Morus spp.

Mulberry leaves have a feed value nearly equivalent to alfalfa, and are also drought-tolerant and perennial. The fruit is highly nutritious, loved by both humans and animals. Mulberry trees are well-suited for silvopasture systems.

DRAINAGE: Moderately to well-drained soils
LIGHT: Full sun
ZONES: 4–10 
SPACING: 10 x 12 ft


Mulberry is a multi-purpose tree that can occupy fallow farm areas. It is well-suited for silvopasture, which describes farming and grazing practices that integrate trees into livestock pastures. Animals eat leaves and fruit from the mulberry trees, which provides an affordable livestock feed that also benefits the climate.


Despite its exceptional qualities for feeding livestock and humans and its wide geographic range, mulberry improvement has remained largely unexplored by tree crop breeding programs in the US.


Integrating poultry and hogs can help control pests. Common sense precautions, as well as legal regulations, govern best practices to prevent livestock manure from contaminating fruit for human consumption.

Our Research

Already adapted to the Upper Midwest, our tree crop breeders are selecting for vigorous plants with large, high-protein leaves that can be harvested multiple times per season using existing farm equipment. We are also evaluating trees for their fruiting habits, selecting for “ever bearing” fruit production.


Black Walnut Grower Infosheet

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