Mulberry cultivation: cultivation methods, crop care and common varieties
Mulberry (mulberry tree, here, mulberry, tyutina) is a culture famous for its famous Chinese silk, made in ancient times from its fibers, as well as delicious fruits that are widely used in cooking. For many years, the apparent complexity of growing and caring limited the distribution of mulberry gardeners.
The history of growing crops
The mulberry tree originally grew in China, India and Japan, but was only cultivated in China. Culture was valued for its fibers, from which the famous Chinese silk was subsequently created.
According to legend, a certain Xi Lungchi, the Chinese empress, was the first to make out silk fibers that entangled silkworm caterpillars. Having unwound them, the royal lady made an outfit for herself.
Homeland of Mulberry - Broad-leaved Forest of China
In Russia, the first mulberry plantation appeared under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, the father of Peter I. The son continued the initiative: Peter I forbade the cutting of the mulberry tree and purposefully created mulberry plantations. Currently, the mulberry tree is also grown for the silk industry, but in summer cottages it is planted for delicious healing berries.
Mulberry - not only tasty, but also healthy berry
Male and female mulberries
Mulberry is a culture whose representatives can be both monoecious and dioecious. Dioecious species are represented by male and female plants, and to obtain a crop, both specimens must be present on the site.
Female mulberry inflorescences are dense "catkins"
How to distinguish a male plant from a female:
- Fruiting. This method of determination implies a long expectation of fruiting (4–5 years), which is one of its minuses. Fruits are tied only on females. Of course, the method is unreliable, because pollen can be lacking for a female plant to set fruit.
- The structure of inflorescences. The method is much more reliable, but requires minimal botanical knowledge or observation. Female inflorescences are spike-like “catkins”, where in each flower there is a two-leaf pestle and perianth of four leaves. Male inflorescences are slightly drooping and more loose.
The inflorescences of the male copy of the mulberry are loose, slightly drooping.
On bisexual plants, one can notice both male and female inflorescences.
In order to speed up the process of recognizing mulberry “sex”, it is recommended to purchase three-year-old seedlings that already had the first offspring.
Mulberry content with other plants
The mulberry tree “tolerates” the neighborhood only with relatives. Thus, only other species or varieties can be planted next to mulberry in order to prevent inhibition of other plants.
Some gardeners claim that mulberry is incompatible with walnuts and Manchurian nuts, but gets along well with grapes.
Types and varieties of mulberry
The most famous types of mulberry are black, white and red.
The tree originally grew in Iran and Afghanistan. The height of the plant reaches 15 m, the crown is sprawling. The leaves are broad-ovoid, asymmetrical, up to 20 cm long, up to 15 cm wide. The upper side of the leaf is rough, on the bottom there is a slight felt pubescence. Fruits are black, sweet-sour, glossy, up to 3 cm in length. This species is drought-resistant, but is highly heat-loving, unlike white or red mulberry.
The berries of the black mulberry are large, painted in dark color.
Black Mulberry Varieties
The following are considered the most popular black mulberry varieties:
- Remontant - a dwarf form of mulberry, which can be grown in containers;
- Shelley No. 150 - large-fruited mulberry, fruits 5.5 cm long. Leaves can reach 50 cm in length and are used in floristry;
- Royal is a medium-sized variety whose fruits reach 3 cm. It tolerates molding well. It is highly resistant to pests and diseases;
- The Black Prince is a large-fruited form, berries from 4-5 cm in length. The variety is notable for its high frost resistance;
- Black pearl - a self-fertile, large-fruited variety (berries up to 5.5 cm). The first fruits ripen in June, but are poorly preserved on the branches, quickly falling;
- Fruit-4 - compact (up to 5 m) large-fruited variety. Differs in long fruiting;
- Hope - the variety is notable for its rapid fruiting (for the 2nd year of cultivation), as well as abundant productivity.
The tree comes from China, from 13 to 18 m high, with a dense spherical crown. The bark on the young shoots is gray-green or red-brown. The leaves are diverse in both shape and size. The fruits of white mulberry are considered the sweetest. The color of the fruit may be yellowish-cream, pinkish, black. The name of the species was due to the light bark. White mulberry is resistant to adverse conditions (for example, grows well in the city), frost resistance, as well as low maintenance.
The species got its name for light bark, and the fruits of white mulberry can be painted in yellowish, delicate pink or almost black.
Varieties of white mulberry
White mulberry is represented by the largest assortment, since it was imported from Asia before red and black mulberries. Decorative varieties of white mulberry:
- Weeping - undersized form (up to 5 m), the crown consists of thin drooping branches;
- Pyramidal - characterized by a narrow pyramidal crown up to 8 m high and lobed leaves;
- Spherical - a low standard form, the crown of which is spherical in shape, dense;
- Spoon-shaped - the form develops in the form of a multi-stemmed tree up to 5 m high, the fruits of which ripen early. Received the name for folded leaves bent along the midrib;
- Large-leaved - mulberry leaves together with the petiole reach 22 cm in length;
- Dissected leafy - undersized form, the leaves of which are divided into lobes, some slightly concave;
- Golden - young leaves and shoots have a characteristic golden tint;
- Tatar - a slow-growing undersized mulberry with increased winter hardiness and multi-lobed small leaves.
Fruit varieties of white mulberry:
- White honey - tall tree, white fruits, up to 3 cm long;
- Dark-skinned girl - the variety is characterized by high frost resistance, as well as an abundant harvest, black fruits 3.5 cm long;
- White tenderness - a high-yielding variety, fruit crops have a light color, fruit length 5 cm;
- Luganochka - a variety characterized by high productivity, cream-colored fruits up to 5.5 cm long;
- Black Baroness is an early ripe variety with sweet fruits, the length of which reaches 3.5 cm. It is highly resistant to low freezing temperatures;
- Staromoskovskaya - mulberry with a spherical shape of the crown and almost black berries;
- Ukrainskaya-6 is an early ripe high-yielding variety whose fruits are black in color from 4 and more cm long.
The plant was imported from North America. The species is characterized by high drought resistance, cold resistance and low requirements for growing conditions. The height of red mulberry reaches 10–20 m, the crown is spherical in shape, the bark has a brownish tint. Leaves up to 12 cm long, egg-shaped with a pointed apex, slightly rough to the touch. The underside of the sheet is covered with light felt pubescence. The fruits are dark red (almost black), very juicy, up to 3 cm, taste sweet and sour, outwardly resemble blackberries.
It is extremely rare that red mulberry is represented by monoecious specimens that do not require a pair of the opposite sex to bear fruit.
The fruits of red mulberry are painted in maroon, almost black.
Varieties of red mulberry
Popular varieties of red mulberry are:
- Vladimirskaya is a self-fertile variety that can be grown in the form of a bush due to the active formation of lateral shoots in the lower part of the stem. When the central conductor is cut, it grows in the form of a weeping form;
- Felt - a decorative form whose leaves on the underside are covered with strong felt pubescence.
Like any other fruit crop, the mulberry tree can be planted in the spring (in April) before the plant leaves its dormant state or in the fall (in September - October) before the frost begins.
Requirements for the place of planting mulberries:
- Well lit place.
- Wind protection.
- Moderately moist soil with a neutral reaction.
- The depth of groundwater is at least 1.5 m.
A planting pit for a young tree is being prepared at least 2 weeks before the expected planting date. Average dimensions: 0.5x0.5x0.5 m. If spring planting is expected, it is recommended to prepare planting pits in the fall, filling them with a fertile mixture.
If necessary, fertilize the soil (a mixture of 5-7 kg of rotted manure and 100 g of superphosphate per seedling), the size of the planting pit is increased . Fertilizers at the bottom of the pit are covered with a layer of soil to protect the roots from damage. In heavy soils prone to waterlogging, it is recommended to pour drainage from broken bricks or gravel at the bottom of the pit.
