Mo’ Mulberry — A guide to probably everything you need to know about growing Mulberry | by Paul Alfrey | Noteworthy

Mo’ Mulberry — A guide to probably everything you need to know about growing Mulberry | by Paul Alfrey | Noteworthy

Paul Alfrey

Not many crops provide a lot to the grower whereas demanding so little in return. A tree that requires so little consideration and care, that even when there have been an RSPP — Royal Society for the Safety of Crops (which there must be judging by the quantity of tortured home and backyard crops I come throughout) no-one would ever get prosecuted for Morus neglect 🙂

Mulberry for Permaculture/Polyculture and Agroforestry

Mulberry is among the quickest rising temperate bushes I do know of, produces an abundance of fantastic fruit yearly and is nearly pest and illness free. It’s one half chargeable for the best fibres recognized to man, i.e silk, might be grown almost all over the place that has soil and is a supply of top of the range animal fodder plus fairly a bit extra, as we will see.

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Mulberry fruit from numerous bushes in our gardens.

Throughout this submit we’ll take an in depth have a look at these unbelievable crops together with develop them, the makes use of of Mulberry, rising Mulberry in polycultures, permaculture and agroforestry and that i’ll introduce some comparatively uncommon Bulgarian cultivars that we’re providing from the bionursery this season.

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There are about 68 species of the genus Morus, and nearly all of them happen in Asia. In China alone there are over a thousand cultivars grown.

We’ll be specializing in the White Mulberry — Morus alba that we develop in our gardens and we’ll additionally contact on Black Mulberry — M. nigra and Crimson Mulberry — M. rubra, two different in style crops in cultivation. Let’s begin with an try and make clear the variations between these three species after which take an in depth have a look at White Mulberry.

  • White Mulberry are native to northern, japanese, and central Asia and are one of many main species used to feed silkworms.
  • Black Mulberry are native to southwest Asia. It was dropped at Europe earlier than the Roman Empire the place it has continued to be grown for its fruits.
  • Crimson Mulberry are native to japanese North America

There’s a good bit of confusion over these three species. The color of the fruit doesn’t determine the mulberry species. White Mulberries, for instance, can produce white, lavender or black fruit. White Mulberry fruits are typically very candy however typically missing in tartness. Crimson Mulberry fruits are normally deep crimson, virtually black, and in the most effective cultivars have a flavour that nearly equals that of the black mulberry. Black Mulberry fruits are massive and juicy, with an excellent stability of sweetness and tartness that I personally favor probably the most.

White and Black Mulberry fruit

Black Mulberry might be distinguished from White Mulberry by a furry decrease leaf floor on the Black Mulberry crops. The juicier Black Mulberry fruit may also stain your fingers once you choose them. The fruits of the White and Crimson Mulberry are tougher to inform aside however a positive means of telling the 2 species aside is from the leaves. The higher floor of the Crimson Mulberry leaves are noticeably tough, comparable in texture to tremendous sandpaper whereas in stark distinction the higher floor of the leaves of White Mulberry are lustrous (Shiny, easy and glossy).

Complicated the state of affairs additional, Crimson Mulberry and White Mulberry typically hybridize, leading to bushes with intermediate traits.

In keeping with Ovid (Metamorphoses — Guide IV) you’ve gotten the Babylonian lovers Pyramus and Thisbe, and the Greek Gods to thank for a minimum of a few of this confusion. In brief, Pyramus and Thisbe denied their love of one another by their rivaling households determined to run off collectively (sound acquainted??) The rendezvous was below a White Mulberry tree out of city. Thisbe turned up first and whereas ready for Pyramus, a lioness with jaws stained from the blood of a earlier kill began in direction of her. Thisbe darted into a close-by cave dropping her scarf below the tree as she fled. The lioness approached the scarf, dripping blood throughout it simply as Pyramus confirmed up. Pyramus chased the lioness away and seeing the blood stained scarf assumed that Thisbe had been mauled to loss of life. In desperation he plunged a sword into his stomach simply moments earlier than Thisbe emerged from the cave. Discovering Pyramus taking his final breath she falls on the sword herself they usually each bleed out in tragic unity. The blood splashing from the our bodies stained the beforehand White Mulberry fruit, and the Gods without end modified the Mulberry’s color to honour their forbidden love. All I can say is thank the Gods for cellphones 🙂

A parable on the perils of tardiness.

