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Weeping White Mulberry
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The Weeping White Mulberry Tree (a.k.a. Teas Weeping Mulberry) is a fast-growing ornamental tree that will supply you and your family with loads of sweet and wholesome fruits each summer. You won’t find these perishable, blackberry-like fruits at the grocery store—growing your own tree is probably the only way you’ll be able to indulge in this unique seasonal treat. Nutritious mulberries are tasty fresh or dried and can be substituted in any berry recipe to make mouth-watering pies, muffins, pancakes, smoothies, sorbets, cobblers, and preserves. Adaptable and easy to please, the tree is a cinch to grow as well!
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
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Originally from China, the White Mulberry Tree is famous as food for silk moth caterpillars, whose cocoons have been collected and made into silk thread for almost 4,000 years. The U.S. had its own silk industry for a little while in the 1830s, when silkworm eggs and Mulberry Trees sold for incredible prices. The venture failed, however, when it was learned how much labor the process actually entailed. This weeping form of the White Mulberry has been around since 1883, when it appeared as a chance seedling at the nursery of John Teas of Carthage, Missouri. The odd tree grew flat along the ground and had to be grafted onto an existing Mulberry trunk to weep downward, as we have done here.
Mulberries don’t have the PR departments of the more familiar “superfruits” like blueberries and blackberries, but they are just as potent in their nutritional benefits. Mulberries are rich in vitamin C and iron and contain significant amounts of vitamin K, vitamin E, the B-complex vitamins, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and fiber. The deep purple fruits of the Weeping White Mulberry also contain a wealth of beneficial antioxidants, including resveratrol, a valuable health booster that’s also found in wine.
How to Grow
Plant your Weeping White Mulberry Tree in full sun to very light shade. It isn’t too fussy about soil and will grow in alkaline conditions and in sites that are exposed to salt, such as by the seashore. Regular irrigation is important while your tree is getting established, but after the first year or two, it will be quite drought tolerant. Diseases usually aren’t much of a concern with this tree, although in the heat and humidity of the Deep South, problems may occasionally arise. Birds will be very interested in the fruits, so you may have to put netting over the tree if you don’t want to share the bounty. Prune out any non-weeping branches promptly, as they belong to the trunk portion or “understock” of the tree.
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