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Kansas Forest Service

Kansas Forest Service
2610 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66502

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Red Mulberry

bald  cypressNative Range
Morus rubra, or Red mulberry, is native to North America, including Kansas.

Mature Size 
It grows to 30 to 50 feet in height and width.

Growth Rate
Mulberry has a moderate growth rate.

Leaves, Stems and Fruit
Lobed and egg-shaped shaped leaves often occur on the same tree. They are simple leaves with a pointed tip, and they alternate along the stem, growing up to 7 inches long. The upper leaf surface is rough, like sandpaper, with the lower surface being soft with small hairs. Flowering occurs in the spring with male and female flowers on separate trees. Fruit is a multiple drupe, similar to a blackberry, varying in color from red to a dark purple, ripening from June through August. Fruit is edible. Bark is a dark brown and may be smooth or scaly. Their branches are covered with short hairs.

Wildlife Habitat - With its dense crown and heavy fruit crops, the Red mulberry provides both summer food and year-round cover. It is an excellent wildlife plant used by a variety of birds and mammals.

WindbreaksRed mulberry is an excellent windbreak species throughout Eastern Kansas. It is good for the middle or outer row on multi-row windbreaks. It also is used as a single row field windbreak.

TimberRed mulberry can be harvested for timber production. This wood is often used for fence posts and furniture.

Human FoodThe fruit is used for human consumption.

Adaptation and Soil

Red Mulberry is adaptable to the Eastern half of Kansas and is planted in moist, well-drained soils. Red mulberry is found in floodplains, river valleys, and moist hillsides.

Space seedlings about 10 to 15 feet apart.

One-year-old, bare-root seedlings (12-18 inches tall) are used in conservation plantings. Red mulberry prefers moist soils but can handle temporary drought. Good survival and growth rate can be expected with proper site preparation and weed control.

There are no major insect or disease problems

Soil Information
Average Height in 20 Yrs: 
-Eastern20-22 ft.
-Central20-22 ft.
-Western18-20 ft.
Growth Rate:Medium
Native Species:Native
Windbreak Value:High
Wildlife Value:High
Lumber Products:Yes
Fuelwood Products:Yes
Drought Tolerance:High
Soil Saturation:Medium Tolerance
Salinity Tolerance:Medium Tolerance
pH Range:5-8