When planting, in order to increase the frost resistance of the mulberry, it is recommended to slightly deepen the root neck into the ground
Before planting, a support is dug into the pit so that the plant can be tied up. After 2 weeks, the seedling is placed in a pit, carefully distributing the roots over the entire area of the seat. Gradually falling asleep, the young plant is easily shaken so that voids do not form in the soil. After the entire pit is filled up and compacted, a pair of buckets of water is poured into the trunk circle and the soil is mulched to prevent it from drying out.
On the issue of mulberry transplantation, gardeners disagree: someone says that the plant does not tolerate transplants, while others, on the contrary, argue that the culture is extremely unpretentious. Transplant timing is also controversial.
In any case, it is advisable to transplant as young trees as possible. A tree is dug up with a lump of earth, trying to save most of the large roots. Transplantation to a new place is carried out both in the spring before the start of sap flow, and in the fall 2-3 weeks before frosts, so that the tree has time to take root.
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Mulberry propagation methods
A mulberry tree propagates both by seeds and vegetatively, that is, lignified or green cuttings, root offspring, grafting, layering.
Seed propagation method
In the second half of October, the berries of the current year's crop are peeled of pulp. Soak in a solution of a growth stimulant (for example, Zircon) for 1-2 hours.
Small mulberry seeds must be thoroughly peeled
With the proposed spring planting, the seeds must be stratified for 1-2 months - for this, the seeds are placed in the freezer. If, for some reason, stratification has not been carried out, the seeds must be kept in ice water for 24 hours before sowing, and after the same amount in water at a temperature of 50ºC.
- The beds prepared in a sunny place are shed with a fertilizer solution for fruit and berry crops.
- Seeds are sown to a depth of 3-5 cm.
- The garden is watered and covered with a layer of mulch. During autumn planting, the mulch layer is increased to prevent freezing of seeds.
- All care for mulberry seedlings consists of timely watering and top dressing, weeding the ridges from weeds.
- By the fall, when the seedlings are sufficiently strong, they are seated at a distance of 3-5 m or in their permanent places.
In the 5–6th year, seedlings enter the fruiting period.
Plants grown from seeds most often do not inherit all the attributes of the mother liquor
One of the minuses of seed propagation is that the seedlings may not completely or completely not inherit the characteristics of the mother plant, which is why such specimens are most often used as a stock.
Vegetative propagation methods
Reproduction by parts of the plant has a higher efficiency and allows you to save all signs of the initial one in the daughter plant.
Propagation by cuttings
Propagation by cuttings is a time-consuming process. For him, it is necessary to create a comfortable environment in greenhouses: the installation of fogging plants. In addition, in this way only root specimens of mulberry can be propagated. Mulberry grown from cuttings fully inherits the characteristics of the mother plant.
- Green cuttings. In the period of intensive growth (June-July), cuttings of 15–20 cm long with 2–3 buds are cut. It is recommended to leave 2-3 leaves on the handle, cutting them half. In a greenhouse with high humidity, cuttings are planted in fertile soil at an angle of 45 °, deepening by 3 cm. Planting in open ground is carried out next spring, when the seedlings acquire a branched root system and get stronger.
- Lignified cuttings are cut in the same period as green ones. The order of their cultivation and planting is also preserved. The main difference from green cuttings is a longer rooting process.
Propagation by offspring
Many plants have the ability to form root shoots if the main trunk is damaged - this process allows the plant to avoid death. A strong root offspring of mulberry will allow you to grow a new copy in return for the deceased. Excess root siblings can be cut and removed or, dug out together with the root system and shortened by 1/3, planted as seedlings. Mulberry trees propagated in this way inherit the signs of the mother liquor.
In general, mulberry can be inoculated with all available methods, but copulation is considered the simplest and most successful - vaccination on a cut with a cuttings. The copying procedure itself is of two types:
- Simple replication. The stock and scion of the same thickness are fused: on the stock and scion graft, they make oblique sections between two buds equal to 4 diameters of the stock / scion. After that, the slices are combined, and the place of splicing is tied with some elastic material (for example, a bud band).
