Ezine Blog

The mulberry tree

mulberry tree

There is hardly a more exciting wild wood than the mulberry tree.

Mulberry trees can grow up to 10 meters and are up to 200 years old

The history:

Mulberry is Latin for more. The first mulberry trees came around 400 BC. From the Middle East.
The mulberry tree From Greece they moved into the gardens of Italy and Germany.

Charlemagne already advised his subjects to plant mulberry trees. They should improve the meager menu of the time. The trees bear fruit very reliably – that also made them very valuable.
The fruits of the mulberry tree , the mulberries, have a very intense taste. They are blue-black, red, or white. Their juice is very fragrant. They can be processed into juices and jellies – even into mulberry wine .

There are mainly three species native to Europe .

The white mulberry, the black mulberry and the red mulberry . The white and the red come from Asia, the black from America.
The wood is very versatile

Mulberry trees grow to be ten meters high; they are also available as shrubs. They lose their leaves in autumn. The bark is gray-brown. The shape of the leaves is heart-shaped and varies greatly.

The wood of the white mulberry is hard and can be polished well.

This species is also hardier than the black one. The fruits of the black mulberry have a very intense color that leaves stains that are difficult to remove.

The mulberry loves warmth. It was originally widespread in areas where wine was also grown. The trees have interesting crown shapes; therefore they used to be planted in public places.

Specimens have been found that are over 200 years old. Musical instruments are made from the wood. In Asia, the bark and fibers of the wood are made into paper.

Mulberries and silk. The mulberry tree has become known primarily as the fodder tree for the caterpillars of the silk moth in China. The leaves serve as food for the silkworm caterpillars. From 1750, many mulberry trees were also planted in Europe.

The Europeans wanted to make themselves independent of the silk imports from China. Silk imports from Southeast Asia displaced European silk farming around 1900. This also drove the mulberry trees back from the avenues where they were often to be found.

How do I care for and plant a mulberry tree?

Originally a tropical plant from Southeast Asia, the mulberry tree can be found in 12 species and is still mainly found in warm and tropical regions today. But it can now also be found in Europe. In this country mainly as a red, white and black mulberry tree.

Thanks to the red, white or black berries, the assignment of such a tree is quite easy. The berries are sweet and have an intense taste; they can be picked in summer. Another characteristic are the pussy willow leaves that are green to yellow in color.

A short profile:

The three types of mulberry tree already mentioned are extremely robust and easy to care for.
A mulberry tree can be kept at 5 to 8 meters by pruning it, and if you let it grow it can reach up to 19 meters.

When it comes to the cold, everyone can probably endure an average German winter. The white mulberry can even withstand minus 20 degrees without damage.

The berries themselves are extremely tasty and some compare their taste to domestic blackberries.

With a gnarled growth, the red mulberry tree is very noticeable and a real eye-catcher when standing alone.

How does the mulberry tree thrive best?

The three resident varieties can be kept both outdoors and in pots. Temperatures that are too low should be avoided in the pot, as heat cannot be stored as well here. 4-6 ° C is, however, sufficiently warm. In terms of light, you should choose a sunny to partially shaded place. The soil can be slightly calcareous, but it should definitely be permeable and nutritious. Due to the gnarled growth and the particularly large crown, a mulberry should be planted individually.

Since the tree needs a lot of water for the fruits, especially in summer, it should be watered once or twice a week. The saucer can be kept a little wet in the pot. The mulberry tree should not be watered in winter.

Due to the rapid growth and production of berries, one should fertilize a mulberry tree well. In spring you should ensure a sufficient supply of nutrients with compost or organic slow-release fertilizer. Depending on the soil and requirements, a second fertilization can be carried out in June. As a potted plant, you should definitely be fertilized weekly from the beginning of March to the end of September; complete fertilizer in solid or liquid form is best for this.

It is not necessary to cut the mulberry tree, but the typical growth shape can be achieved by cutting back the branches and twigs. Since the mulberry tree not only bears fruit on the young but also on the old wood, you can hardly go wrong when it comes to cutting. If it is kept as a potted plant, it should be repotted regularly and roots should be shortened.

The growth habit can be influenced not only by cutting, but also by wire. For this purpose, the new shoots are wrapped with softly coated wire in spring to determine the direction of growth. Older branches can be influenced with tension wire. However, any wiring must be removed after six months, otherwise it will damage the bark.

