Author Topic: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal  (Read 1119 times)

sc4001992

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Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« on: July 31, 2023, 02:40:56 AM »
Has anyone else successfully grown the persian mulberry (morus nigra) and have many fruits on this tree? I hear it is supposed to be the best tasting mulberry. I live near CSUF, next to city of Fullerton.

I got some scionwood from a nice person in San Diego who sent me many to graft onto my large trees. These grafts are now 2 years and 2 months old and branches are over 10 ft long. This is the first year I see some fruits on my tree. One tree has 3 fruits, the other one has 4. That is not much for the size of this tree. What do you think?

Here's the photos I took today. Did not taste the fruit yet.

If you grow the any morus nigra mulberry, can you comment on the taste compared to Black Pakistan. Does your tree have many fruits each year here in SoCal?

The one fruit I picked was so high off the ground I needed to use my telescoping fruit picker.




















« Last Edit: July 31, 2023, 02:45:09 AM by sc4001992 »

Jack, Nipomo

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2023, 09:13:35 AM »
I have enjoyed the Persian mulberry here for many years.  It is a selected variety called "Kaester" obtained from a collector.  Cutting was small so I bought a fruitless mulberry and grafted it and now have a big tree.  Fruiting now, and being enjoyed by blue jays and other birds.  Used to have a tortoise that enjoyed the fallen fruits.  As a science teacher used trhe leaves to grow silkworms in the classroom.

EJO8

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2023, 09:55:57 AM »
Persian mulberry is very good, nice, juicy and sweet (the juice stains hands/fingers). I prefer them to the Pakistan variety but they are both good. The Pakistan fruits very early in the year, and the Persians are just now coming in (been eating them the last two weeks or so)

My tree has been very fruitful, however, the fruit seem to be a little smaller this year for some reason.

Oolie

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2023, 11:26:12 AM »
All the M. nigras are a great distance superior to other mulberries.

How many years has the graft been in place?

On mine it was four years from graft until the fruit was juicy. Before that time it was dry and sad.

The berry you posted pics of is far from ripe, they need to be completely dark, and any red signifies unripe. The fruit is best harvested with needle nose pruning shears as the stem is quite short, and any manipulation of the berry will break it.

Give it time, mine became a prolific fruiter when it became a larger tree.

sc4001992

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2023, 11:54:28 AM »
Ok, then I will check again in 2yrs from now. I ddi bag the other group of fruits in the above photo so I can let it get black, hope it tastes ok.

I may need to graft some scionwood on a potted tree to keep it small enough to easily pick the fruits in the future. Thanks for the feedback Oolie.

K-Rimes

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2023, 12:51:56 PM »



Mine grows and fruits pretty well, but I feel like they never get to full ripeness for me. Iíve had some off a massive tree in a nursery that were super full, fat, and totally sweet. Mine are more sour blue raspberry kind of flavor, which I find agreeable since I like sour.

My tree has been in ground 2 years and its flavor and production are improving. This year the branches got super floppy and it has draped to ground, going to do some major pruning on it next year. I also have Cookeís Persian grafted to this and I donít note any difference in fruit size or quality.

sc4001992

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2023, 12:56:12 PM »
Kevin, that is good news, then maybe next year I will have more fruits and flavor should improve. I will keep it for at least 4 yrs before I get rid of it if it is not good tasting.

Oolie

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2023, 01:25:31 PM »
The literature indicates that they can bleed pretty bad from major pruning cuts and that pruning should be done at frequent intervals to minimize damage to the tree.

They graft well, but root poorly, the difficulty of grafting is that the rootstock does wake at a different time from the scion, but it should still take.

The rooted Black Beauty seems to be pretty dwarf, as it is M. nigra and has little difficulty rooting from cuttings as opposed to Persian. The vigor of grafted Persian seems to be much greater.

Once they produce prolifically their fruit can be used to make jam which can be used for incredible pies. Unfortunate that they are not widely planted, as the pie is revelatory.

Until prolific production, there will be enough fruit for zabaglione, another great way to enjoy the fruit in small quantities.

K-Rimes

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2023, 02:26:56 PM »
The literature indicates that they can bleed pretty bad from major pruning cuts and that pruning should be done at frequent intervals to minimize damage to the tree.

