The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section IV. Deciduous Ornamental Trees

Mulberry trees Urticaceae

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Nat. Ord. (Natural Order) Urticace�. Lin. Syst. (Linnean System) Mon�cia, Tetrandria. The three principal species of the Mulberry, are the common Red American, the European Black, and the White mulberries. None of them are truly handsome in scenery; and the two latter are generally low spreading trees, valued entirely for the excellency of the fruit, or the suitableness of the foliage for feeding silkworms. Our common mulberry, however, in free, open situations, forms a large, wide-spreading, horizontally branched, and not inelegant tree: the rough, heart-shaped leaves with which it is thickly clothed, afford a deep shade; and it groups well with the lime, the catalpa, and many other round-headed trees. We consider it, therefore, duly entitled to a place in all extensive plantations; while the pleasant flavor of its slightly acid, dark red fruit, will recommend it to those who wish to add to the delicacies of the dessert. The timber of our wild mulberry tree is of the very first quality; when fully seasoned, it takes a dull lemon-colored hue, and is scarcely less durable than the locust or Live oak. Like those trees, it is much valued by ship-builders; and at Philadelphia and Baltimore it commands a high price, for the frame-work, knees, floor-timbers, and tree-nails of vessels. The Red mulberry is much slower in its growth than the locust; but so far as we are aware it is not liable to the attacks of any insect destructive to its timber; and it would probably be found profitable to cultivate it as a timber tree. The locust, it will be remembered, grows thriftily only on peculiar soils, loose, dry, and mellow; the Red mulberry prefers deep, moist, and rich situations. No extensive experiments, so far as we can learn, have been made in its culture; but we would recommend it to the particular attention of those who have facilities for plantations of this kind.