Mulberry: photo of berries, cultivation

Mulberry: photo of berries, cultivation


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This article provides a description, photo of berries and a mulberry tree (mulberry) - a unique plant that everyone who has been to the south of our country has encountered. The mulberry tree is distinguished not only by tasty and healthy fruits, it also gives valuable wood, from which furniture, art objects and musical instruments are made. And mulberry is also indispensable for the cultivation of the silkworm - a butterfly, from the cocoons of which natural silk is obtained.

Where does mulberry grow in Russia?

Mulberry is a thermophilic culture. It grows in the south of the European part of Russia, as well as in the Khabarovsk Territory and Primorye. Individual wild-growing mulberry trees are found at the latitude of the Kursk and Voronezh regions; in the more northern regions, only artificially planted mulberries can be found. Such plantings have been preserved since ancient times. In order not to import raw silk from China, in the 16th – 17th centuries, the mulberry tree began to be planted throughout the entire European part of the Russian Empire, since with the advent of silk-spinning factories, the issue of supplying raw materials became especially acute.

Attempts to breed mulberry trees in the central regions were made a large number of times, but the main population of seedlings, as a rule, died, only a few specimens survived, which have survived to this day. Currently, a small population of mulberries, planted for technical purposes, is located in the Moscow region. Some mulberry trees have survived even in the Nizhny Novgorod, Leningrad and Yaroslavl regions, although this is rather an exception to the general rule.

Attempts to artificially settle mulberry trees in the Urals and Siberia have also been made several times, but they all ended in failure. Individual specimens of mulberry can still be found in the park areas of Barnaul, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk and other Siberian cities. All of them are grown from seedlings of mulberry trees growing in the Khabarovsk and Primorsky Territories; in these regions, mulberries are found in the wild quite often.

Below in the photo are berries on a mulberry tree.

Despite the fact that mulberry is a southern tree, gardeners from other regions do not give up trying to grow it on their plots in order to get a berry harvest. Climate warming is partly contributing to this. Severe winters in the European part of Russia happen less and less often, so the number of successful attempts to grow mulberry trees in the middle lane is becoming more and more.

Botanical description of mulberry

Mulberry (mulberry tree, mulberry tree are all one and the same) is a separate genus of plants, uniting 17 species. In free form, it is found in the territories of North America, Eurasia, Africa. The main characteristics of mulberry are shown in the table below.

Parameter

Value

Type of plant

Deciduous tree

Growth rate

Growth rate is high at a young age, slows down with age

Adult tree height

10-15 m, sometimes up to 20 m and more

Crown

Wide, spreading, weeping in some species

Leaves

Heart-shaped with a scalloped edge, lobed, bright green

Flowering period

April May

Fruit

Compound fruits from achenes from overgrown perianths (false drupes), 2-3 cm long, fruit color from white to red and dark purple

Keeping and transportability of fruits

Very low

How does mulberry grow?

Mulberry is distinguished by its rapid growth only in the first years of life. By the age of 5 years, the main skeleton of the tree is formed, after which the rate of its growth slows down significantly, and after 10 years only a one-year annual growth is formed. The mulberry tree is a real long-liver. Under normal conditions, it lives up to 200 years, and in natural conditions of a subtropical climate - from 300 to 500 years.

If you do not take any measures to form the crown, the mulberry tree often grows not as a tree, but as a spreading bush, consisting of a large number of equivalent trunks on a short trunk.

How mulberries bloom

Mulberry blooms in April-May. Its flowers are dioecious, male and female, small in size, collected in spike-shaped inflorescences. Pollination is done by wind and insects. Blooming mulberry is shown in the photo below.

When mulberries begin to bear fruit

Mulberry begins to bear fruit only 5 years after planting a seedling in open ground. It's quite long. To shorten the waiting period, some gardeners plant mulberry seedlings with a cultivar cuttings or buds, taking the grafting material from the fruiting tree. This method makes it possible to get the first harvest in the 3rd, and sometimes in the 2nd year of life. Re-vaccination will also help if all the seedlings are of the same sex.

Important! Since the mulberry is a dioecious plant (monoecious are also found, but much less frequently), at least two opposite-sex (male and female) trees are needed for fruiting.

