Chris Evans, River to River CWMA

White Mulberry

Morus alba L.
Mulberry family (Moraceae)

Origin: China

White mulberry was introduced to the U.S. during colonial times for the purpose of establishing a silkworm industry.

Distribution and Habitat
White mulberry is widespread in the U.S., occurring in every state of the lower 48 except for Nevada. It invades old fields, urban lots, roadsides, forest edges, and other disturbed areas.

Ecological Threat
White mulberry invades forest edges and disturbed forests and open areas, displacing native species. It is slowly outcompeting and replacing native red mulberry (Morus rubra) through hybridization and possibly through transmission of a harmful root disease.

Description and Biology

John Cardina, The Ohio State Univ.

Bill Johnson

Prevention and Control
White mulberry seedlings can be pulled by hand. Otherwise, cut the tree and grind the stump or paint the cut surface with a systemic herbicide like glyphosate or girdle the tree (see Control Options).

Native Alternatives
Red maple (Acer rubrum), hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), black gum (Nyssa sylvatica) and sassafras (Sassafras albidum).


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Last updated:11-Nov-2010