Mulberry trees

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
As I was telling my best friend about my cute little silkworms, she gave me a young mulberry tree. It’s going to be a long time before it grows enough to provide any substantial amount of leaves. I’m thinking of putting it in one of my cham’s enclosures as it has to be safe...silkworms eat mulberry and chams eat silkworms. Searching the forum I only find mention of using branches from mulberry trees and nothing about putting a small mulberry tree in enclosures or even as being on the safe plant list. I did find mention that the sap is similar to latex. Is that why they aren’t on the safe list? The sap of ficus benjamina is irritating if memory serves but we use/recommend those. Anyone know more about this?
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have a small sapling in my greenhouse. It's about chest high, and it will be a long time before I can harvest any leaves from it. It has maybe 5 leaves on it currently! It's fairly fragile and easily bent. I wouldn't put one in my cham cage for fear of them breaking it, but it will also likely slow its growth since its a full sun plant. It may do OK indoors for winter... just wouldn't expect much growth.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I've had one for several years potted. My white mulberry regularly needs pruned in the summer and grows very easy in full sun or even sunny rooms inside. I have it at about 7ft ATM. They are fragile when young and then become beasts(invasive in areas). Mulberry leaves are edible, the sap can be irritating, but nothing to freak out about. I dry them and put them in smoothies sometimes even. In a well lit cage, an established one would probably do well, they grow kind of wiry though. Mine does love full summer sun, but doesn't seem absolutely necessary either. It also likes a cold winter dormancy, I'm sure this can be adjusted? But mine just goes in the garage next to a window and drops leaves. Sometimes it will sprout new leaves early if temps are mild and enough sun gets in.
 

Ramrod

Avid Member
I have a small sapling in my greenhouse. It's about chest high, and it will be a long time before I can harvest any leaves from it. It has maybe 5 leaves on it currently! It's fairly fragile and easily bent. I wouldn't put one in my cham cage for fear of them breaking it, but it will also likely slow its growth since its a full sun plant. It may do OK indoors for winter... just wouldn't expect much growth.
How long does it take for a sapling to grow large enough to be able to harvest leaves? At what point can they be planted in ground?
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
How long does it take for a sapling to grow large enough to be able to harvest leaves? At what point can they be planted in ground?
Not sure, really. If you are in the proper zone its probably safe to transplant at any age (I think spring and fall are preferred to minimize shock?). I dont plan to harvest anything on mine until there’s significant growth, as there is no way the tree will be able to keep up with the number of silkworms I hatch. When Im confident it can, Ill start harvesting. Pinching off leaves can help encourage more growth, but Im sure there is a balance needed.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Why aren't you all growing weeping mulberries? They don't grow too tall that you can't reach them. If you trim them back to almost nothing in the fall they will grow even thicker. They don't have the messy berries on them. You could put a screen cage around it and leave the silk worms on it all the time in the summer. Downside here in Ontario...leaves die and fall off in the fall...
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/fruitless-mulberry/weeping-mulberry-tree-care.htm
They have berries according that article. And that's what I keep morus alba. My understanding is there are different varieties though.

Mine loses leaves in winter too, but they grow back in a couple months if conditions are right. I'm thinking of planting mine in the ground here in PA. Ive heard some mulberry trees don't tolerate the winter while others obviously do.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Dudddddddeeee. I went on a backpacking trip in NM and the whole time I thought the guys (who had been before) were messing with me (the newbie). They kept stopping and seemingly kissing pine trees, and trying to get me to do it too. Then they said they’re smelling them.... females smell like vanilla and males smell like butterscotch. YEA RIGHT!!!

They really did! Who knew their were male and female trees. I know some fruiting trees do best with cross pollinators .... nature is pretty fascinating!

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salty dog

Chameleon Enthusiast
In my region mulberry trees male and female are all over the place. Huge trees!! 6' diameter truncks. It is in the 30s tonight, very cold, the trees shed all their leaves in late October, in late February they will grow back
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
You can look at the flowers to tell if the tree is male or female usually...male reproductive parts are the pollen-laden stamen; the female parts their egg-holding pistils.

There's a maple tree that can change its sex ...sort of. If you cut the branches off and grow the parts you've cut off a male tree they will become female on the branch or male and female on some branches...so the damage is making them do it.
 

salty dog

Chameleon Enthusiast
I beleive trees communicate, I often beleive the vegetation & animals on this planet is the most important resource on it, I'm also registered native american...
 
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