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Successfully establishing a young fruit tree starts with your planting site and method. Once a fruit tree is established, it needs little assistance to grow and bear fruit; but you'll want to make sure you give your trees the right foundation.
Fruit trees require fertile soil for good growth, so before you plant, check your soil pH. Contact your local County Extension Office for information about soil testing in your area, or purchase one of our digital meters for quick and accurate results. Mulberries prefer a soil pH between 5.5 and 6.5 and will grow on many soil types, as long as there is good drainage. Avoid areas that flood.
To promote vigorous growth and quality fruit production, plant in an area that gets full sun.
Space your tree 30-50 feet apart depending on variety.
Dig a hole twice as big and deep as the roots.
Remove the plant from the pot; gently loosen the root ball and place in the planting hole.
The trees should be planted at or slightly above the same level, at which it grew in the pot or nursery row.
Fill the planting hole with a mix of soil and organic matter; gently tamp it in.
Water thoroughly to settle the roots and eliminate air pockets.
Do NOT fertilize at time of planting.
No pruning is necessary at planting time.
More About Mulberry
Mulberries are the fruits of mulberry trees (Morus), related to figs and breadfruit.
Mulberry trees are traditionally grown for their leaves, mainly in Asia and North America, as they are the only food that silkworms can eat (1).
Because of their sweet flavor, impressive nutritional value and numerous health benefits, mulberries are gaining increased interest worldwide (2).
Chinese herbal medicine has used mulberry trees for thousands of years to treat diseases like heart disease, diabetes, anemia and arthritis (3, 4, 5, 6).
Mulberries are most commonly made into wine, fruit juice, tea, jam or canned foods, but can also be dried and consumed as a snack.
There are 24 species of mulberry trees, many of which have numerous different varieties. The most commonly grown species are black, white, and red.
There may be considerable variation in the color and antioxidant properties of the different species (7, 8).
The leaves, bark and other parts of the mulberry tree have also been used in Chinese herbal medicine.
Fresh mulberries contain 88% water and only 60 calories per cup (140 grams).
By fresh weight, they contain 9.8% carbs, 1.7% fiber, 1.4% protein and 0.4% fat.
Mulberries are often consumed dried, similar to raisins.
When dried, they contain 70% carbs, 14% fiber, 12% protein and 3% fat, which makes them fairly high in protein, at least compared to most berries.
Health Benefits of Mulberries
Mulberries or mulberry extracts may be beneficial against several chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer (35).
Cholesterol is an important fatty molecule that is present in every cell in the body. However, elevated cholesterol in the blood is also linked to increased risk of heart disease.
Animal studies show that mulberries and mulberry extracts can reduce excess fat and lower cholesterol levels. They may also improve the ratio between LDL („bad") and HDL („good") cholesterol (21, 36).
Some test-tube experiments also show that they reduce the formation of fat in the liver, potentially helping to prevent fatty liver disease (37, 38, 39, 40).
Improve Blood Sugar Control
Diabetics are sensitive to rapid changes in blood sugar, and need to be careful when they eat carbs.
Mulberries contain a compound called DNJ (1-deoxynojirimycin), which inhibits an enzyme in the gut that breaks down carbohydrates.
DNJ is therefore considered to be beneficial against diabetes, by slowing down the increase in blood sugar after meals (41, 42, 43).
Reduce Cancer Risk
Increased stress in the body has been shown to induce oxidative damage in cells and tissues, and is associated with increased risk of cancer (44, 45).
For hundreds of years, mulberries have been part of traditional Chinese medicine as a remedy against cancer.
Some researchers now believe that these reputed cancer-preventive effects may actually have a scientific basis (46).
Animal studies indicate that antioxidants in mulberry juice can decrease oxidative stress, potentially reducing the risk of cancer (10, 47).
Mulberries may lower cholesterol levels, help prevent fatty liver disease and improve blood sugar control. They also decrease oxidative stress, which may lead to reduced risk of several cancers.
Adverse Effects and Individual Concerns
Allergy to mulberries is rare, but pollen from mulberry trees has been reported to cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
Individuals who are sensitive to birch pollen may also react to mulberries, as a result of cross-reactivity (48).
Mulberry allergy is rare, but individuals sensitive to birch pollen may experience allergic reactions to mulberries.
Mulberries are colorful berries that are consumed both fresh and dried.
They are a good source of iron, vitamin C and several plant compounds, and have been linked with lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar levels, and reduced risk of cancer.
These berries have also been used in Chinese herbal medicine for thousands of years to treat various illnesses.
Mulberries have a sweet and delicious taste, are packed with nutrients, and have a range of potential health benefits. These are all characteristics of a food that would fit well into a healthy diet.