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Pest Information

White Mulberry

White Mulberry

  • Latin Name: Morus Alba
  • Common Name: White Mulberry
  • Other Names: Fruitless mulberry, silkworm mulberry

Pest Details

White Mulberry

Origin:

Native to China, but so widely used as an ornamental tree that it is now spread throughout the world.

Biology:

Both fruiting and non-fruiting varieties occur, and the fruit is highly edible. However, in landscapes the fruiting trees are an extraordinary mess when the berries begin to fall. Trees are planted in landscape due to their rapid growth and spreading habit, providing shade quickly. They are relatively pest free, but growth can be excessive and difficult to control and the roots are invasive and frequently stay near the surface of the soil. Leaves are a food source for commercial silkworm production. Reproduction is from seeds in the fruiting form, and propagation from stems is done for the non-fruiting variety. The sap from leaves, stems, and unripe fruit is toxic.

Identification:

Mature trees easily and quickly grow to over 60 feet in height and potentially spread just as wide. Improper pruning encourages the growth of new sprouts from branches that can grow over 10 feet in a single season. This is a deciduous tree, and the large leaves will completely cover the soil or plants below when they drop. Leaves are alternate, shiny dark green, and up to 8 inches long. Margins are complete to lobed and toothed to entire. The fruit of the fruiting variety looks very much like a blackberry.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Physical removal of a tree can be effective, with the stump treated with a registered herbicide to kill the roots. Sprouts are likely from the stump or roots for a period of time.

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