soil is workable, you can plant your young mulberry tree to take advantage of the mild weather before the summer heat peaks. 

If your spring blends into summer quickly, you have an option to plant the tree in the fall once the temperature cools down. Again, you should give the young tree at least 4 weeks after planting from the first frost.

For those with a mild summer, you can plant mulberry in the summer months if necessary.

Protecting Mulberry Tree Roots in Winter

Cold winters can have a devastating impact on the mulberry tree. To protect the tree in the winter, cover the soil from the base of the trunk to the tree’s dropline with a thick layer of mulch 3 inches deep or more.

The mulch will preserve the temperature of the soil and prevent the roots that are close to the surface from freezing.

Can You Plant a Mulberry Tree in the Spring?

It’s recommended that you plant the mulberry tree in the spring. However, you should wait for the last frost, and once the soil is workable, you can plant the tree.

If you’re expecting any sudden changes in the weather or a cold spell, you should delay planting the tree until the unusually cold weather is over. 

When To Plant Potted vs. Bare Root Mulberry Trees

A potted mulberry tree gives you more options when it comes to planting time than a bare-root mulberry tree. Since the potted tree can be moved and sheltered if the weather turns, you can plant the tree any time you like.

The early spring is a good time to plant the mulberry tree since the tree is usually dormant at this time, but you have between the spring and fall to plant the potted mulberry.

For the bare-root mulberry, you should choose a time when the microclimate is mild. This can be in the early spring after the last frost or in the fall.

If the summer is mild, then the summer is a good time to plant it too. Whatever time you choose, avoid the wintertime for planting the tree.

When Is the Best Time To Buy Mulberry Trees Online?

You should factor in the delivery time when buying a mulberry tree online. This will give you a rough idea of when to order the tree. If you plan to plant the tree in the early spring, then order the tree sometime in the late winter as long as it will arrive in the early spring. 

FastGrowingTrees.com has everbearing mulberry trees at a great price, and the company is known for exceptional quality.

Best Time To Plant Mulberry Tree Seed

The mulberry seed needs the same weather as a young mulberry sapling. So early spring when the weather has warmed up and the soil has become workable is the ideal time to plant the seed.

However, you can start the seeds in a tray before the last frost, which gives you a head start to transplant the seedling outside and enjoy the moderate spring weather before the summer turns hot and dry.

Ripe and unripe berries maturing on a mulberry tree.

How Long Do Mulberry Trees Take To Grow?

The time the mulberry tree takes to grow and establish depends on whether you’re starting it from seed or you’re planting a cultivar whip.

For natural species growing from seeds, the tree might take from 5 to 6 years to grow and produce fruits. In some cases, the tree might need 10 years to reach that stage of maturity. For cultivars, it only takes the mulberry tree 2 to 3 years to start producing fruits.

Keep in mind that the young tree will only produce a handful of fruits for the first couple of years before it falls into a rhythm and starts producing hundreds of pounds of delicious fruits a year.

How To Plant a Mulberry Tree

Both red and black mulberries can be started easily from cuttings, but white mulberries can only be started from seeds that require a cold stratification period of 4 to 16 weeks to improve germination.

Here, I’ll cover starting red and black mulberries from cuttings. Not all cuttings will sprout, so you should start with a few cuttings at a time.

  1. Wait for the mature mulberry tree to have new growth in the early spring.
  2. Cut 6 inches off the end of a semi-green branch about half an inch in diameter.
  3. Fill a small pot with a general-purpose potting mix, and make a hole in the middle.
  4. Dip the cut end of the cutting into a growth hormone powder, and plant it in the pot.
  5. Water the pot until water flows out of the drainage holes.
  6. Place the pot along with the cutting into a large clear plastic bag and tie the bag.
  7. Water the pot once the soil dries out.
  8. After 4 weeks, the cutting will develop roots. Remove the plastic bag and continue to water the plant.
  9. In the fall, transplant it to its permanent place in the garden.

Caring For Your Newly Planted Mulberry Tree

The mulberry tree is not a fussy tree. Once it establishes, it can tolerate different weather conditions, but before it gets to that stage, you need to make sure the soil is loamy and well-draining with pH levels between neutral and slightly acidic.

The tree should be in a sunny location that gets 6 to 8 hours of sunlight and is sheltered from strong winds. Water the tree regularly with 1 inch of water a week. 

When Do Mulberry Trees Produce Fruit?

The mulberry tree produces fruit in mid-spring, and the fruits start to ripen in early June. Some cultivars ripen in August. 

Related Questions:

How Do You Keep a Mulberry Tree Small?

Regular pruning of the dormant mulberry tree will keep its size manageable. However, don’t prune second-year branches since those are the ones that flower and bear fruits.

Can You Grow a Mulberry Tree From Cuttings?

Using cuttings for propagation only works with red and black mulberry trees. White mulberry can only grow from seeds.

Conclusion

The mulberry tree should be planted in the early spring after the last frost. You can also plant it in the fall when the weather is mild. Winter is when the deciduous tree is dormant, so don’t plant it in wintertime.

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