Tree ID: Is there such a thing as a Blackberry tree?

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by Courtney, May 21, 2006.

  1. Courtney

    Courtney Member

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    I have a tree in my backyard that I have yet to Identify. I have check all the tree books for my area, and even general ones on the internet with no answer.
    Forgive me if I use the wrong terms, or sound like an idiot.

    It is the same height as my two store flat, so I know it is no bush, but it has blackberry like fruit on it. The tree bloomed earlier this spring with small white flowers and within a few weeks there were small green fruit that turned to black. Someone could take these berries put them in a small crate and I wouldn't know the difference between them and the blackberries I buy at the market.
    I tasted one (I know, not smart) and they have the flavor of a watered down blackberry, almost grape like, and it didn't kill me or make me sick.
    The foliage is a very dark green, and reminds me a lot of a black cherry's leaves. Just broad, simple, leaves that come to a point at the end. The back is dark and rough around the trunk but becomes pale and smooth on the outer branches and upper parts of the tree.
    This tree is growing in southern Indiana, and does loose it's leaves during the winter.
    I would just like to know mainly what kind of berry it is, and if it is truely edible. They are quite tasty, and I would like to eat them before the birds eat them all if they are safe.
    If anyone has a question I will be happy to answer it, or maybe you can answer mine.
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    could be a fruiting Mulberry
     
  3. L.plant

    L.plant Active Member

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  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Renowned Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years of Activity

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  5. newtoplants

    newtoplants Member

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    Courtney,
    Have you verify if it's a fruiting mulberry? I've been checking on this tree in my backyard too. Searched online for a blackberry tree but all I found was blackberry bushes and mine is two stories high, so I'm pretty sure it's not a bush. Most of the fruits in this tree is still green with a few all ripe, I tried it and it taste good. I was so sure that it's blackberry but I guess not but I am planning to eat it regardless.
     
  6. Courtney

    Courtney Member

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    Turns out mine is a mulberry. Thanks to everyone that helped me figure this out. I was so used to the mulberry trees with no berries and lots of yellow pollen, turns out those are the male ones, I have a female one. Mine has a few more green ones left, but most have turned dark red then black and fallen. I have eaten quite a few and I am still alive, so they are edible. They taste a lot like grapes to me or watered down blackberries.
    I have to say they are very messy. I have a concrete patio under some of the branches. The berries that have fallen have made a very sticky mess on the concrete, but it was nothing that a little Tide powder detergent, a hose, and a soft push broom didn't clean up. It has brought a lot of birds and raccoons to the area too.....that is good and bad. I think next year I will have to trim the tree before it blooms and clear out the branches that hang over the patio.
    At least now I don't have to worry about being poisoned by the berries. Maybe I can get to them before the critters.
     
  7. Dixie

    Dixie Active Member

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    birds make huges messes with mulberries too, purple polk-a-dots all over one's car. wait until it heats up and the fallen fruits begin to rot, lovely stinky smell. wildlife love them, but after having several of them, I think they are pretty wretched. not so bad if they are out and away from homes or human activity.
     
  8. Chief

    Chief Member

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  9. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    The tree you suggest has white fleshy drupes that turn red/black when ripe, a drupe is not like a blackberry fruit I dont think.

    that said, I havent heard of your tree before, sounds interesting.
     
  10. novemberme

    novemberme Member

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    Chief, I think the tree you found online only grows in Australia. I think the tree in question in my yard is also a mulberry, although I'd have sworn they were blackberries before seeing the mulberry tree.
     
  11. Chief

    Chief Member

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    Just looked up "Fruiting Mulberry " and the leaves are totally different . The leaves on this tree look just like the ones on the "Blackberry Tree " on the site referred to by myself .
     
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    Leaves of white mulberry (Morus alba) highly variable in shape, other species may have multiple leaf outlines on same tree also.
     
  13. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    Not all that far from Evansville, Dayton, Ohio uses mulberry for street trees. I would arbitrarily presume that your "blackberry" tree is a mulberry.
     