How mulberries bear fruit

Most mulberry varieties ripen in the second half of July. In place of each of the inflorescences, false drupes appear - small fruits that have grown together. Unripe berries are green, in ripe state the color depends on the variety and can vary from white to red and dark purple, almost black. Ripe mulberries are very easy to separate from the stem.

What does mulberry taste like?

Mulberry flavor is very individual and unlike any other berry or fruit. Unripe mulberry fruits have a pronounced sour taste, which almost disappears after the berries reach full ripeness, especially in white varieties. Ripe mulberry has a sweet taste, black and red varieties have sweet and sour taste. The aroma of mulberry berries is peculiar, memorable, although not very pronounced.

The difference between blackberries and mulberries

Blackberries and mulberries are similar only in appearance. In both cultures, these are elongated drupes, similar in color and size. However, this is where the similarities end. Unlike the mulberry, which is a deciduous tree and belongs to the Mulberry family, the blackberry is a semi-shrub and belongs to the Pink family. The age of the mulberry tree can exceed several hundred years; the shoots of the blackberry can only live for two years. But blackberries, unlike mulberries, have much better keeping quality and transportability.

How to plant mulberries

In the middle lane, planting mulberries in open ground requires subsequent care and is associated with a certain risk. Still, this is a southern plant. Nevertheless, under favorable conditions, the mulberry tree will grow well and bear fruit even in such a by no means subtropical region. Planting and caring for mulberries do not differ in any particular complexity.

Selection and preparation of the landing site

The mulberry tree is afraid of the north wind, so the southern slope of the hill would be an ideal place for planting. Mulberry does not have any special requirements for the composition of the soil, it grows well on black soil and on loam, only highly saline and heavy clay soils are not suitable for it. It is not worth planting mulberry trees in wetlands where melt or rain water accumulates, or in those places where groundwater comes too close to the surface.

Mulberry seedlings are planted in early spring, while the planting pits are prepared in the fall, so that the soil becomes loose and saturated with air. The root system of mulberry seedlings does not differ in significant size, therefore, planting holes are dug small, about 0.5 m deep, 0.7 m in diameter. The excavated soil is preserved. Before planting, a bucket of humus is added to it and the roots of the seedling are covered with such nutritious soil.

Preparation of planting material

When choosing mulberry seedlings, you should first of all pay attention to its origin. A tree brought from the south is unlikely to feel good in changing conditions, for example, in the Moscow region. Therefore, it is better to give preference to zoned varieties. In addition, the seedling should look healthy, have a well-developed root system and show no signs of the beginning of the growing season.

It must be remembered that the mulberry tree is dioecious. To be sure to get a harvest, it is better to choose grafted three-year-old seedlings, since fruits have already appeared on them. Planting younger mulberry trees carries the risk that they will all end up of the same sex and will not bear fruit.

Landing rules

You can start planting mulberries after the soil warms up to + 5 ° C. An earthen mound is poured at the bottom of the planting pit, on the top of which the seedling is placed strictly vertically, spreading the roots along the slopes. Nearby, a peg is driven into the bottom of the pit, which will serve as a support for the future mulberry tree for the first time. After that, the pit is covered with prepared soil, slightly tamping it, otherwise voids may form in the ground and some of the roots may simply hang in the air. The root collar of the mulberry seedling is aligned with the soil level, the trunk is tied to a peg - a support. Then the trunk circle is poured abundantly with water and mulched.

So that the plants do not compete with each other, it is necessary to observe the intervals between neighboring mulberry trees when planting. The mulberry crown is wide and spreading, so there should be a distance of at least 5 m between neighboring mulberry trees, and if the mulberry tree is formed in a bush form, at least 3 m.

How to care for mulberry

Many gardeners in the southern regions of the country consider caring for mulberries to be unnecessary, but in Central Russia it will be rather difficult to grow a healthy fruiting mulberry tree without special measures. And the more complete and high-quality the activities are carried out, the more chances the gardener has to get the desired harvest of mulberry berries.

Watering and feeding

Watering the mulberry is not required, unless only in the driest time. Starting in July, any artificial soil moistening should be stopped. When grown on fertile soil, top dressing, as a rule, is not applied. If the land is rather poor, the mulberry tree needs to be fed. This can be done once a season, in the spring. For this, organic matter is used, for example, manure, scattering it in the root zone. You can also feed mulberry trees in early spring with complex mineral fertilizers, for example, nitrophos or urea.