Latin identify — Morus alba

Frequent identify — White Mulberry, Silkworm Mulberry

Household — Moraceae

Historical past — White Mulberry cultivation has a protracted and wealthy historical past relationship again 1000’s of years in the past as a requirement for silkworm rearing. They had been beloved by Persians, Romans and Greeks and moved all through Europe together with the unfold of tradition from these locations.

Rising Vary — Morus alba has a really large distribution vary in Asia and Europe (from Korea to Spain, together with China, India, Central Asia and the Close to East); in Africa (North and East Africa) and within the Americas (from the USA to Argentina, together with Mexico, Central America, Colombia and Brazil). The origins of most cultivated mulberry varieties are believed to be within the China/Japan space and within the Himalayan foothills.

Morus alba leaf variation —

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morus_alba

Description — A quick-growing, small to medium-sized tree rising to 10 –20 m tall. It’s typically a short-lived tree though there are some specimens recognized to be over 250 years outdated. Fruits might be white at maturity on just a few bushes, however are normally darkish purple and three to six cm lengthy. The fruits ripen from mid spring — late summer time (relying on species and cultivar). The leaves are normally shiny, darkish inexperienced and easy however might be yellowish inexperienced. Most leaves are usually not lobed, however some might be. The juvenile development is commonly lobed.

Sexual Replica — The bushes might be dioecious or monoecious, and generally will change from one intercourse to a different. The flowers are held on quick, inexperienced, pendulous, catkins that seem within the axils of the present season’s development and on spurs on older wooden. They’re wind pollinated and a few cultivars will set fruit with none pollination. The White Mulberry is notable for the speedy launch of its pollen, which is launched at over half the pace of sound!

Mulberry flowers — in some instances the female and male flowers are on the identical tree (monoecious) and in different instances the female and male flowers are on separate bushes (dioecious).

Mild Preferences — Mulberries thrive in full solar however can develop properly in partial shade.

Water wants — The crops are drought tolerant however develop finest and yield excessive in areas with rainfall between 600 -1500 mm/yr. In our location with common annual rainfall of 580 mm they develop properly with out irrigation. I’ve seen Mulberry rising properly in wetlands and on riverbanks, because the crops are tolerant to sporadic water logging though they normally happen in non-wetlands.

Habitat — Morus alba generally invades outdated fields, roadsides, forest edges, city environments, and different disturbed areas. It grows properly in pure forests, planted forests, vary/grasslands, ruderal/disturbed areas and concrete areas.

Hardiness USDA — 4b — 9a A really hardy tree tolerating temperatures all the way down to -36C but in addition comfy in sub tropical and Mediterranean climates. Morus alba is probably the most chilly resistant of the Mulberry bushes

Ecology — Many small mammals feed on mulberries, together with birds, foxes, squirrels and rodents. Deer browse on the twigs and foliage and a spread of bugs inhabit the crowns of mature bushes. In our expertise Ladybirds are drawn to the Mulberry fruit. Mulberry is commonly related to Mycorrhizae together with Glomus mosseae and Glomus fasciculatum.

Climatic Limitations — Mulberries thrive over a really wide selection of climates particularly heat temperate but in addition Mediterranean, sub-tropical and tropical, the place they are often grown as evergreens.

Soil — They like a heat, moist, well-drained loamy soil in a sunny place. Nevertheless they’re tailored to coarse, medium, and tremendous soils. They tolerate a pH vary of 5.0–7.0.

Location — The bushes are tolerant of wind, drought, chilly and partial shade so you’ll be able to just about plant them anyplace. The plant can be fairly salt tolerant as soon as established. A number of issues to contemplate when selecting a location is that the fruit fall can prolong 6–Eight weeks and as soon as mature it’s virtually unattainable to reap not to mention devour all that fruit, so putting the tree in a spot the place the fruit fall won’t be a nuisance is a good suggestion. A lot to the pleasure of our pigs we set their pen below one half of our Mulberry tree with a few of the tree overhanging the hen coop additionally.