  14. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Vitex glabrata grows in Florida. It originates from tropical Australia (northern Queensland) and tropical southern asia. It won't survive in the Zone 6 climate of Indiana. A mulberry would.
     
  15. Love4Bugs

    Love4Bugs Active Member

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    Don't let them go to waste - make Mulberry Jam!!!
     
  16. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    We've beat this mulberry subject to death, but (for further info) I recall seventy years ago after we children had picked the ripe mulberries, Mother would soak them for an hour or so in cold water to cause the small white worms (which, apparently, also liked mulberries) to float to the surface to be poured off. We kids just ate them off the tree, of course. Our moms would bake pies with them. All of this down in the southern tip of Texas.
     
  17. notagreenthumb2

    notagreenthumb2 Member

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    Hello everyone, I'm new to this site but as Courtney did, I was serching for information on the web reguarding what appears to me to be a BLACKBERRY TREE I found. I read all your posts to this point and still think this might not be a native tree. REASON- I work with some guys from Slovenija (borders Austria in Europe) and they say this is a common tree to their country. They also do eat the fruit and have many uses for it. The trunk on this tree I have found is roughly 10 to 12 feet in diameter. I will try to take some pics to load on this site for you all to referance. Like most of you I am amazed at the sight of this tree.
     
  18. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years of Activity

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    There are several species of mulberry; common ones include:
    Morus alba (White Mulberry). Native to eastern Asia, widely naturalised elsewhere, including southern Europe and USA.
    Morus nigra (Black Mulberry). Native to southwestern Asia, naturalised in southeastern Europe.
    Morus rubra (Red Mulberry). Native to eastern USA.
     
  19. notagreenthumb2

    notagreenthumb2 Member

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    How can I tell the differance between the red and black? Is this the color of the berry? There are both red and black ones on the tree. Red I would think are the ones not ripe yet........and black of course is ripe. Is this a black mul. or red mul. tree?
     
  20. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years of Activity

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    The names don't bear any relationship to fruit colour; even White Mulberry often has black fruit. Look at leaf shape, and whether the leaves are glossy and ±hairless above, or matt and bristly-hairy above. Your likely choices are between White and Red, as Black is rarely grown in North America.
     
  21. rockinrazor

    rockinrazor Member

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    I too have discovered this mysterious 'blackberry tree" in my backyard. There was a small tree growing between two fences at the side of the yard. I usually cut off the branches since the leaves fell into my pool. This year Toronto had incredible amounts of rain in June and July and this tree doubled in size. It also started to develop fruit (blackberries) along the horizontal branches. My wife, who is Chinese, wanted to eat them immediatley but I, who am a typically cautious English Canadian, told her no. We left most of them to the birds and the racoons. However, one day we bought some blackberries at the Chinese supermarket and they were identical to my berries. My wife said she would eat them regardless of my cautions. She didn't drop on the spot so I ate a couple as well. They were excellent and tastier than the store-bought ones! We salvaged all that remained and now must figure out how to train the branches to grow sideways so that they don't mess up the pool concrete slabs. The leaves are similar to the ones pictured above. So I am still curious, are we dealing with a blackberry tree or a mulberry tree?
     
  22. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    White Mulberry & good luck on that training issue.
     
  23. rockinrazor

    rockinrazor Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. Just a small correction regarding the leaves. There are actually two types of leaves on the tree. Smaller (immature?) leaves that taper to a point and much larger roughly serrated leaves, that is, not sharply serrated, but smoothly serrated. The bark is a light grey.
     
  24. notagreenthumb2

    notagreenthumb2 Member

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    Well, now that we have settled on this being a White Mulberry tree, can I still have the misses make me a pie with the fruit from this tree? Though it will likely be when it fruits next year.......... Thanks to all for tour help and info!!
     
  25. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years of Activity

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    Yes. It probably won't be quite as tasty as a pie made with Red Mulberry fruit, but will still be nice.
     

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