Harvesting Mulberries

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by Shanna_Redwind, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. Shanna_Redwind

    Shanna_Redwind Monkey+

    We have a tall (Really tall) mulberry tree in our front yard. Most of the tree is completely beyond reach and provides food for the birds and racoons (until the coon hunters come around)

    How I've been harvesting them is laying a tarp on the ground and taking a broom handle and wacking the branches until the ripe berries stop falling. Then I pick the berries up from the tarp.

    There are so many berries that I'll never be able to harvest though. I'm not climbing into a 30 foot tree to go berry picking.

    Today I've got the berries sitting in sugar for supper.

    I'm hoping to make a batch of mulberry jam, though I'm not sure I'll get enough at one harvest for that. I can only get berries off of about 6 branches.
    chelloveck likes this.
  2. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Ah.....Mulberry Jam

    It brings back childhood memories........mulberry wine is another option for using the fruit. : )

  3. Sapper John

    Sapper John Analog Monkey in a Digital World

    Shanna...take a light rope 35 or 40 feet long, tie a stout stick or rock and tie it to the end of the rope, throw it up into the top of the tree and try to get it to "catch"...then you should be able to pull on the rope and shake the top of the tree to drop the fruit...I hope that helps...
  4. Shanna_Redwind

    Shanna_Redwind Monkey+

    Sapper: Thanks for the idea... I'll have to try it. I keep looking at the huge bounty up in that tree.
  5. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Ah, mulberry wine. Dude that so brings back memories!
  6. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++


    i've put up a raised tarp just under the lowest branches and used my tractor to bump the trunk.

    a couple of good bumps and you'll have 5 gallon buckets full.

    I wound up making wine with my grandpa when i was but a lad.

    good times, good times.
  7. Shanna_Redwind

    Shanna_Redwind Monkey+

    chellovac: The mulberry tree in the yard brings back my childhood memories too. There was a mulberry tree in the graveyard by our house, and all the kids of the street used go down there and pick them. We climbed on the graves when no one was looking to reach the mulberries. We weren't trying to be disrespectful, we were just too short.

    Making wine seems a bit intimidating to me.

    Visutrack: That would be a good idea with another tree. This one has a split down the center almost all the way to the ground. It's basically 2 separate trunks sharing a root system. I'd be afraid of nudging them. They're stable at the moment, but I don't hang out under them during a windstorm.
  8. thebastidge

    thebastidge Monkey+

    I would be cautious about bumping the tree with a vehicle. Too easy to damage the trunk and kill the tree. How about standing in a pickup bed to reach higher?

    Getting someone to come prune the thing would probably increase the harvest and they might be able to re-shape the tree so that it is easier to reach as well. A lot of fruit trees can actually be cut back to more or less a trunk and grafted to grow limbs properly. This is one way to revitalize a senescent tree- the massive roots underground allow it to survive until the new limbs are producing well again. Of course, that sacrifices a couple-three years of fruit, but it's still faster than planting a new tree.

    Making wine is actually simpler than you probably think. The yeast does all the work, you just provide it with an overwhelming advantage to help it along by providing the right environment and keeping bacterial influence out.
    chelloveck likes this.
  9. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Try establishing new trees by cuttings

    I concur with Bastidge about pruning your mulberry tree....use some of the prunings as cuttings to propogate new mulberry trees....and then cordon or espalier the propogated trees. It will make your mulberry trees easier to crop, and it will mean that you will still have mulberries in production when the parent tree declines in productivity due to old age.

    White mulberries are always worth considering if planting a new tree....they have interesting medicinal properties, and are more forgiving for laundry hung out on a clothes line than red mulberries are. I'm not quite sure what a white mulberry wine woulkd be like....more like a mulbrose' than a mulblis or a mulbernet I would expect. ; )

    Morus alba - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Mulberry wine is no more difficult in principle than brewing ginger beer or a Lager, but makes nice gifts for those who like a tipple of something slightly exotic, and may make a good barter item.
  10. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    We use the tarp method as well. Just remember that they can be a laxitive. [CRC]

  11. Shanna_Redwind

    Shanna_Redwind Monkey+

    Hmmm.. that does explain a few things.....
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