- Improved replication. On the slices of the stock and scion, reeds are cut: retreating 1/3 from the edge of the cut and making a cut to the middle of the cut on the stock and up. Then these tongues are combined and also tightly tied with a ribbon.
Improved copulation requires the gardener to have some tree grafting skills
The key to a strong plant and a plentiful harvest is not only the correct planting or vaccination technique, but also proper care.
Watering and feeding
Mulberry needs to be watered from early spring to July, in especially dry weather, after which the watering ends. In a rainy spring, the mulberry tree is not watered, because the culture does not tolerate waterlogging of the soil. In the spring, the plant is fed mainly with nitrogen fertilizers, and in summer - potash and phosphate.
Mulberry, like any other plant, is trimmed only during the dormant period: full or partial. The least painful pruning is in April-early May, until the buds have opened and active sap flow has begun. During this period, anti-aging and shaping trimmings are performed. Sanitary pruning is carried out in the fall, after the end of the growing season, when the air temperature has dropped no lower than -10ºC. Then remove all damaged or diseased branches that need to be burned.
Each type of mulberry has its own characteristics, so you need to approach the pruning individually. So, in decorative mulberry, it is necessary to constantly maintain a given shape, and in a weeping variety, regularly thin out the crown and shorten the shoots.
Video: mulberry pruning
Pests and Mulberry Diseases
Mulberry is quite resistant to various types of diseases and pests, but improper care, pruning, harsh winters can weaken the plant, making it vulnerable.
In order to protect mulberry in the next season from insects and diseases, it is recommended to carry out preventive treatment with fungicides and insecticides of the plant and the soil under it. The procedure is carried out before budding in the spring (in April) and after the end of the growing season (in October). A 3% solution of Bordeaux liquid or Nitrafen is used. In the spring, you can use a 7% solution of urea, which will not only destroy pests that have wintered in the cracks of the bark and fallen leaves, but also act as nitrogen fertilizer needed during this period.
Diseases and Controls
The following diseases are most common:
- powdery mildew is a disease of fungal origin. Externally manifested on leaves and shoots in the form of a whitish coating. The spread of the disease contribute to humid weather and too thickened crown. As a prophylaxis, it is recommended to remove fallen leaves and cut the affected branches in the fall. The diseased plant is treated with a solution of colloidal sulfur, Fundazole or Bordeaux fluid;
- brown leaf spot (cylindrosporiosis) is a fungal disease that appears on the leaves in the form of lilac-red spots with a lighter border, the affected leaves gradually dry out and fall off. When the first signs appear, the plant is treated with Silite in accordance with the instructions, re-treatment is carried out after 2 weeks. In autumn, it is necessary to collect and destroy all affected leaves;
- bacteriosis manifests itself in the form of spots of irregular shape on young leaves and shoots of mulberry, which subsequently blacken, curl and fall off. On deforming shoots, drips of gum appear. For treatment, the drug Fitoflavin is used, which is not always effective. Therefore, it is recommended to carry out preventive treatment of mulberry;
- fungus tinder fungus affects only weakened, damaged plants, destroying their wood. The body of the fungus, together with a piece of wood, is cut out and destroyed, and the remaining wound is treated with a 5% solution of copper sulfate, after which the place is covered with a mixture of clay, lime and mullein (1: 1: 2). As a preventive measure, it is recommended to timely process and gloss over trunk damage.
