Fruitless Mulberry???

shlacm(7a)June 19, 2010

I grew up in Northern California then moved to Central VA nearly 12 years ago. In CA everyone had Fruitless Mulberry trees (in the same sense that "everyone" has Bradford Pears around here). I just realized that I have never seen a Fruitless Mulberry in VA, though there are a few Mulberries! Yeah, I know, not real observant, lol!!!

So what's the scoop? Do they grow here? Are they "good" tress to have? Pros/cons? And, what is there "real" name?

Thanks!

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Morus alba 'Chaparral' comes to mind. It's planted as a weeping ornamental tree.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 8:20PM
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krycek1984(6a/Cleveland)

I'm not sure. I never even heard of a non-weeping fruitless mulberry!!!!

There are regular mulberries here EVERYWHERE in Ohio. They are crazy...they just sprout up anywhere. I have a big one in my yard, thankgod it seems to be a male, it just makes huge, messy flowers. The birds still like to sit in it and make their poopies on my car, though.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 9:02PM
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shlacm(7a)

Nope, definitely not a small or weeping tree. The biggest difference between them and the "regular" Mulberry trees (that I noticed) were that they were bigger and their leaves were bigger/wider... and my Mom was very allergic to them!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: This?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 9:16PM
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lucky_p

The best reason, in my opinion, to have a mulberry, is for the FRUIT! I had one of a group of supposed 'dwarf' fruiting mulberries that turned out to be, or reverted(yes, they can do that) to 'male' status. Much more vigorous growth than the fruiting selections, and no fruit production - it's no longer here.
My understanding is that pollen production by the males is a major problem for significant numbers of folks who are allergic to it.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 9:40PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Look up Morus alba 'Kingan'.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 12:02AM
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Dan Staley

CA stopped planting fruitless mulberry years ago due to their deep shade, aggressive shallow roots, critters, and overall high maintenance requirements.

If there is a new cultivar that doesn't burden the homeowner with these show-stoppers, great! Zero of the many arborists I know recommend it.

Dan

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 9:08AM
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krycek1984(6a/Cleveland)

The fruit is terrible unless you actually pick them and eat them. There is a giant mulberry tree in my neighbors yard and I can smell them rotting from here. It smells like wine that's been left out in the sun.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 11:54AM
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tophers(Z8 - Portland OR)

I believe that there is also a "Stribling" (or something like that) variety, in addition to the "Klingan" variety. I also remember one (I think "Stribling") being called the "Mapleleaf", but perhaps it was another variety, altogether. I remember two different types where I come from. One had smaller leaves and I remember it had somewhat brittle wood on the brachelets. The larger maple-like leaved varieties did not seem to have brittle wood at all. 70-80 mph winds coming out of the canyon during storms didn't seem to phase the bigger-leaved varieties, while the smaller-leaved varieties had a lot of small branches broken off.

I grew up near Las Cruces, NM and everyone in S. New Mexico and El Paso, TX area has them. My mother still has one in her front yard. They can get big (definitely not weeping...although there is an ornamental weeping variety, as mentioned above). Many people (actually most in my hometown) will pollard them, creating these "lollipops" in their yards. My brother had one that was never topped and was quite large. Great for shade, but the shade is very dense and nothing grows in that shade there.

They were very popular because they are fast-growing and people in that area are looking for instant shade. Not much grows well in that area, so all you really ever see are Fruitless Mulberry, Navajo Globe Willow and Siberian Elms down there.

About 10 years ago, I saw one for sale at a nursery in Portland, but haven't seen them since. As Lucky P said above, many people have allergic reactions to the pollen, so many places (I think El Paso is one of them) have banned their sale in their cities.

I don't know whether I would really want to plant a Fruitless Mulberry now, but I must admit that I get very nostalgic when I see the Fruitless Mulberries, Siberian Elms and Globe Willows I grew up around.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 12:58PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Multiple fruitless mulberries have been introduced over the years, just the one L.E. Cooke Co. wholesale nursery in Visalia lists three cultivars. But the variety asked about is probably 'Kingan'.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 1:50PM
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Dan Staley

Last year I was in CA and made a visit to a good friend whose fruitless mulberry I maintain about every three years. He is fortunate I do it for him for free, instead of the certified arborist who would charge likely 350.00 minimum. Every three years.

Dan

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 2:27PM
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