Pig pen situated below a mature White Mulberry — Morus alba in our again backyard

The bushes can get massive and can solid a heavy shade when mature so this must also be considered. We carry the decrease limbs of our bushes to permit house and light-weight for a spread of smaller bushes, shrubs and herbs (see Mulberry polyculture later).

Pollination/Fertilisation — Some cultivars will produce larger yields if allowed to cross-pollinate, though many cultivars (monoecious varieties) don’t want cross-pollination in any respect. Some Mulberries may even produce fruit with none pollination. Pollination happens by wind.

Feeding — Mulberry require little fertilisation. When planting out new bushes prime dressing the planting gap with 20–30 L of compost and repeating this in early spring for the primary 2 years can be greater than sufficient to get them going. After this they need to be tremendous, particularly so if you’re rising the tree in polycultures.

Irrigation — The bushes will develop quicker and produce extra fruit with entry to water throughout the flowering and fruiting interval. Younger bushes must be mulched properly every spring and irrigated for the primary 2–Three years with 30 L of water each 2–Four weeks with out rain. The bushes develop deep taproots that ought to be capable to entry floor water if obtainable.

Weeding — Mulching crops with a 10 -20 cm deep mulch every spring and pulling weeds that begin to develop by way of in the summertime is nice follow when the crops are younger. Because the bushes mature they develop properly amongst different crops of every kind.

Pruning — Mulberry are low branching. We’ve lifted the decrease limbs of our bushes to approx 5- 6 m excessive permitting us to plant below the tree and to permit easy accessibility across the tree. The bushes reply properly to this sort of pruning. If pruning younger bushes keep in mind the flowering and fruit buds develop on second yr outdated development.

Harvesting — The simplest means I do know of to reap a White Mulberry is the shake and catch methodology.

Contemporary fruit solely retains for just a few days, and is finest saved refrigerated in case you don’t eat them instantly. This is among the important causes you don’t see a lot Mulberry fruit within the outlets. The fruits may also be dried or frozen (by no means tried it personally).

Propagation — There are various studies on the web of how simple it’s to propagate mulberry from branches. Merely minimize the department from the tree and push it into the soil and presto! it can root inside a season. I’ve tried this many instances with our White Mulberry Morus alba bushes with no success. Actually I’ve tried arduous wooden cuttings in each season with no successes. It appears to me that this methodology might be efficient methodology for Crimson Mulberry and maybe Black Mulberry.

White Mulberry might be grown from seed and is finest sown instantly after fruiting. Chilly stratification for 4- 16 weeks can enhance germination charges. Layering can be reported to work properly.

Invasive — This species is taken into account ecologically invasive in most of North America. The menace is to the native Crimson Mulberry (M. rubra) although hybridization. It doesn’t appear to be an issue in Europe.

Pest and Illness — Mulberries endure few illness and bug pests. I’ve by no means skilled any issues with the Mulberries we develop or any I’ve seen. It’s an oddity that based mostly on this extra folks don’t develop them at residence and commercially. The principle pest to Mulberry might be deer that may browse on the leaves of those crops, however that is typically solely an issue with younger bushes and regrowth from coppice. If you’re rising for biomass pollarding the bushes at a top the deer can not attain is an efficient answer.

Allergic reactions — The plant’s pollen has change into problematical in some cities the place it has been blamed for a rise in hay fever.

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Silk Manufacturing — The Asian Mulberries are broadly cultivated to feed the silkworm — Bombyx mori employed within the industrial manufacturing of silk. Silk was as soon as grown the world over however since it’s a very labour-intensive trade a lot is now targeted in international locations with low labour prices. China has 626, 000 hectares of Mulberry for silkworm.

Mulberry is normally related to sericulture, the manufacturing of silk by way of the silkworm (Bombyx mori).

The silkworm is a reasonably superb little creature. Feeding completely on Mulberry leaves the caterpillars emerge from eggs and fatten up, spin a cocoon (the silk half) and when not used for silk manufacturing hatch into stunning moths. When used for silk manufacturing the caterpillars are boiled to loss of life of their cocoon earlier than they hatch. The boiled cocoons might be eaten and in China and Vietnam they’re seasoned and fried.

Unique supply right here

Fruit — White Mulberry fruits are typically very candy however typically missing within the tartness that may be discovered within the Crimson and Black Mulberries. The fruits ripen over an prolonged time frame not like many different fruits which appear to come back abruptly. The fruiting interval might be from 6–Eight weeks.

Wooden — Particularly within the Indian subcontinent, mulberry wooden is used for handicrafts, cupboard work and for sporting woods (e.g. grass-hockey sticks and tennis rackets). The skinny branches might be woven into baskets. Coppiced mulberry produces pretty straight robust poles that we use for stakes and tree props. The plant grows very quick and makes a medium-quality gasoline wooden with a calorific worth of 4370–4770 kcal/kg.

Erosion management: A helpful species for stabilizing bodily soil-conservation buildings.

Reclamation: May be grown on wastelands.

Soil Improver and Biomass: Quick development and tolerance to pruning makes this a terrific chop and drop plant. Progress can enhance soil fertility by way of litter fall.

Animal Fodder — In addition to the feed inventory for silkworms the leaves and branches make nice meals for livestock (cattle, goats, pigs and rabbits) and are used the world over particularly so in areas with poor soils and low rainfall the place recent forage will not be at all times obtainable. It’s typically reported that the foliage can be utilized to feed chickens. Our flock received’t eat it.

The leaves include between 18–25% protein (dry matter content material) and have excessive digestibility (70–90%). Yields of leaves and stems used for forage, vary from 3.2–21 tons/acre/yr (8–52 tons/hectare/yr) with most within the 8–12 tons/acre/yr (20–30 tons/hectare/yr). If you’re considering rising Mulberry for animals try this text from FAO.

Leaves — The leaves are ready as tea in Korea. The tea might be comprised of recent or dried leaves. They’re extremely nutritious and include nutritional vitamins B advanced (besides B12), C (200–300 mg/100 g), D and flavonols. They’re generally eaten as a vegetable.

Shahara Khaleque from Rising Sensible.HK launched me to Issei Shinagawa from Hong Kong who claims a cup of Mulberry leaf tea a day will flip your gray hairs black as properly enhance your common well being.

All recent leaves are tremendous to make use of for the tea. You’ll be able to merely run your hand down a department and strip all of the leaves, they arrive off actually simply. The leaves might be dried entire or minimize into strips. I dried some minimize leaves on our kitchen desk by a sunny window they usually had been dry inside a day and half.

Merely crumble just a few leaves right into a cup and poor on sizzling water and you’ve got a really first rate tasting cuppa. I’ll see about these gray hairs 🙂

Landscaping — Their resistance to pruning, their low water necessities and tolerance of air pollution make them very appropriate crops for city situations, home gardens, avenue shade and metropolis embellishment. They’re typically grown on roadsides and avenues as a decorative tree.

The compact Morus alba ‘pendula’ — Varna Botanic Backyard — Ekopark — Universitetska Botanicheska gradina

Hedging / Windbreak — I’ve not seen or tried these crops in a hedge however I see no purpose why they’d not be very appropriate. They take properly to repeated pruning, develop quick and have massive leaves that present an excellent display from late spring to Autumn. Being quick rising and in no need of consideration White Mulberry is a superb choice for shelter planting comparable to defending orchards from wind.

Bee Fodder — The pollen from the flowers is utilized by bees and different pollinators and generally juice of overripe berries or fallen fruit.

Medicinal makes use of — The bark is claimed to be good within the remedy of stomach-ache and the leaves and twigs can be utilized for treating heavy colds, cough, crimson eye, insect bites and wounds. The fruit is used within the remedy of sore throat and melancholia. The Chinese language have used Mulberry fruit for hundreds of years for its aphrodisiac qualities.

Timber grown from seed will begin to fruit within the fifth or sixth yr. Cultivar whips ought to begin to fruit within the 2nd or third yr.

Youthful bushes might be anticipated to yield between 3–5 kg within the first 2–Four years when fruiting begins. A mature tree of 20 -30 years will produce properly over 300 kg of fruit.

To reap the bushes we maintain a web below and shake the branches. Because the fruits ripen at totally different levels beginning in early June and ending in early August inevitably you shake down some unripe fruit however the majority of the fruit is in good situation.

Harvesting Mulberry with nets in our backyard

Should you coppice or pollard the tree you will have to attend a yr earlier than they begin to produce fruit once more because the flowering buds are borne on the second yr development.

