Red mulberry is a rare and endangered small fruit tree in Canada; native to Central to Eastern United States, and the southeastern tip of Canada. In Ontario it is found in the Niagara Escarpment bottomlands, near rivers, and on the shores of Lake Erie. This ecological region is called the northern Carolinian zone.
Red mulberry grows in forested areas of rich humus with a sand or limestone base; tolerates some shade but prefers forest areas with openings of sun. Delicious, edible fruit to both humans and animals occur in July, and resemble red to dark purplish, long blackberries. It has coarsely toothed, heart shaped leaves; asymmetrical with a rough surface on top and hairy surface underneath. Older bark is greyish tan with elongated plates; sap is milky.
The red mulberry's greatest threat is competition and crossbreeding with the white mulberry (non native tree). Other threats include disease and climate change. Red mulberry is a good choice for landscapes provided there is adequate space surrounding it.
Government of Canada. (2015). Red Mulberry (Morus rubra): COSEWIC assessment and status report 2014. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/species-risk-public-registry/cosewic-assessments-status-reports/red-mulberry-2014.html
Ontario. (n.d.). Red Mulberry (Species at Risk). Retrieved from https://www.ontario.ca/page/red-mulberry-species-risk
University of Guelph Arboretum. (n.d.). Red Mulberry - Morus rubra. Retrieved from https://www.uoguelph.ca/arboretum/thingstosee/trees/redmulberry