Red Mulberry

Morus rubra

February 5, 2020 · 1 minute exploration
Red Mulberry

From the amazing book, Remarkable Trees of Virginia by Nancy Ross Hugo and Jeff Kirwan, with photography by Robert Llewellyn:

“It is absolutely irresistible to kids,” says John Bouton, a long-time buildings and grounds superintendent at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, describing the reclining red mulberry at the Children’s Garden there. There does seem to be a pull to the tree — something easily witnessed when school groups, so dutifully lined up as they enter the Garden, are allowed to scatter and find their own places of interest. Straightaway they make for the tree.


Native/Naturalized: Native to Virginia

Status: alive

National Champion: no

Virginia Champion: no

Circumference: 188 in.

Height: 32 ft.

Crown: 71 ft.

Points: 238

Date Last Measured: 2018

Last Measured by: Greg Zell

Date First Measured: 2007

Comments: Old age specimen used as children’s climbing tree. Specimen is mostly prostrate and central trunk has split into two sections connected by steel bar. The two sections are completely separated but may share root stock. In good overall condition considering past physical damage. Trees like this often continue to live for many years. Method of measuring trunk circumference is debatable. Choice was to measure each trunk at 4.5′ along their main axis and then calculate a functional circumference using the two measurements. Measuring only the largest of the two trunks at 4.5′ along the axis of leaning trunk resulted in circumference of 114″. In addition, upon close observation of features, it is susopected that this specimen may be a hybrid between M. rubra and M. alba.


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