At Native Forest Nursery we grow bare root seedlings and #3 container trees. Our container trees are grown in a #3 air pruned pot. This root making container eliminates nearly all potential for root wrapping. This allows for an excellent root structure and delivers an extremely healthy tree. The bare root seedlings at our nursery are grown in a sandy loam soil with high organic matter content, which provides an extremely healthy environment for our seedlings. Our bare root liners and seedlings are hand lifted, packaged, and kept in cold storage until you are ready to plant. Conservation uses for our products include reclamation, mitigation, reforestation, restoration, wildlife habitat improvement and wetland uses. Horticultural uses for our products include field liners, container liners, landscape plantings, budding stock, grafting stock and ornamental uses.

Family: Moraceae
Latin Name: Morus rubra
Foliage: Dark green
Fall Foliage: Yellow
Bloom: Green
Bloom Time: March to April
Shape: Spreading to rounded
Bark: Reddish-brown
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Zone: Zone 4 to Zone 8
Size: 35 to 50 feet
Spread: 35 to 40 feet
Care: Medium, well drained soil

Most often found in river valleys, moist hillsides, upland regions, and in floodplains, the Red Mulberry—or Morus Rubra, as it is binomially called—is a mulberry species associated with the botanical family Moraceae. This deciduous species is native to central and eastern North America, with a range that extends from Ontario to Florida and stretches as far west as South Dakota (it can even be found, in isolated populations, as far as New Mexico). Though listed in 2008 as an endangered plant in Canada—threatened primarily by its cross-breeding with the invasive non-native White Mulberry—the Red Mulberry is still widespread throughout the United States.

This species features a canopy of dark green foliage, which is highlighted bright yellow in the autumn, and a stout trunk covered with reddish-brown tinted bark. The Red Mulberry’s spreading branches extend to reach an impressive diameter of 35-40 ft., while the tree’s rounded crown tops at about 35-50 ft. This tree thrives optimally in medium, well-drained soils and when situated to receive full sun to partial shade. It has a 4-8 hardiness zone rating and is tolerant of colder temperatures. Relatively inconspicuous flowers flourish along with the tree’s emerging leaves in early spring, typically from March to April, and are small and yellow-green. The Red Mulberry’s proudest feature is the compound clusters of its ambrosial fruit, visually similar to blackberries. These are edible and very sweet, ripening to ruddy shades of jazzy red or dark purple.

The Red Mulberry is a valued wildlife habitat and a food source for many species. Its delectable berries were recorded by the first English colonists who explored Virginia in 1607; they were amazed by the Red Mulberry’s abundance and cited that the berries were eaten by local Powhatan tribes. Many Native American tribes, in fact, were said to use the Red Mulberry’s sap for a variety of ailments as well, including ringworm, dysentery, and urination problems. Today, the Red Mulberry’s berries are frequently used in fruit pastries, fermented into wine, or eaten raw. This tree’s timber also has its place in the culinary arts, as it can be dried and used to enhance smoking meats with a mild sweet piquancy.

Native Forest Nursery Photos:

Mature Tree Photos: