Mulberries are deciduous trees from the genus Morus. The exact number of mulberries is complicated. In part, this is because they have been much cultivated, which has resulted in numerous cultivars. Moreover, there is widespread hybridization between mulberries that has been known to produce fertile hybrids. Still, there are three mulberries – the white mulberry, the red mulberry, and the black mulberry – that tend to be better-known than the others. Be warned that these names aren’t guaranteed to be faithful reflections of these trees. In fact, it should be mentioned that the white mulberry is named thus because European taxonomists were first made familiar with a mutated cultivar that was prized because it bore white fruits. Meanwhile, wild white mulberries bear black fruits. Something that they share with other mulberries. In any case, mulberries have been used for a wide range of things. For example, their fruits can be eaten on their own. Similarly, their fruits can be used to make pies, wines, herbal teas, and so on and so forth. Having said that, one of the things that stand out the most about mulberries would be their critical role in silk production. For those who are unfamiliar, silk comes from the cocoons of silkworms, which have the leaves of mulberries as their sole food source. As such, no mulberries means no silk. This is true for wild silk as well because wild silk comes from the burst cocoons of wild silkworms that have emerged as wild silk moths. The two have significant differences from one another, but even so, they are domesticated and wild versions of the same species.
Mulberries Have Lobed Leaves
For starters, mulberries have lobed leaves. Generally speaking, tree leaves can be classified as either simple leaves or compound leaves. Simple leaves are called thus because they have undivided blades. In contrast, compound leaves are called thus because they are divided up into leaflets connected to the same middle vein. Simple leaves can be classified as either lobed leaves or unlobed leaves. Lobes refer to projections of the leaf’s blade, which are different from the leaflets seen in compound leaves because the gaps between the lobes don’t reach the middle vein. As such, unlobed leaves have rounder, simpler shapes than their lobed counterparts. Mulberry leaves aren’t as dramatic-looking as some of the other lobed leaves that can be found out there. However, there can be no doubt about the fact that they are lobed leaves.
Mulberries Have Asymmetric Lobed Leaves
Of course, there are a lot of trees with lobed leaves out there. Fortunately, mulberries are unusual in that they have asymmetric lobed leaves. Anyone who has ever seen a maple leaf will remember that it has a central lobe that is flanked by one to four pairs of lobes. It won’t necessarily be perfectly symmetric in appearance. However, it would be under perfect circumstances. Mulberry leaves don’t have that. Instead, mulberry leaves have lobes that distributed in an uneven manner. This is useful because asymmetric lobed leaves are rare though not unique.
Identifying the Leaves of Different Mulberries
Different mulberries have a lot of similarities with one another. However, they also have a lot of differences with one another, which include some that can be found on their leaves. For instance, if the mulberry leaf has rounded teeth on their edges, that could mean that it comes from either a white mulberry or a red mulberry. These two kinds of mulberry leaves can be distinguished from one another by the fact that white mulberry leaves are glossy-looking while red mulberry leaves are less so, though that might not be very helpful unless people have examples of both to compare with one another. Black mulberry leaves are easier to distinguish from these two kinds of mulberry leaves. This is because they are shorter leaves with heart-shaped bases. Other kinds of mulberries have other quirks that differentiate them from one another. To name an example, paper mulberry leaves are very hairy in a way that the three aforementioned kinds of mulberry leaves are not.
How Can You Identify a Tree?
If people are struggling to identify a mulberry tree leaf, they might find it easier to try identifying the mulberry tree itself. Checking the leaves is one of the most common ways to identify a tree. However, there are a lot of other methods. One example would be checking the bark of the tree, which should be cinnamon-colored in the case of mulberry trees. Be warned that this can be more complicated than it seems because both the bark colors and the bark textures of the same tree can change over time. Other examples of factors that can provide useful information include but are not limited to the size of the tree, the shape of the tree, the location of the tree, the fruits of the tree, and the seeds of the tree. Not every single one of these factors is guaranteed to be useful for figuring out what something is supposed to be. As mentioned earlier, the mulberries of different mulberry trees don’t necessarily look that different from one another. Furthermore, a different color doesn’t necessarily mean a different species but can just mean a different cultivar instead.
Ultimately, if people are struggling to identify exactly what a tree or a tree leaf is supposed to be even after making use of the various resources that can be found online, they should call in the professionals for their informed opinion on the matter. There are a lot of tree service companies out there. Generally speaking, they should have a pretty good idea of what trees are what trees in their general area because that is so important for the provision of their services. As such, unless someone has something very unusual on their hands, that should resolve their question then and there. Failing that, well, there are plenty of other tree specialists out there, though getting in touch with the right one will presumably be more complicated than getting in touch with a tree service company.