Photo Gallery: Mulberry Disease
- A sign of powdery mildew is the appearance of a whitish coating on the leaves
- With brown spotting, the leaves first become stained, then fall off
- Bacteriosis affects young shoots and leaves
- Blue fungus infects weakened plants
The following insects are most common:
- white American butterfly - greenish brown caterpillars with black spots and yellow stripes along the body do the most harm. Insects quickly eat up foliage, and also form spider nests that need to be cut and burned. It is recommended that the crown be treated with Chlorophos, and hunting belts should be installed on the trunk;
- mulberry moth - pest caterpillars populate the crown during the period of kidney swelling, subsequently feed on leaves. In spring, it is required to treat plants with Chlorophos as a prophylaxis;
- spider mite - a small insect, the main sign of settlement of which is the thinnest web, entangling shoots. The tick feeds on the cellular juice of leaves, which gradually dry out, darken and fall off. Acaricidal drugs (for example, Kleschevit, Aktellik) are used as a pest control measure;
- Comstock Worm - a sucking insect that feeds on the juice of young shoots and leaves, which subsequently deform, dry and die. Mulberry treatment with pesticides helps to get rid of the pest.
Photo Gallery: Mulberry Pests
- Caterpillars of a white American butterfly quickly eat mulberry leaves
- Moth caterpillars feed on leaves
- Thin cobwebs on the plant - a sign of the appearance of a spider mite
- Vital activity of the comstock worm leads to deformation and falling of leaves
Features of growing mulberries in the regions
Mulberry can be grown everywhere, but in cold regions you should pay special attention to it, especially when preparing for winter.
- In outskirts of Moscow. В Московской области культура прижилась за счёт своей морозостойкости — шелковица выдерживает понижение температуры до -30ºC. Однако в бесснежную зиму тутовник может погибнуть уже при температуре -7ºС. Из-за недостаточной продолжительности светового дня у шелковицы в Подмосковье наблюдается два периода вегетации: весна и осень. Здесь одним из инструментов выживания у растения является способность к образованию пробковой ткани между вызревшей и невызревшей частью побега. Поэтому осенью, кроме листопада, у подмосковного тута можно заметить сброс побегов.
- В Сибири. Садоводы-опытники В. Шаламова и Г. Казанина утверждают в своих трудах, что вырастить шелковицу в суровых условиях Сибири возможно. Однако повышение морозостойкости у южной культуры — долгий и трудоёмкий процесс.
- На Украине. Здесь часто можно встретить, помимо шелковиц белой и чёрной, шелковицу красную, атласную и многостебельчатую. Посадка шелковицы на Украине производится как в весенний период, так и в осенний — культура показывает отличную приживаемость в местных условиях.
- В Беларуси. Шелковица активно растёт в условиях Беларуси: как на юге Брестской области, так и в более северных районах.
У меня шелковица растёт по соседству со многими культурами. В связи с отсутствием больших площадей, я редко задумываюсь о выборе «соседей» для моих культур. Пока не замечал какой-либо несовместимости. Так, много пишут о том, что рядом с маньчжурским орехом ничего не растёт, но под ним растёт много разных культур.Геннадий Казанин
Mulberry in the Istra district of Moscow. обл., привезённая (без сорта) с Украины, зимует без укрытия в течении 7 лет. Trees taller than 3 m are trying to grow in bush form, annual freezing of last year’s August growths is observed (in autumn, it tries to go into the secondary growth of shoots). Fruits for 4 years annually, but selective branches - the lower tier. The color of the berries is black, the fruits are extremely small, in my opinion (I have not seen such a trifle in Ukraine after living there for more than 10 years). Урожай маленький, с одного дерева 2 л ягод. The taste is slightly inferior to the southern one - it is more watery-freshish, while the taste of the south is palpable.Lena
I also have white bush mulberry, I took it 4 years ago from Funtikov. Высотой сейчас примерно 1, 7 метра. This year only the tips of branches, 12-15 centimeters, froze. Below are living kidneys, and tiny ovaries are already visible on them. Last year I tried the first berries. The color is white, sugary, small.Valery Gor
Тутовое дерево, бывшее экзотом, набирает популярность, в частных садах культура выращивается как плодово-ягодная, без оглядки на её «промышленное прошлое». Садовод, высадивший тутовник, порадует себя и домочадцев вкусными ягодами, а также на долгие годы украсит свой сад — стоит только приложить для этого немного усилий.