AZ Arboretums

Morus alba

White mulberry

Common: White mulberry
Family: Moraceae
Origin: China
Sunset Zone: All Zones
Light: Full sun
Soil: All soil types
Water: Drought tolerant, regular water
Temperature: Hardy to cold, tolerant of heat

Grow well in the desert. Street, patio or lawn tree. Fast shade, golden fall color. Grows to 20-60 ft., difficult to garden under because of heavy surface roots and shade.

Erect with single trunk. Branches may grow so long that they droop from their own weight. Develop large crowns rather quickly; spreading branches radiate from trunk like umbrella. Foliage bright to deep green, toothed and deeply lobed leaves of variable form, size and shape, often on same tree. Leaves have been used in China for centuries for feeding silkworms. Inconspicuous flowers. Females bear fruit in spring which attracts birds; both fruit and birds are messy. Fruits are edible, very sweet and juicy.

Tolerate heat and alkaline soil, but grow faster with water and feeding. Often short-lived; not considered a quality shade tree. Do not prune heavy branches to stubs; these are likely either to rot or to furnish entry for sooty canker fungus. Produces pollen in prodigious amounts, and is subject to sooty canker disease.