Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

Name that tree

Written By: Bob - May• 22•13

Yesterday afternoon as I was cleaning up after the hounds in the far corner of the yard, I looked up and noticed a tree growing in the easement behind the house that appeared to be growing berries. It appears to be roughly 15′-20′ tall, rooted in very wet clay soil near where the storm drain dumps into a seasonal wash.

Sort-of-closeup of a raspberry-ish berry.

Sort-of-closeup of a blackberry-ish berry.

It was tall with immature red fruit and dark blackberry-shaped berries.

A good shot of one of the limbs and leaves, head high with me on the slope, arching down to about 10' off the ground.

A good shot of one of the limbs and leaves, head high with me on the slope, arching down to about 10′ off the ground.

Any idea on what this is, and whether or not these are edible? This particular tree is dead center in the middle of a nasty briar patch, but if this is an edible, I might see if I can find a sapling to transplant to a less inhospitable location.

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  1. Mark says:

    Those look like mulberries, yum!

  2. RuralGal says:

    Mulberry. Looks like a darker berry than we’ll have.

    Makes great Jam, Jelly or Wine if you beat Squirrels to the fruit.

  3. AZOlddog says:

    Mulberry! Keep it as far away as possible from ME! I hear they do make great jelly but I am allergic so long ago learned to recognize the variants.

  4. JP Kalishek says:

    so that’s what the fruit looks like. We have lots of the Fruitless Mulberry trees around here. They got used for a fast growing ornamental, but they also fall apart easily. one place I rented the tree split in half and fell on my and the neighbor’s house, and my power bill went up from the lost shade.

  5. crankyjohn says:

    Mulberry, had one. The fruit is great but will stain your drive way.

  6. goodforgoose says:

    Yup, mulberry. Very common where I live. Good to eat, make good jelly and wine. Birds love ’em too, and will pass purple droppings all over everything.

  7. Chaz says:

    If Mulberry then it’s messy and you will have to fight the ants for the fruit.

  8. Marty says:

    I’d agree with mulberry. A friend has one that he trims like an umbrella so the fruit is easy to reach without a ladder.

    Everything likes them. Several times he’s had to shoot a groundhog out of his, that climbed right into the canopy.

  9. John says:

    It is a mulberry tree. There are three species: white mulberry (Morus alba L.), black mulberry (M. Nigra L.), and red mulberry (M. Rubra L.), although there is some dispute about the taxonomy. The fruit are edible by people and are sometimes cultivated for fruit. The coolest use of mulberry trees is to raise silkworms.

  10. VXinTN says:

    Mulberry, no doubt. But the birds will eat all the fruit and you wont get any.

  11. Catseye says:

    Not Mulberry: mulberry’s have different shaped asymmetrical leaves from the looks of the photo’s the leaves on that tree are symmetrical. I have mulberry plants growing around my house like weeds. My guess would be a blackberry, I’ve seen blackberry bushes the size of a small tree they also have the best fruit. The leaves look like an elderberry or juneberry but the fruit doesn’t.

  12. That is DEFINITELY a mulberry and not a blackberry. I have eaten many mulberries. Soak them in salt water for 5 minutes to get any ants out. They don’t sell them fresh in the store because they don’t keep well, and they squish too easily. Make jam, or pies. If you use some of the white berries in your jam, you won’t have to use as much pectin.

    Wine is also good.

    And, get that thing out of your foundation. Plant it somewhere else. Some mulberries grow really big, like the size of an oak tree.

  13. Nancy says:

    We have a fruitless mulberry in our back yard, and my son had a fruiting mulberry in his front yard at his last house. Those leaves look just like the ones on our fruitless mulberry. It’s possible that yours is simply a slightly different variety than Bob’s. I’d say it’s a mulberry, all right.

    I’ve lived in Indiana where blackberries grow in abundance. It’s not a blackberry, take it from me.