I try to keep cuts to under 1/4" diameter when possible, but have taken a few almost to 1/2". The tree does ok, heals them up fine, but I think it's best to do when it's hot and not rainy and cold out. It is certainly different wood than pakistani, himalayan, dwarf, etc but they're compatible. The graft mark on mine is extremely evident.

JCorte

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2023, 02:47:30 PM »
I planted a tree that I grafted two and a half years ago at the farm that still hasnít fruited.  This past winter I grafted a branch onto a small tree in my home garden and it set 3 fruits.  I tried one that had barely turned red.  I knew it was underripe but wanted to see what it tasted like at that stage.  I thought it was pretty good considering how underripe it was.

Hereís a pic of the two remaining fruits today, you can see the grafted branch.  Not sure exactly why this fruited so fast compared to my other tree.  Tree at home isnít that old, maybe three years, but the soil at home is established and full of worms, etc.


Janet

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2023, 05:21:17 PM »
All the M. nigras are a great distance superior to other mulberries.

How many years has the graft been in place?

On mine it was four years from graft until the fruit was juicy. Before that time it was dry and sad.

The berry you posted pics of is far from ripe, they need to be completely dark, and any red signifies unripe. The fruit is best harvested with needle nose pruning shears as the stem is quite short, and any manipulation of the berry will break it.

Give it time, mine became a prolific fruiter when it became a larger tree.

+1 to the whole post. Absolutely crucial to pick them up only when fully ripe (black), birds don't care that much though.

K-Rimes

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2023, 01:30:41 PM »


It performed about this well in a 25 gallon pot, but only for 1 year before it fully rooted out into it and then stopped growing and fruiting well. This is 2 years in ground now and it's really taking off now.

sc4001992

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2023, 01:40:17 PM »
Kevin, that looks nice, I would be happy if my grafted branches have that many fruits each season.

Jack, Nipomo

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2023, 05:31:17 PM »
Maybe someone knows differently, but it was my understanding that for full flavor and good production M. nigra needs to be in the ground.  My M nigra "Kaester" has an extensive root system (on fruitless mulberry rootstock, tho) and seems to really like water.  Here roots are constrained by drippers in pure sand.

K-Rimes

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2023, 06:54:45 PM »
Maybe someone knows differently, but it was my understanding that for full flavor and good production M. nigra needs to be in the ground.  My M nigra "Kaester" has an extensive root system (on fruitless mulberry rootstock, tho) and seems to really like water.  Here roots are constrained by drippers in pure sand.

The very best migras I had were from a massive tree in a 25 gallon pot at La Sumida. They wanted something obscene, like $1000 for the tree. My guess is that it was root pruned annually.

K-Rimes

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2023, 02:59:15 PM »



Tree is ramping up production now. This isnít quite peak ripeness but I like them at this stage.

sc4001992

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2023, 03:53:21 PM »
Oh well, I just cut my large Red Himalayan mulberry tree in my backyard today, and the large branches fell on my Persian mulberry grafted branch above with the fruits on it. It broke half the tall branch off when my Himalayan branch came crashing down. I will need to graft back my Persian branch today on another tree. I hope my Persian branch in the front mulberry tree still has some fruits so I can taste a ripe fruit this year.

K-Rimes

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2023, 04:44:56 PM »
Oh well, I just cut my large Red Himalayan mulberry tree in my backyard today, and the large branches fell on my Persian mulberry grafted branch above with the fruits on it. It broke half the tall branch off when my Himalayan branch came crashing down. I will need to graft back my Persian branch today on another tree. I hope my Persian branch in the front mulberry tree still has some fruits so I can taste a ripe fruit this year.

I can send you branches next Spring if you'd like, I really need to prune my persian hard.

sc4001992

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2023, 05:13:37 PM »
Kevin, yes, if yours are fruiting this year then that would be a good one for me to graft next year. Thanks.

sc4001992

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2023, 05:19:58 PM »
Can anyone who had the ripe morus nigra fruits this year comment on how good it is?

I still have the ones I posted in July above on the tree and it is still not fully ripe. Why does it take so long for my Persian mulberry to ripen?

Can anyone tell me how much longer I should wait (color ?) until I can pick the 3 fruits to do my first taste test and measure the brix on the fruits?

I'll take a photo today and post the update.

K-Rimes

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2023, 05:43:14 PM »
Can anyone who had the ripe morus nigra fruits this year comment on how good it is?