Trimming and shaping

The further north the region where the mulberry is grown, the lower in height the tree should be formed. Based on this, they do the pruning. In the southern regions, the mulberry tree is not cut off at all; in the more northern regions, a spreading, cap-like crown is formed on a low trunk. In the northern regions, preference is given to bush forms, which, as a rule, are more winter-hardy.

Many gardeners grow mulberries as an ornamental tree. This is especially true for varieties with a weeping crown. Such trees are pruned in accordance with the chosen crown shape, shortening the annual growth and maintaining the required dimensions. In addition, mulberries are cut for sanitary purposes, removing old, dried and broken branches, cutting out diseased and pest-damaged shoots. Such pruning is carried out, as a rule, at least 2 times per season, after winter and at the end of leaf fall.

Protection against diseases and pests

Mulberry is quite often exposed to the invasion of pests, and diseases on it are not uncommon. Of the diseases on the mulberry tree, the following are most common:

  1. Verticillary wilting (wilt). It manifests itself in the rolling of leaves, drying of the shoots and ultimately leads to the complete death of the tree. There are no cures for this fungal disease. As a preventive measure, it is recommended to use disease-resistant varieties, as well as timely apply nitrogen fertilizers that increase plant immunity. A diseased mulberry tree is uprooted and burned, the soil at the site of their growth is treated with a 40% formalin solution. For 10 years after the detection of the disease, no fruit trees should be planted in such a place.
  2. Bacteriosis A disease that affects exclusively mulberry trees. It is found in all regions where mulberry grows. It manifests itself in the appearance of spotting on leaves and young shoots. Then the spots turn brown, the leaves rot through and through. This disease cannot be cured. A diseased mulberry tree is cut off, heavily affected trees are uprooted and burned, while neighboring plantations must be sprayed with a 3% solution of Bordeaux mixture. The same spraying as a preventive measure must be done in early spring.
  3. Cylindrosporeosis. Fungal disease affecting mulberry leaves. It manifests itself in the form of small brown spots, which grow over time. The disease leads to the death of leaves and premature leaf fall. The spread of the disease is facilitated by high humidity, therefore, as a preventive measure, it is necessary to ventilate the crown of the mulberry tree, to prevent it from thickening. In early spring and after leaf fall, it is necessary to treat the plantings with preparations containing sulfur. Spores of the fungus hibernate in fallen leaves, it must be collected and burned.

Of the insect pests, mulberries are most often attacked by the following:

  1. Spider mite. It feeds on the juices of young leaves, on the back of which it lives. With a sufficiently large mite population, the mulberry tree is strongly oppressed, the leaves turn brown, dry up and fall off. The tick is especially dangerous in drought. A protective measure is the collection and destruction of plant residues in which the tick hibernates, whitewashing of boles. In case of severe damage, the mulberry must be treated with Aktofit.
  2. Comstock worm. It is quite rare on the territory of modern Russia, with the exception of certain regions of the Caucasus. The larvae of the worm stick to young leaves, damage the bark of young shoots and mulberry buds. With a large population of the worm, the mulberry tree is strongly oppressed and may die. Pesticides are ineffective against this insect. They fight him with pheromone traps. The biological method based on the use of pseudoficus is also effective. This insect is the natural enemy of the worm. Prevention is the cleaning and whitewashing of boles, especially in those places where the bark of the mulberry tree has moved away from the tree trunk, as well as strict adherence to the rules of agricultural technology.
  3. American white butterfly. Caterpillars of this insect feed on mulberry leaves, entangling them with a thin web. With a sufficiently large population, the entire crown of a tree can be entangled with cobwebs. They fight the pest with the help of approved insecticides (Decis, Karate, etc.). Light traps are installed for butterflies, and trapping belts are put on the mulberry tree. Spider nests, egg-laying sites are cut off and burned.
  4. Khrushchev. The larvae of these insects live in the soil and feed on young roots. Young mulberry seedlings are especially affected by them. They fight against beetles with the help of preventive spraying of mulberries with Bombardir, Confidor, etc. Agrotechnical measures are also widely carried out aimed at reducing the number of both insects and their larvae, for example, sowing alkaloid lupine at the site of future mulberry plantings.

