Mulberry (mulberry tree) — planting, care and pruning with your own hands. 140 photos of popular mulberry species
Mulberry or mulberry is a tree belonging to the mulberry family, widely distributed in Southeast Asia, primarily in China and India. This heat-loving plant has been used in silk production for at least five thousand years. There are at least 17 species of mulberry in the world.
Despite the fact that mulberry production is the most famous sphere of its use, there are other areas of human activity where it is used no less successfully.
Mulberry fruits have a pleasant taste and are indispensable in the food industry, even wine is made from them. This does not exhaust the useful properties of mulberry. Berries contain a large amount of vitamins, in particular, vitamin C, more than 10 percent, trace elements and other useful substances. All the variety of subspecies of this plant is combined into three main types: white, red and black mulberry.
I must say that the color classification of mulberry occurs not by the color of its fruits, as is the case with most fruit-bearing trees, but by the color of its bark. However, the color of their bark corresponds to their names only approximately. What they really differ from each other is the area of growth.
The most thermophilic, red mulberry grows only in tropical climates. The black one is much less fastidious to the ambient temperature and is often found in the south of Russia in our subtropics, in the North Caucasus, Kuban, and Crimea.
The most unpretentious white mulberry. Today, these trees have spread so far to the north, nowadays mulberry cultivation is possible even in a temperate climate zone: in the Moscow region, in the Urals and in the south of Siberia.
Appearance of mulberries
Of course, its promotion to the northern latitudes does not happen by itself, but only due to the fact that our compatriots want to have this extremely useful plant in their gardens and vegetable gardens.
The severity of the Russian climate does not allow the mulberry tree to stretch high up, so the height of these trees in our latitudes rarely exceeds six meters. But with proper cultivation, they begin to spread out in width, starting new shoots every year.
The desire to have this tree in your garden, which is not quite usual for the climate of our country, requires careful care of it. First of all, it is necessary to choose a place where it will grow. A shaded area is not suitable for him. Only a maximum of sunlight during the day will provide him with the opportunity to grow.
At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the so-called rose of the winds. The north and east winds blowing in our country will be disastrous for him.
Like any other plant, mulberry grows best on fertile soils, but, in principle, not so much the growth of the tree itself depends on the fertility of the soil, as the yield of its fruits. Do not expect fertility from trees growing in low, damp places.
Seedlings should be planted only in soil with normal humidity and good drainage. The minimum distance between the trees should be at least six meters. The depth of the hole is not less than 60 centimeters, and the radius is 80, respectively.
Before planting a seedling, drainage and a mixture of earth and humus are added to the hole. If there is no organic matter at hand, mineral fertilizers can be added instead: 60 grams of superphosphate and 50 grams of potassium chloride.
Mulberry care immediately after planting
For the first two years of the tree's life in a new place, it requires regular watering (10 liters of water per day during dry periods) and regular (once a season) fertilizing. In the spring, during the budding period, a nitroamafoska is introduced, at the rate of 50 grams per 10 liters of water.
In summer, a complex fertilizer is applied at the rate of 20 grams per 1 square meter. In autumn, the ground under the mulberry is dug up and ash is added to it at the rate of 200 grams per square meter. A positive effect should be expected when introducing organic matter: slurry or bird droppings.
Those who have already planted at least one mulberry tree on their site have the opportunity to witness its flowering every year. Unfortunately, this flowering cannot be called exuberant, and not because there are few flowers, just their appearance does not please the eye of the pretentious public too much.
Look dull colors mulberry silk with a vengeance kompensiruet excellent taste of berries, which grow on every tree in countless.
Mulberry – dioecious plant
As the school botany course says: plants are dioecious and monoecious. Mulberry is a dioecious plant, that is, either male or female.
If it so happens that a tree grown in your garden belongs to the male sex, you will never see berries on it. At the same time, a female-type tree standing alone will remain an unnecessary empty flower because it will not be properly pollinated.
However, such incidents in the life of a mulberry tree do not happen often, because they are pollinated by the wind, which carries pollen for many kilometers. In order to guarantee pollination, it is necessary to have several trees of different sexes on your site or at least graft them.
The complexity of this process lies in the fact that it is almost impossible to determine which sex a particular seedling belongs to, at least until it begins to bloom. We can only hope that a hermaphrodite tree will grow in your garden, both with male and female flowers, which, of course, occurs, but not as often as we would like.
However, if there are two trees of the same sex in your garden, you can easily correct the situation. You just need to break off or, better, cut off part of the branches of one of them. This simple operation will lead to a change of the floor of this tree.
Considering that the pruning of branches on mulberry is done almost every year, your trees will regularly change sexes and bear fruit.
Mulberry can eventually become a rather tall tree, which, to put it mildly, is not very convenient for its owner, since it makes it difficult to harvest. In order for the tree not to grow above five meters, it needs regular pruning.
Many novice gardeners often ask the question: — How to trim a mulberry? First of all, it is necessary to cut the so-called mulberry conductor. The conductor of the plant is cut off at a height of about one and a half meters, thus forming a low stem.
After that, the plant resembles rather a tall shrub formed from seven or eight shoots. All the extra shoots must be cut off. Moreover, they are rarely viable anyway, since they freeze out already in the first year of their existence.
The first harvest
The first mulberry fruits are obtained already on the third (sometimes on the second) the year of the tree's life. At first, the berries are small and in small quantities. Every year the yield increases, and the size of the fruits increases.
About the ninth year of life, the mulberry enters the time of regular fruiting. From this moment on, the tree begins to give the maximum possible yields.
Picking mulberry berries does not cause any serious difficulties. Ripe berries themselves break off from the stems and fall to the ground. In order to eliminate crop losses during harvesting, it is recommended to stretch a white cloth under the tree, on which ripe berries will fall from the tree.
Variety of varieties
Today, the original varieties of mulberry, created specifically for our country, grow on the territory of Russia. The first among them – white honey is a white berry size up to 3 cm or more, has an extraordinary taste. The berries are soft and easily crumpled during transportation, which is their only drawback.
Smolensk pink variety, growing in the central part of Russia, is resistant to frost. Pink fruits of medium size have a pleasant taste. Photo of the Smolenskaya pink mulberry allows you to make sure of this.
Fruit variety 1 White berries have a pleasant taste and dense consistency. During transportation, they do not lose their presentation for a long time.
Among others, it should be noted such varieties as: merezhevo, fruit 4, black baroness, black prince, Shelly and many others.