Additions to a Food Forest

November 19, 2014

NOTE: Images in this archived article have been removed.

Red mulberry trees are one of my favorite trees. They make fantastic additions to any permaculture garden or farm. I actually have two mature mulberry trees on my property, which is great, but I also planted half a dozen in my food forest.

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Mulberry Tree

Planting Zones:

Mulberry trees in general are found in most planting zones, from the tropics to the very cold temperate. The Red Mulberry that we have here in zone 6 Pennsylvania is an unbelievably adaptable tree that can be found as far north as Canada, and as far south as Florida.

Growth Habit:

A full grown Red Mulberry can grow 30-45 feet tall, which seems tall, but it is considered a small tree.


The best part of The Red Mulberry is the excellent sweet berries that they produce. The berries mature in early summer and tend to hang around for 3 or 4 weeks. Mature trees are loaded with berries that resemble blackberries, but taste much better in my opinion. To me they taste like a sweet blackberry, but there is something different about a mulberry that is unlike any other berries that I have tried. People use the berries fresh, to make wine, pies, cobblers, and preserves.

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Ripe Mulberries


Another great thing about Mulberry trees is that they really don’t have any pest problems that require any attention.

Soil Preference:

Like most plants they would love to have fertile well drained soil, but they can also handle poor soil, or just about any soil for that matter.


I think the Red Mulberry tree should be included in most permaculture sites. It truly is a multi-functional plant. The fruit, of course is of great benefit to people and wildlife. The leaves can be made into a tea that can be used to treat dysentery. The leaves can be used for mulch. The tree can be used as a windbreak, or pruned to form a hedgerow. I have two planted in my chicken paddocks because the fallen fruit makes excellent chicken forage.

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This is really a great tree to consider including in your permaculture projects!

Tags: food forests, permaculture