If you keep them properly, you hardly have to worry about pests. However, if the winter temperature is too high, it can lead to an infestation with scale insects. The potted mulberry can suffer from spider mites in the long dry season in summer.

The mulberries are edible around two months after the flowering period in June. The tree bears fruit every year after the first bloom. Although the mulberries can be processed well into other delicacies such as jam, juice or dried fruits, they taste best fresh.

Dried mulberries: great taste and healthy ingredients

For health-conscious people and all those who value fitness and alternative healing options, the mulberry has long been no secret as a universal fruit. Those who prefer the dried mulberries instead of the fresh fruit can benefit from numerous effects.

Exercise Generating Healthy Ingredients

Those who buy dried mulberries can fall back on fruits that offer many healthy ingredients and are an ideal snack in between.

Basically, mulberries consist of a quarter of protein, making them an important source of vegetable protein in the body. Apart from that, they have a large amount of sodium and potassium, which are mainly responsible for regulating the fluid balance in the body.

Dried mulberries are also high in iron. In the body, this is responsible for the transport of oxygen in the blood and thus for a functioning metabolism. Due to the color, it is obvious that the dried mulberry can score with a lot of this important nutrient.

It also contains a number of fatty acids, with threonine, histitine and lysine, but also leucine, being particularly important for the body. They stimulate digestion and support the natural metabolism in the body.

Vitamins and amino acids make the dried mulberry special

A large number of vitamins such as A, B1, B 2 and B6 can be found in the dried mulberry. Vitamin C and especially vitamin E are also contained in large doses, which makes it clear that a healthy diet with this delicious fruit is not only good for the body and prevents viruses in times of cold, but also important sensory organs such as eyes and nerves promotes and supports. This enables the body to withstand daily stress more efficiently and with more endurance.

Dried mulberries also contain numerous trace elements. In the body, these are mainly used to prevent or inhibit inflammation and to regulate bowel movements. The dried fruit contains mainly zinc, boron, manganese and phosphorus, but also copper and fluorine.

Copper is particularly important to actually make the iron content of the mulberry ready for the body to absorb. In addition to these health-promoting elements, the fruit also contains 17 different amino acids. Aspartic and glutamic acids are particularly important. Since these are crucial for building bones and muscles, among other things, dried mulberries are also very popular in sports nutrition.

The effects of the dried mulberry are varied

Dried mulberries contain, among other things, the secondary plant substance deoxynojirmycin, which is mainly used against type 2 diabetes, i.e. adult diabetes, and has a helpful effect here.

In addition, an enzyme found in the small intestine that breaks down the polysaccharide can be blocked. This means that the sugar does not get into the blood, but is excreted. This also prevents glucose molecules from combining with red blood cells, which ultimately reduces the blood sugar balance significantly.

Islet cells in the pancreas are repaired, which means that insulin production works again and diabetes
is restricted.

Cholesterol and antihypertensive effects

Dried mulberries as part of a healthy diet also have the property of increasing HDL cholesterol and lowering LDL cholesterol. In this way, the cholesterol level in the human body is sustainably lowered, which makes it easy to restore the quality of life of those affected.

Apart from that, the dried fruits can also lower blood pressure and support the effect that more water is excreted through the kidneys. Excess water in the cells is easily and effectively removed and fed into the normal circulation.

For women, the property of dried mulberries may be important, as it means that it binds the bacteria responsible for bladder and urinary tract diseases. Overall, they can be eliminated more quickly.

The expectorant effect of dried mulberries has long been known and is an important component, especially in Chinese medicine. So if you experience the typical symptoms of a cold, such as hoarseness, fever and cough, you would do well to simply chew a few dried mulberries slowly or brew a tasty and healing tea from them.

Dried mulberries can be consumed in different ways

Dried mulberries, which originally had a dark color but become light or even white when dried, are an ideal snack for in between or as an addition to muesli for breakfast. They are slightly crispy and taste almost like honey.

Since they are processed in a similar way to raisins and also taste similar, they are perfect for mixing with other dried fruits or nuts. But you can also just add them to the tea, where they act like a sweetener.

The processing of dried mulberries as a cake topping is a little more complex, but they are also ideal for this. If you like to consume jams or fruit spreads, you can make this option from the fruits.

Pay attention to quality when buying

If you want to buy the delicious and healthy food supplement, you will find a good range in organic shops and health food stores. There are also some manufacturers who offer dried mulberries in pharmacies or online shops. In any case, it is important to ensure good quality, ideally organic.

