4 - frequently foraged
Prefers a warm well-drained loamy soil in a sunny position[1, 11]. The red mulberry is sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties. It is said to be of no value as a fruiting tree in Britain[1, 11]. Trees come into bearing when about 10 years old, fruiting best between the ages of 30 - 85 years and declining from the age of 125 years. A good plant to grow grapes into. The grapes are difficult to pick but they always seem to be healthier and free from fungal diseases. Mulberries have brittle roots and so need to be handled with care when planting them out. Any pruning should only be carried out in the winter when the plant is fully dormant because mulberries bleed badly when cut. Ideally prune only badly placed branches and dead wood. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Dioecious Male and female plants must be grown if fruit is required.
The seed germinates best if given 2 - 3 months cold stratification[80, 98]. Sow the seed as soon as it is ripe if possible, otherwise in February in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in the first spring, though it sometimes takes another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Plant out in spring. A good percentage take, though they sometimes fail to thrive[78, 113]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, 25 - 30cm with a heel of 2 year old wood, autumn or early spring in a cold frame or a shady bed outside[78, 113,200]. Bury the cuttings to threequarters of their depth. Layering in autumn.
Cooke: The large, elongated fruit is up to 5cm long and 1cm in diameter. The skin is red-black, the flavour is a good combination of sweetness with some tartness. A hardy tree, though it is susceptible to fungal dieback.