and Deciduous Forest Trees
of Southern Ontario

Red Mulberry
Morus rubra

Location in Ontario:
Red Mulberry is a Carolinian Tree that grows in the Niagara region, as well as in Essex County.

COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) Status: Red Mulberry is identified as an Endangered Species. It has a limited range and hybridizes with the non-native, widely planted White Mulberry.

Interesting bark patterns, Rondeau Provincial Park

Genus Morus: Leaves are alternate, simple and often lobed and toothed on the edges. Mulberries are a fast-growing medium sized tree to 15 metres in height. The trees can be monoecious or dioecious. and the fruit is a composite fruit. Some places have banned mulberries because of the large amounts of pollen they produce. White Mulberry, an Asian species, has extensively naturalized, and produced hybrids with the native Red Mulberry, causing Red Mulberry to become endangered. Red Mulberry is the only Morus species that grows in Ontario.

Red Mulberry is an understorey tree that prefers well-drained, moist soil.

Landscape Use:
Red mulberry is not often used as a landscape plant because its fruit can cause stains on sidewalks and driveways. However, this medium sized tree has a nice rounded crown and edible, tasty berries!

TREE FACT: Bird watchers love this Carolinian tree because it attracts birds with its tasty fruit!

Leaves: The leaves are simple with coarse teeth. Some leaves have lobes. Leaves are shiny on some trees.


Size: This medium sized tree that grows up to 20 metres and can live to 100 years of age.

Bark: The bark is reddish-brown and has long flaky strips.

Flowers:  Red Mulberry is dioecious, with male (pollen) flowers and female (seed) flowers occurring on different trees. Pollen bearing flowers are tiny and green in loose, elongated clusters. Seed bearing flowers are similar, but in short, dense clusters. Flowers appear in May.

Red Mulberry flowers

Fruit: The seeds are in an aggregate fruit that is reddish-purple in colour. The fruit is sweet, juicy and good to eat. Fruit ripens in July. Fruit is produced yearly after 10 years of growth.

Red Mulberry Fruit

Wood: The wood is hard, heavy and durable. It is used for fence posts, barrels and furniture.
Specific gravity: 0.69
Janka Hardness: 1680 lb
Wood Comparison Chart

Red Mulberry in winter, Rondeau Provincial Park