Morus rubra – The red mulberry tree

Because of their country of origin, the red mulberries are also called “American mulberries”. They are precisely located in Canada and the north of the USA. That is precisely why low temperatures are not a problem for the red mulberry tree. These trees have a frost resistance of up to -20 degrees and are therefore perfect garden plants. They are also called “the red mulberry” because your blackberry-like fruits turn red when they are ripe. When fully ripe, they are dark red to almost black and can hardly be distinguished from the black mulberry. The taste is also completely the same.

However, the two trees are very different in appearance. The crowns of the red mulberry trees become taller and wider and the rough leaves are much larger than those of the black mulberry tree. However, the two are similar again when it comes to the flowers. In May and June the trees shine with their pussy willow-shaped, yellow flowers. From July the harvest of the fruits begins, which can last for many weeks.

Care instructions:

The location in summer should be fully sunny to semi-shady. These trees like to be warm. Wind does not bother them and they can also tolerate salty air. The mulberry tree thrives best in combination with other fruit trees, but enough space should be ensured when planting. The shape of the crown
must be able to develop completely, otherwise there will be losses during the harvest.

The location in winter: As a potted plant, its place should be as bright as possible or with little light at 5 ° C (+/- 8 ° C). Natural, complete foliage shedding in autumn, which means that there is little need for light. New shoots from March. Short-term temperature minimum -15 / -20 ° C.

Care should be taken when caring for in summer that mulberries in pots, when the crown is fully leafy, need a lot of regular water. This is very important because of the large green leaves. Dose the watering so that the soil is soaked through to the bottom of the pot, and the tree loves a supply in the saucer or planter. You should always make sure that the tree does not dry out, because this leads to leaf drop and a loss of harvest. A little tip: If it happens anyway, it’s not that bad because the tree has an enormous ability to regenerate.

Mulberries planted in the garden should be watered once or twice a week in summer. Since the mulberry tree grows very quickly, the need for nutrients is also very high. For potted plants, fertilize once a week from March to September with complete fertilizer or use a long-term fertilizer in March and June. Mulberries that are in the garden can be supplied with compost or long-term fertilizer in spring.

When caring for potted plants in winter, ensure that the soil moisture is even and water less. Because it is not leaves and is in the leafless winter dormancy, it has little need for liquid. As soon as the buds form in spring, however, you should adjust the amount of water to the needs and water more.
If the mulberry tree is planted in a pot then you have to repot it because it grows quickly. After one to two years, the tree should be repotted with a very high-quality potted plant soil with coarse-grained proportions. That sure the oxygen supply. Humus and no peat are also important. These ensure the important nutrient and water storage capacity.

The white mulberry tree

The white mulberry tree (Alba disease)

This beautiful tree was planted in Germany as a yard and house tree in the Middle Ages. It loves sunny places and reached its full bloom in May. After the last blossom has faded, the remaining stump then forms the fruits, which, if you look at them, reminds you of our native blackberries.

The white mulberry tree is not known for its sweet fruits but for the green leaves, which the silkworms taste particularly good. That is why these trees are still planted today, for example in India, as “fodder trees”.
The tree has the name “the white mulberries” not only because of its white fruits, but also because of the whitish buds. However, the fruits are not always white. They can also turn a little reddish, depending on the amount of sunlight. However, they are a lot lighter than the fruits of the red and black mulberry trees and can therefore be easily distinguished. The taste of the white mulberry is so sweet that one would like to nibble on it straight from the tree.
The leaves of the white mulberry tree can have very different shapes and are also very different from tree to tree and even on just one tree. The specimens range from finger-shaped, smooth-edged to deeply slit.

The white mulberry tree loves locations with lots of sun, but is frost-resistant to minus 20 degrees Celsius. That means it belongs to the winter hardy plants. In general, the maintenance effort for this tree is medium and the need for water is low.
As already mentioned above, it has its flowering time from May for about 4-6 weeks. Its height is approx. 6-8 meters and every year it becomes 70-80 cm higher. Other plants should be planted at least 200-300 cm apart.

Best location and care of the white mulberry tree:

The mulberry tree is very easy to care for. He likes drought and heat. Loves barren soils and has no problem with urban climates. It thrives best in a warm, sunny, to partially shaded place and is also insensitive to wind.
The mulberry tree is also well suited as a potted plant. You should only make sure that you water it regularly and sufficiently when it is fully leafy. This is very important because of its soft and large leaves.
Although the mulberry tree can cope well with drought in a pot, repeated or excessive drought leads to leaf and fruit fall.
Trees planted in the garden should be well watered once or twice a week during drought in summer.

