Our mulberry trees have been fruiting for the last 8 weeks. They are just now finishing up.
The amount of fruit that comes off these trees is staggering. The photograph above shows all of the fruit in varying stages of ripeness. The fruit are difficult to see.
The photograph below is a close-up of the tree branch in the left quarter of the photograph above. You can see the fruit more clearly in it. At an early stage, the fruit is white. Then the fruit turns red and is sour. When fully ripe, the fruit turns a deep blue.
Experts often advise to never plant a mulberry tree near a patio, pool or sidewalk because they are messy. Those experts are correct. The trees drop a ton of ripe fruit. One of our two trees is over the vegetable garden which has decomposed granite paths. You can see the large number of fruit that had dropped on the pathways in the photograph below.
When the fruit are dropping, we have to check our shoes before walking inside the house because the juice can stain if you walk on the rugs with these on the bottom of your shoes.
I am amazed that any of the fruit actually makes it to the ground. The reason for my amazement is because of the huge flocks of birds that sit all day long in the mulberries gorging themselves on the fruit. In particular, we have a large flock of cedar waxwings that migrate to our yard each January - February to feast upon the privet berries in late Winter and then move on to the mulberries. Thes mulberry trees provide nourishment over an extended period of approximately two months or more.
You can see some of the cedar waxwings in the photograph below, if you look closely.
Here is another close-up of that same photograph.
The photograph below shows one of the full sized trees in early, early Spring before the tree has leafed out. As the season progresses, the trees become very lush.
These trees were on the property when we moved in. I suspect that they are morus rubra. I have been somewhat critical of the taste of the fruit when fully ripened, describing it as being "insipid." I think, though, that I have been too quick to judgment. The criticism of the fruit is that it is very, very sweet but loses its acidity and excitement when ripe. However, this year, I thought the fruit tasted particularly excellent when eaten straight off the tree. I think, personally, I prefer the fruit before it is fully ripened, when it still has just a slight touch of red and, therefore, a bit of acidity. When I eat it this way, it has a great deal more robustness, and I like it quite a lot. Furthermore, I think mulberries are just much better eaten straight off the tree as you walk through the garden. Collected in bulk and refrigerated for later eating, it just seems to lose some of the flavor for fresh eating.
Black mulberries - morus nigra - have a much better reputation in terms of taste. Consequently, I planted four Black Beauty morus nigra mulberries from Burnt Ridge Nursery last year. They are planted on stocky, low grafted rootstock and should grow in bush form for easier picking. They are still immature and did not fruit this Spring. I am looking forward to fruit from them next year.