I still have the ones I posted in July above on the tree and it is still not fully ripe. Why does it take so long for my Persian mulberry to ripen?

Can anyone tell me how much longer I should wait (color ?) until I can pick the 3 fruits to do my first taste test and measure the brix on the fruits?

I'll take a photo today and post the update.

I've been eating mine the last few weeks, but this cooler weather doesn't fully ripen them. I will lose a lot to mold as well due to the rain. They just want super hot dry weather and that's it, even mild nights seem to make them less sweet. They are always really, really late for me compared to other mulberries. Nice though, since this is a period of the year that I don't have a ton of other things going.

Persian mulberries are always a touch sour, which is nice sometimes, but they can be too sour for a lot of people even fully ripe. That's why I figure it would make such an excellent pie, sour things + sugar is always a good bet. You must wait till they are totally black, even starting to get a touch wrinkly and matte. Think of a peak blackberry visual.

I do not consider them as good as Himalayan or Pakistani. Their ripening habit is frustrating for me and I just don't get a lot of stunningly good fruit, lots falls off red before ripe. Birds leave them alone, maybe due to the way the leaves cover up the fruits, but that also makes them hard to pick and see.

I dunno, if I didn't have 1.5 acres / had to re-do a garden elsewhere I probably wouldn't get one again, at least not a whole tree. Just a branch on a cocktail mulberry would be sufficient for me.

Oolie

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2023, 06:04:31 PM »
It's difficult not to comment, as their excellence is on another level than other mulberries, even vying for top spot amongst all fruits for me. They lack subtlety, which keeps them from being the kings of my fruit for fresh eating, but that also means that when they appear in abundance they can be processed into jams and pie fillings and desserts without their better qualities remaining hidden.

For reference I prefer the subtle/delicate loquat when it comes to eating on it's own, but the juxtaposed nigras which follow closely in season, even ripening with the late loquats (when the Persian is established) is a welcome conclusion to the mulberry season, with enough intense wowing power to keep you in anticipation all mulberry season, knowing the grand finale is worth the wait (it's the the multi-month hanabi).

Once the tree settles in it will begin producing a large crop with regularity, my only issue with it is that it is a rather short lived crop, often finishing within two weeks, lasting over 6 weeks some years. The rapid finishing of the crop isn't necessarily a problem though as it allows meaningful large harvests to be preserved.

If you need more reasons, I'm converting all the seedlings that show up in the yard to nigras, even though nigras don't seem to produce the massive crops of the Packstani and White/yellow type (which is the only other one worth having IMHO) what they do produce is enjoyed much, much more. I will get bored after the first week or so of other mulberry types, but the nigras never seem to go to waste.

All of the above comments were written with exposure to established trees in inland valleys/foothills where substantial heat units are received during the day and marine layer is absent until nightfall where the humidity blanket comes in and keeps the day-received heat from escaping.

My personal Pakistanis usually don't ripen to perfection, instead coming in with moderate sweetness, and vegetal flavor dominates, as opposed to the better examples I've tasted closer to the coast. I ripen nearly all my nigras to perfection, but up until year 5 I was wondering if they would ever hold a candle to the ones I tasted in my friends yard growing up (established, almost century old trees), not long after I was rewarded with fruit which very much redeemed the extended gestation period.

K-Rimes

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2023, 06:06:33 PM »
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redeemed the extended gestation period.

I must still be in this stage.

Oolie

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2023, 06:18:17 PM »
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redeemed the extended gestation period.

I must still be in this stage.

It could also be the region, it may be inadequate in coastal areas, I've no exposure to trees within 12 miles of the ocean. All of the trees I've had the pleasure of tasting fruit from were over 10 miles inland, though I know Steve Stuverude is a couple miles closer to the coast, and he holds his Black Beauty in high regard despite the extended May gray-June gloom. His is consistently two months behind mine in ripening, but has an extended crop and even a second crop in some years (I assume if it was spectacular I'd be told so instead of the late-crop Desert Kings which Steve asserts are the crop of choice in that season).

K-Rimes

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Re: Persian Mulberry Fruits - in SoCal
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2023, 09:07:49 PM »
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it may be inadequate in coastal areas

I'm more inland than not. Dunno! Maybe I'm just not as into them as you are. Are yours sour or do they go full sweet? I guess overall this has been a poor year for mulberries for me. Most of my whites molded on the tree, Pakistani all got nailed by birds.

 

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