Fertilization of the mulberry tree

Because of the rapid growth, the need for nutrients is also very high. It is important to provide the mulberry tree in the pot with complete fertilizer (water-soluble powder, liquid or in stick form) once a week from March to September. But you can also use long-term fertilizers in March and June.
Planted mulberry trees can be fertilized in spring with organic long-term fertilizer or compost and, if necessary, fertilized in June.
Cut at the mulberry tree

It is not absolutely necessary to cut the mulberry tree, but you can cut the tree to size once a year in March to control the size of the treetop and its branches. You can’t go wrong with the cut itself, because the mulberries attach fruit to the old and young wood.

The black mulberry: how healthy is it really?

The black mulberry is an aromatic energy fruit and looks very similar to our native blackberry. It tastes sweet and sour and its color is dark red / dark purple when fully ripe.

As mentioned above, the black mulberry contains a lot of minerals. Particularly noteworthy are their high levels of zinc and iron.

With 100g of mulberries, an adult could take in five to eight times the daily requirement of zinc and iron. Furthermore, the daily requirement of calcium and potassium can be covered with 100 g. Magnesium to about 50%. The black mulberry also contains the fiber pectin and is therefore not as sweet as its two colleagues.

What we harvest and eat as fruit is actually a pseudo-berry that ripens on the wood from the previous year. When fully ripe, the fruits stay on the trees for two days and then fall off. You carry. Which is very easy for the harvest in July and August. The berries are then collected from the ground and can be processed further. It is about 3-6 cm tall and has an elongated shape. Because the black mulberries have a very intense color, discoloration can easily occur. You should therefore pay close attention to where you put it down or what you do with it.

Unfortunately, the fruits don’t keep for too long, which is why they are either processed immediately. They can be dried, frozen, pressed or processed into juice, jelly or puree. You can also make a delicious jam from the mulberries. As dried fruits, mulberries have a long shelf life and taste great in muesli. They then have a resemblance to raisins, but are a bit more fruity and a nice change. If you don’t want the taste of the pure, squeezed mulberry as juice, it also tastes very good by mixing or diluting it with another fruit juice or water.

The mulberry tree and the silk

The mulberry tree and silk
Silk is one of the most sensitive and delicate fibers in our world. Hardly anyone knows how it is obtained or how it is created in the first place. Silk is of animal origin and is produced by the web of silk spider larvae.
In ancient China, silk was already around 3000 years BC. known. According to a legend, it was used there for the manufacture of the clothes of a legendary emperor.

The silk production:
One of the oldest cultivated plants, which is closely related to the rubber tree and the fig, is the mulberry tree. It played a very important role in the extraction of silk as early as the 19th century.
The beautiful green tree can grow up to 15 meters high. About 120 years ago it was also used to breed the silk moth (Bombyx mori) in Europe. This is a small, gray butterfly, which is why it is also known as the “mulberry moth”.

Mulberry trees were then introduced into Europe from subtropical areas so that entire fields and landscapes can be used for the production of silk. The small caterpillars of the silk moth feed on the lush green leaves of the mulberry tree until they molt and pupate.
In order to win the popular silk thread, the pupated caterpillar of the silk moth is even bred specially. The cocoons in which the caterpillars are located are collected and cooked. This allows the fibers to be unwound in the form of fine filaments. These delicate threads can even be up to 1500 meters long and are the most important raw material for the production and extraction of natural silk.

The properties of natural silk:
The fine cocoon of the silkworm consists entirely of animal protein (egg white). This is also the reason why the silk obtained from this purely organic cocoon is very sensitive to any environmental influences after processing.
It is therefore very important to wash such products only with mild detergents and preferably by hand. Because of its high protein content, natural silk reacts very strongly to heat and can be destroyed very quickly if the washing temperature is too high or if the washing program is incorrect. Long exposure to the sun should also be avoided, because then it can very easily happen that the beautiful item of clothing turns yellow. Silk must never be dried in the dryer or even spun.

Mulberry fruit recipes

Mulberry tree fruits Depending on the variety, the fruits develop from the female flowers. In Germany there are 3 types of mulberry trees where the fruits are edible. The mulberry fruits not only look very similar to our blackberries, they also taste almost the same. The blacks and reds are a bit more intense in taste and aroma, but the white ones are also very juicy and sweet. The harvest time of the mulberry fruits is in summer. However, if you haven’t had enough of the delicious fruits, you can also dry them. They then taste similar to raisins, but have an almost transparent color. There are also delicious mulberry recipes where you can turn the fresh fruit into a delicious jam, for example.