  14. Oh, one more thing. Put ginger in that mulberry jam for a nice zing.

  15. David Davies says:

    Solution to ants in tree problem. 1) Buy a stock fence charger, some electrical wire, a grounding rod and two metal pipe clamps. Also find an old inner tube. 2) cut enough of the inner tube to obtain a strip of rubber about 4 inches wide and long enough to circle the tree trunk one and 1/2 times. 3) Secure rubber winding to tree with first pipe clamp. 4) Drive ground rod into soil. 5) Connect pipe clamp to ground rod with a piece of electrical wire. 6) Install the stock fence charger according to instructions. 7) Run a hot wire from the fence charger to the tree. 8) Install the 2nd pipe clamp above the grounded clamp between 3/16 and 1/4 inch away. 9) Connect the hot wire to the upper clamp. 10) Energize the charger. 11) Watch the ants die as they try to cross the gap between clamps. In 24 hours the tree will be free of any ants which nest in the ground.

  16. Larry says:

    Now all you need is a monkey and a weasel.

  17. rocketguy says:

    I’d cut my neighbor’s mulberry trees down if I thought I could get away with it. When the fruit is ripe, the bird crap is biblical.

  18. Mk50 of Brisbane says:

    Yep, mulberry. The fruit is delicious fresh off the tree, slightly under-ripe cooked and preserved in syrup, baked in in pies, for wine, you name it.

    The trees can get large and straggly, keep them pruned to an umbrella shape, or buy miniatures (available here in Australia, not sure about the US).

    They are cold tolerant and like deep but well drained soils.

    Net them to keep birds off or they will come from miles around to eat the mulberries. We don’t have squirrels here, netting should keep them off too I guess (don’t know much about squirrels).

    They are like the other weird trees you have over there that do things in reverse of normal where the leaves fall off in autumn and the bark stays on (seriously strange, what’s with that?) so I guess you’ll think this bizarre tree behaviour normal!

    Plant them away from your sewage lines, they are notorious for getting their roots into the sewer pipes, at least here where it’s kind of arid most places.

  19. Ranch Hand says:

    Yep, Mulberry. I love mulberries and I wait every year for the ones in my yard to ripen. Yes I have to beat the critters to them, but there’s enough for everyone. Next to Persimmons and wild pears, mulberries are about my favorite wild snack!

  20. rumcrook says:

    Mullberry. Had a neighbor with some and my old man used to make mullberry wine from it, some of it got run through the still to make a fine porch party beverage.

  21. fred w miller says:

    cut it down , considered a trash tree. very invasive get rid of it!!!!!!!!!!

    • Bob says:

      It resides in the easement behind my property, so cutting it down isn’t an option. At this point, hearing how delicious it is, I just wish it didn’t lord over a briar patch and swampy run-off area so that I could harvest a few to try without an inordinate amount of trouble.

  22. Phelps says:

    Mullberries. If your dogs will eat them (ours did naturally) then it will cure them of fleas and ticks.

  23. JB says:

    looks like marijuana. you’re “ripe” for a swatting

  24. Catseye says:

    The leaves still seem to symmetrical for mulberries, but it could be the picture. Examine the leaves if they have slightly different shapes it’s a mulberry, mulberries fruit in late spring Blackberries are early summer. If the leaves are all the same shape then it’s a blackberry. Also Pennies right the fruit doesn’t keep very long so use it fast and Rocketguys right too. If your looking for saplings look for the differently shaped leaves on young shoots. And I’m not kidding when I say they grow like weeds. None of the mulberries in my yard were planted by me.

  25. Rob Crawford says:

    Also, if you relocate it, watch out for bag worms. They seem to love mulberries, and it’s a bear to get rid of them.

  26. coonhollow says:

    Everything folks said about the taste and use is correct. Deer love them also, and in the fall when the leaves turn yellow and fall they eat them like candy.

  27. roger caton says:

    everything folks said about the use and taste is correct. Deer love them, stand on their hind legs to eat the fruit. In the fall, after the leaves turn yellow and fall they eat them like candy. Rog

  28. Mrbill says:

    Kill it fast as you can……birds will eat the berries and it gives them torrents of diaharrea and will stain cars and concrete for blocks. Grew up on farm with gobs of them we pulled out by roots with tractor.