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Mulberry is the one of many quickest rising temperate bushes I do know of. The wooden is comparatively robust and the small diameter poles make good stakes and bigger diameter poles are good for gasoline logs. The bushes reply very properly to coppicing and pollarding. When you’ve got deer stress in your space pollarding is finest because the regrowth is out of attain.

We hold just a few bushes within the backyard as pollards and repeatedly minimize the regrowth again for the rabbits and pigs. We pollard versus coppice because the bushes are planted amongst a density of fruiting shrubs (Blackberry, Raspberry, Aronia and Goji). Different bushes we enable to develop bigger and reduce on a 5 yr cycle to supply gasoline logs and poles for vegetable helps and fence posts.

There’s a wealthy historical past of mulberry coppice in Asia and it’s gaining popularity the world over as a biomass producing plant significantly for animal meals.

Mulberry leaves as a forage crop for livestock together with monogastrics (pigs, rabbits, and so on.), ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats, and so on.) Our pigs and rabbits take pleasure in it, however our chickens and geese are usually not into it.

Coppice shoots from a 20 yr outdated stool have confirmed a imply annual diameter increment of 1.5 cm and a imply annual top increment of 1 m. Early development could be very quick: 4.5 m within the 1st 2 years. At the moment we’ve a number of regrowth shoots of two.5–Three m tall in a single yr from the tree pollarded within the above video. To get an concept how briskly these bushes develop that tree was Eight years outdated (from seed) and has been pollarded Three instances thus far.

When you’ve got a tree that you desire to some work carried out on and you’re based mostly within the US you could find your native knowledgeable on The Native Tree Specialists.

Mulberry are glorious crops to be used in polycultures. They’re tolerant of partial shade so appropriate within the edges of an below storey of a bigger tree, are usually not very nutrient demanding or aggressive. They tolerate pruning very properly and can be utilized for chop and drop crops grown between fruit bushes or in hedgerows. If fruit manufacturing is precedence they are often given a place in full solar and though they develop tall and large, by lifting the decrease branches you’ll be able to accommodate a spread of productive and helpful crops beneath them.

Maybe one among my favourite polycultures in our residence backyard contains a grand outdated Mulberry tree — Morus alba. The tree is approx. 10 m tall and 12 m large. As beforehand talked about the mulberry overhangs the pig pen and a few of the hen coop. The gradual however positive supply of fruit fall for Eight weeks within the spring and summer time is far appreciated by the animals.

Sketch of our White Mulberry Polyculture

On the perimeters of the cover we’ve a fig tree and a Cornelian Cherry that each produce exceptionally properly and we’ve planted just a few hazels on the south facet final yr.

Figs and Cornelian Cherry from the Polyculture

Straight below the Mulberry tree there’s an Apple and a Pear tree. Each bushes are semi requirements however the shade of the Mulberry has resulted within the bushes taking over a dwarf behavior. The Apple produces a negligible amount of small crimson fruits (we hold it because it serves as a part of the electrical fencing within the pig pen) however the Pear tree on the western facet of the tree produces an inexpensive amount of scrumptious Pears.

Pear Tree with the White Mulberry Towering overhead

Beneath and across the Pear we develop Asparagus crops with Chinese language Lantern and Tuberous Comfrey floor cowl and we’ve just a few black currant crops. Lastly there are two patches of Raspberry one to the north of the tree and one on the japanese fringe of the cover.

Raspberry with the pear and Mulberry within the background

We even have Four raised beds to the east of the mulberry the place we develop tree saplings that respect the shade of the Mulberry throughout excessive summer time.

Tree seedling beds below the mulberry. You’ll be able to see the lifted Mulberry cover on the highest left nook of the picture

You will discover an in depth write up of this polyculture and plenty of extra in our Regenerative Panorama Design — On-line Interactive Course

Regenerative Panorama Design — On-line Interactive Course — The best way to Design, Construct and Handle Polycultures for Landscapes, Gardens and Farms

There may be nice potential for Mulberry in agroforestry techniques. It’s deep-rooting behavior and drought tolerance makes it an appropriate tree for Alley cropping with grains grown in between alleys. The quick rising nature of the tree and it’s tolerance to wind makes it nice candidate for windbreaks and biomass belts. Moreover the top quality animal fodder that may be produced from the bushes make it a wonderful selection for silvoarable techniques though the fodder is usually minimize and carried because the plant will not be suited to steady grazing.

We’ll be experimenting with optimum reducing intervals in our upcoming perennial polycultre trials rising the biomass for fodder and for mulch materials.

I’ve included mulberry in just a few agroforestry designs the newest being an alley cropping system with single row blended contour plantings (with Hazel and Pea Tree). The alleys in between the rows can be used at no cost ranged pastured poultry and rising grains for the poultry.

26 m stretch of a polyculture tree row for an alley cropping design for Catherine Zanev’s farm in Debnevo, Bulgaria

We’ve some nice mulberry cultivars on provide this season. The cultivars have been developed in Bulgaria and are appropriate for all climates the place Mulberry grows properly. We’ve a collection of heavy cropping crops as properly crops grown for biomass/animal fodder or sericulture. All of those crops are immune to all main pest and ailments.

The value is €12 per tree and we’re providing 10% low cost for orders over 30 bushes.

Fruit — Considerable massive purple fruits ripening from June — August

Intercourse and Pollination — Dioecious — Feminine Plant will produce fruit with a male pollinator comparable to ‘Kokuso 27’ or any fruiting mulberry close by

Hardiness — Full hardy withstanding temperatures as little as -34 C

Leaves — Giant whole leaves (22 cm x 19 cm). Thick and nutritious

Fodder Potential — The leaf yield below rain fed situations with planting distance Three m x 1 m, 3300 bushes per hectare is increased than 13,000 kg/ha.

Water wants — Very drought tolerant

Fruit — Considerable Giant purple fruits ripening from June — August

Intercourse and Pollination — Dioecious — Feminine Plant will produce fruit with a male pollinator comparable to ‘Kokuso 27’ or any fruiting mulberry close by

Hardiness — Full hardy withstanding temperatures as little as -34 C

Leaves — Giant whole leaves (29 cm x 21 cm). Thick and nutritious

Fodder Potential — The leaf yield below rain fed situations with planting distance Three m x 1 m, 3300 bushes per hectare is increased than 14,000 kg/ha.

Water wants — Very drought tolerant

Fruit — Considerable massive black fruits ripening from June — August

Intercourse and Pollination — Dioecious — Feminine Plant will produce fruit with a male pollinator comparable to ‘Kokuso 27’ or any fruiting mulberry close by

Hardiness — Full hardy withstanding temperatures as little as -34 C

Leaves — Giant whole leaves (25 cm x 19 cm). Thick and nutritious

Fodder Potential — The leaf yield below rain fed situations with planting distance Three m x 1 m, 3300 bushes per hectare is increased than 16,000 kg/ha.

These crops have been chosen particularly for vigor and their enormous nutritious leaves.

Giant leaved mulberry, nice bushes for biomass manufacturing for sericulture, mulches and animal fodder

Fruit — Fruitless

Intercourse and Pollination — Monoecious — Majority male flowers

Hardiness — Full hardy withstanding temperatures as little as -34 C

Leaves — Giant lobed leaves (22 cm x 17 cm). Thick and nutritious

Fodder Potential — The leaf yield below rain fed situations with planting distance Three m x 1 m, 3300 bushes per hectare is increased than 16,000 kg/ha.

Fruit — Fruitless

Intercourse and Pollination — Monoecious — Majority male flowers

Hardiness — Full hardy withstanding temperatures as little as -34 C

Leaves — Giant whole leaves (23 cm x 17 cm). Thick and nutritious

Fodder Potential — The leaf yield below rain fed situations with planting distance Three m x 1 m, 3300 bushes per hectare is increased than 15,000 kg/ha.

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http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/x9895E/x9895e02.htm

http://www.fao.org/ag/agp/agpc/doc/gbase/knowledge/morusalba.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morus_(plant)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morus_nigra

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morus_alba

http://tcpermaculture.com/website/2015/06/02/permaculture-plants-mulberries/

https://www.invasive.org/weedcd/pdfs/wow/white_mulberry.pdf

http://www.wildones.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/BeyondtheBirdFeederPart8.pdf

http://www.worldagroforestry.org/treedb/AFTPDFS/Morus_alba.PDF

Mulberry Silkworm: History, Habitat and Life Cycle

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