Recipes for mulberries:
The processing of mulberries is becoming more and more popular in Germany from year to year. The mulberry tree belongs to the genus of the mulberry family.
We have written down two delicious recipes for you, we explain how you can deliciously process the mulberry and then enjoy it.

Recipe 1: mulberry jam

500 ml water,
2 kg ripe mulberries,
4 tablespoons lime juice,
1.5 kg sugar,

If you don’t like your jam so sweet, you can add a second tablespoon of lime juice.

Now to prepare the jam:

First, wash the mulberries thoroughly and then peel them off. Then cut the berries into small pieces.
Next, put the mulberries in the water together in a saucepan. Let the berries cook until they are done. Then add the lime juice and sugar and let it cook while stirring until the mixture has thickened nicely.
A little tip:
so that the jam has a longer shelf life, you should transfer it to preserving jars after it has cooled down a little.

Recipe 2 :
A delicious dessert: mulberry-cherry compote
1 kg sour cherries,
1 kg mulberries,
1 glass of water,
Optional: 1 glass of dry white wine
500 g of preserving sugar,
First wash the two types of fruit. Then remove the stalks of the mulberry and the stone of the cherries.
Now put both fruits in a saucepan and add the glass of wine or water. Now bring the mulberry and cherry mixture to the boil, stirring constantly on the highest heat setting.
Serve the compote, still warm or cold, in small portions. We recommend vanilla ice cream and / or whipped cream as a side dish.
If you need the compote later, let it cool down and then fill it into preserving jars. This way it can be kept for a few weeks.

Make mulberry wine yourself

Delicious and healthy enjoyment without regrets: the mulberry wine. Find out what makes it so special, how it tastes and how you can make it yourself.

The small mulberries have a delicious, refreshingly sweet taste and are characterized by health-promoting properties. Mulberries are reminiscent of elongated blackberries and the colors range from white to red to black.

During ripening, mulberries form health-promoting phytonutrient compounds such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and polyphenol pigments. Mulberries are a real superfood because they provide vitamins E, K, C, E, a number of B vitamins and numerous minerals. Mulberries are juicy, soft and when ripe show a plump and strong color.

The rich mulberries enrich the menu not only as a dessert or snack in between. A delicious wine can be produced from mulberries, which unfolds a refreshing aroma.

White or black mulberries can be used for the mulberry wine. The dark mulberries are often used to color another wine and to refine the taste.

The mulberry wine: fruity and full-bodied

Mulberry wine is one of the exclusive exotic fruit wines. The wine made from mulberries has a fully fermented, dry taste which, in addition to being enjoyed, also gives vitality. It is full-bodied, intensely fruity and does not need any artificial flavors because it is 100% natural.

It can be drunk neat or enjoyed as a light spritzer. In the cold season, the mulberry wine can be heated up briefly and ensures pleasant enjoyment. Quais a tasty alternative to mulled wine.

Make mulberry wine yourself

You can also make mulberry wine yourself. No special pressing method or expertise is required for your own production. All you have to do is put the mulberry fruits in a container and ferment them in the warm summer air.

After the mulberry fruits have fermented, the brew is poured through a very fine hair sieve. Then the fine juice is allowed to ferment again. The turbidity can be easily removed by sieving with a cheesecloth. As soon as the juice stops fermenting (“bubbles”), it can be filled into clean bottles. After approx. 4-6 months a dry and fully fermented mulberry wine is the result.

Mulberry wine recipe

What is needed to make it

For a more professional production of the wine (5 liters) you will need:

  • 3 kg of mulberries
  • 1.25 kg of sugar
  • 2 liters of water
  • 7.5 ml of antigel
  • 2 g yeast nutrient salt

The ingredients are put into a small barrel, the must fermentation takes about 8-10 days. Then you squeeze the wine and let it ferment to the end. The mulberry wine shows a good self-clarity and can be served with all dishes.

Healthy and tasty: the unusual pleasure

Mulberry wine is a special indulgence with no regrets. The rich and extremely healthy ingredients of the mulberry belong to the field of superfoods.

It is a specialty among fruit wines and was already used by Socrates and Hildegard von Bingen as a tasty remedy. Mulberries can be planted in the garden yourself, today they usually come from Turkey or are available in selected shops.

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