Red Mulberry Tree

Morus rubra

Family: Moraceae (mor-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Morus (MOR-russ) (Info)
Species: rubra (ROO-bruh) (Info)
Synonym:Morus rubra var. rubra


Edible Fruits and Nuts


Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Huntington, Arkansas

Morrilton, Arkansas

Galt, California

Van Nuys, California

Grand Junction, Colorado

Bartow, Florida

Gulf Breeze, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Lake City, Florida(2 reports)

Merritt Island, Florida

Opa Locka, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Trenton, Florida

Wauchula, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Camilla, Georgia

Lisle, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois

Atalissa, Iowa

Benton, Kentucky

Clermont, Kentucky

Georgetown, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Nicholasville, Kentucky

Chalmette, Louisiana

Kenner, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Brookeville, Maryland

Halifax, Massachusetts

Lexington, Massachusetts

Owosso, Michigan

Tecumseh, Michigan

Cannon Falls, Minnesota

Leakesville, Mississippi

Aurora, Missouri

Rogersville, Missouri

Stockton, Missouri

Buffalo, New York

Raleigh, North Carolina

Wilsons Mills, North Carolina

Greencastle, Pennsylvania

Collierville, Tennessee

Johnson City, Tennessee

Signal Mountain, Tennessee

Cibolo, Texas

College Station, Texas

Dayton, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Gillett, Texas

Groves, Texas

Lufkin, Texas

Missouri City, Texas

Port Lavaca, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

Chesapeake, Virginia

Haymarket, Virginia

Woodbridge, Virginia

Spokane, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 26, 2021, JennysGarden_TN from Collierville, TN wrote:

I love the sweet fruits! I read that the leaves have many benefits.


On Sep 19, 2017, lightyellow from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL wrote:

My favorite native understory tree of Eastern US. I'm fortunate to have some growing wild where I live in FL so they are adapted to my climate.

Can be difficult to differentiate from the invasive white [Chinese] species but invasive white tends to have smoother leaves, less shade tolerance, and less sweet fruit. Red mulberry also has larger buds and less pinkish stems/branches. Red mulberry fruit can ripen to darken colors often (I have never heard of a red mulberry that doesnt get at least dark red when ripe) but white mulberry can also darken despite its name, depending on cultivar/type.

If you can locate a local female red mulberry tree they are highly worthwhile to propagate. Cuttings are easy to take and female plants produce fruit regardless of pollinati... read more


On May 14, 2017, greenman62 from Kenner, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

grows wild in the deep South
one showed up in my yard, and i kept it as a shade tree.
a couple of years alter, it had tons of fruit.
They were pretty tasteless at first, until i started fertilizing the tree, mulching the base, and i gave it some iron and epsom salts (Magnesium sulfate)
the fruit started tasting much better.
THis can be a VERY good tasting fruit, if the tree has nutrients.
it grows like a weed also.
i have one i cut back every year to give me mulch, and it keeps coming back.
They root VERY easily also.
i have broken branches to use for tomato, and vines to climb.

break a branch, stick it in the ground, in under 2 years you get fruit.


On Oct 30, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

At Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, they have a few specimens; I have seen two; one is still very young in the Northern Illinois Collection and another is not full grown and is shaded by bigger trees in the Outpost Wild Garden. The leaves are 3 - 6" long x 2.5 - 4" wide, of a rough texture on top with veins forming a conspicuous network and should have some soft hairiness below. Most leaves are without lobes, but some are very deeply lobed. (The so called White Mulberry was introduced from China and it has taken over everywhere, and some trees do have white fruit, but most trees bear edible, purple fruit of this introduced species, and it has shiny, smooth leaves where some leaves are lobed, but not deeply so.) The native Red grows in rich, moist soils of pH 6.3 to 8.0 and can tolerate... read more


On Aug 28, 2010, AmyMorie from Green Cove Springs, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Yummy Yummy Yummy. Great little tree; fast growing fill in the landscape. Messy when berries are falling, so plant away from paving and entrances. Makes good syrup, pie, jam, etc


On Apr 30, 2008, CheekyTikiGirl from Van Nuys, CA wrote:

I inherited a huge red mulberry tree when I purchased my home. The shade it provides, in the So. Cal. heat, as well as the lovely chattering of birds every morning, is well worth the purple paw prints my dog leaves in my laundry room and kitchen. Messy, but beautiful.


On Jul 2, 2005, angelam from melbourne,
Australia wrote:

I bought a red mulberry by mistake, intending to buy a black one, of which I have good memories. I have found the tree tough and incredibly vigorous, but a mad tangle of branches.Having tried to thin them into a more regular shape I then read that pruning should be kept to a minimum as it will stimulate another bout of vigorous growth. This is true.
However possums have now discovered the tree and are doing it serious damage. They systematically eat out each bud along branches that will take their weight in Winter, and have taken to stripping the bark off large areas of branches.Iassume there is a protective outer layer that they are eating as, contrary to my expectations, the branches haven't died, although the stripped areas have gone black in colour.
The berries are pleasa... read more


On Oct 9, 2004, winter_unfazed from Rural Webster County, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

The tree is the first around here to change color in fall.


On Sep 18, 2004, lxndrtg from Haymarket, VA wrote:

I bought three and they are doing very well here in Haymarket, VA.


On Jul 11, 2004, trois from Santa Fe, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

When we lived in Houston we had a large Mulberry tree that was a heavy producer. We dug up a couple of it's offspring and brought them with us when we moved to Santa Fe, texas.

The largest tree is now about 20 feet tall and had many thousands of berries. At the first sign of pink, the berries were gone. We never saw a ripe one or one on the ground. The birds and squirrels really love them.


On Jul 7, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

The only native Mulberry and widespread in ther eastern half of the country. Similar to the White Mulberry (which is native to Asia) but the leaves are sandpapery feeling and hairy beneath.

Very attractive to wildlife, the berries are somewhat bland. As stated above, plant away from high traffic areas....these trees can be a mess when the fruit ripens.


On May 21, 2004, chandacat from Roxboro, NC wrote:

My husband & I just moved into a house with an adjoining back lot that used to be a plant nursery. This is our first spring, and we are still trying to keep track of all of the different plants and trees. There is a lovely mulberry tree that is growing out by the back patio, about 8 feet tall, and is just now producing berries.


On Jan 1, 2004, paradis from herndon, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

My sister-in-law had one of these in her yard in the Baltimore, MD for years and her daughter loves the berries. Unfortunately, the tree was destroyed by hurricane Isabel and we're having problems finding a replacement :(


On Dec 2, 2003, Larkie from Camilla, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

We have a tree here on our farm that has been here 40 years or more.. We love to eat them, and so do the birds and my pet goats, so we all enjoy it, LOL..Next to Mayhaw jelly the mulberry comes in a very close second with me..They are ready here in southwest GA in late April, early May..


On Nov 30, 2003, Yardmender from Galt, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Hi, I've had this Mulberry in my yard for about 30 yrs. It's always loaded with fruit. I also have the white fruit variety, but I don't know the name of it. They both produce really sweet berries, and they make great jelly, but I warn anyone who plants them to make sure they're way away from the house! I was too dumb to think of that when I planted them, and believe me I've cleaned lots of purple juice stains out of my carpet!! They get tracked everywhere! LOL The birds also love them, and when the berries are ready, I can see all kinds of very different types of birds! Plant one, and get your binoculars ready! Enjoy! Yardmender