Preparing for winter

The most important thing is to protect mulberry roots from freezing. Therefore, for the winter, the root zone must be covered with a thick layer of mulch. To do this, you can use sawdust, peat, humus. A layer of spruce branches is additionally laid on top and covered with snow.Mulberry seedlings up to 3 years old in the fall must be insulated with spruce branches, additionally wrapped on top with a layer of covering material.

It is better to bent long young shoots of mulberry trees to the ground and cover them, otherwise they are guaranteed to freeze slightly.

Features of growing mulberry in different regions

Mulberry care is highly dependent on the climatic characteristics of the growing region. Literally everything matters: annual rainfall, prevailing winds, maximum and minimum temperatures. The more severe the conditions, the greater the need for care.

Growing and caring for mulberry in the Moscow region

Mulberry planting in the Moscow region is becoming more commonplace. The climate of this region has changed a lot in recent years, and the thermometer in winter rarely drops even to -20 ° C. Despite this, measures to protect the mulberry tree in the winter must be carried out. Mulberry in the Moscow region is most often grown in a low bush. Young shoots are bent to the ground for the winter and covered. The trunk circle must be mulched, and with the onset of winter, cover it with a thick layer of snow.

Planting and caring for mulberries in the Urals

Mulberry planting in the Urals does not differ from other regions, but it is grown in this area in a bush stanza form. Without shelter for the winter, even on a short trunk, mulberry branches are prone to freezing. The stanza method allows for the winter to bend all branches to the ground and cover it with a covering material. Its layer should be thick enough. They remove it only after the complete end of frost, in May.

Growing and caring for mulberry in Siberia

Thanks to the development of new frost-resistant varieties, the cultivation of mulberry is possible in the southern regions of Siberia. It is very important to choose a good place when planting mulberry trees in this region. It should be as sunny as possible and protected from the north wind. The tree is formed by a bush or mulberries are grown on a low trunk. In winter, the ends of the shoots, as a rule, freeze slightly, which leads to increased lateral branching. Therefore, in Siberia, mulberries must be regularly trimmed to prevent thickening of the crown.

Why mulberry does not bear fruit

Mulberries may not bear fruit for several reasons. The most common of them is that the mulberry tree of only one sex grows on the site. The situation can be corrected by planting trees of different sexes or grafting. Harvest may also be absent due to an unsuccessful choice of place, as well as due to spring freezing.

Mulberry varieties for the middle strip

For planting and growing in the middle lane, it is necessary to choose frost-resistant types of mulberry tree. Mulberry varieties recommended for cultivation in central Russia include the following:

  1. White Staromoskovskaya.
  2. The dark woman.
  3. Admiral's.
  4. Royal.
  5. White honey.
  6. Ukrainian-6.
  7. Black Baroness.

Important! Since white mulberries are more resistant to cold weather, it is recommended to choose from this group in the first place.

Reviews about the cultivation and care of mulberry in the Moscow region

More and more gardeners of the Moscow region are sharing their experience in growing mulberries. Here are some of them regarding experience with mulberry trees:

Oleg Andreevich Shumansky, 57 years old, Moscow

I always dreamed of having a mulberry in my dacha, it's like plunging back into my childhood in the south for me. Two years ago I made up my mind and planted four seedlings on the site. They overwintered well under cover, now they are growing confidently. I cut two of them like a shrub, two I will try to grow with a tree.

Alexandra Viktorovna Iosifova, 44 years old, Zhukovsky

Several years ago, I was surprised to learn that one of the old trees standing not far from my house is mulberry. I never thought that she grows up in the suburbs. It caught fire. Last year, I planted two saplings of Admiralskaya mulberry trees near the house. They survived the winter without problems, they grow confidently.

Semyon Andreevich Bergman, 61 years old, Moscow

I have been growing mulberry for over 10 years. I have two varieties growing, White Staromoskovskaya and White Honey. I grow them as a low shrub, bend them to the ground for the winter, cover them with spruce branches and cover them with snow. The harvest, of course, is not very plentiful, but quite regular. In the Moscow region, you can grow mulberries, only you need competent care for it.

Conclusion

Photos of berries and a mulberry tree evoke nostalgia for the south, the sea and holidays for many. However, the situation is gradually changing, and more and more such seemingly purely southern trees begin to appear on the plots of amateur gardeners near Moscow and other central regions. And this is evidence that global warming has more than just a negative effect.


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