En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Thursday - June 27, 2013

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives
Title: Is a mulberry tree undesirable?
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I have a hard time keeping plants alive, so I was happy when a random plant just started growing and thriving about 5 years ago in my yard. My mom (a frequent volunteer at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center) identified it as a Mulberry tree and suggested I get rid of it. Likewise, I had a landscape architect prepare a planting plan for the yard and he, too suggested I get rid of it. However, it seems to thrive so well and it is providing nice shade. Do I really need to get rid of it? what potential problems could this tree cause. I have seen no fruit so far.

ANSWER:

 

Well, it all depends.  I suspect that it is a Paper mulberry.  This non-native plant sometimes becomes very invasive, edging out native plants in its vicinity.  Seeds from your tree could be carried by birds into natural areas nearby.  Check out the texture of the leaves.  If they are sandpapery on top and downy underneath, it is the unwelcome Paper mulberry.  Best to eliminate it now.

On the other hand, it could m the much less common Morus microphylla (Littleleaf mulberry) or the Morus rubra (Red mulberry).  These natives are less invasive and provice food for wildlife.

 

From the Image Gallery


Littleleaf mulberry
Morus microphylla

Red mulberry
Morus rubra

More Invasive Plants Questions

Destroying seeds of Chinaberry tree
October 23, 2007 - I have a "chinaberry" tree in my yard, and while I understand that it is an invasive plant to Texas, I was hoping to save the large mature tree. As an effort to be more responsible I have been coll...
view the full question and answer

Organic means for ridding garden of stinging ants
April 18, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I have a butterfly garden that is filled with native plants the butterflies LOVE! However I have a colony of red ants that have moved in. I need to trim some of the more inva...
view the full question and answer

Vine Choices Scarce in Beaverton Oregon
June 08, 2012 - Hi, I am looking for a hearty vine that we could use to cling to and cover a cement wall that is about 8 feet tall and 30 feet long. It is on the south side of our house but never gets direct sunli...
view the full question and answer

Removal of non-native zoysia grass from Burgettstown PA
September 12, 2013 - What is the most effective method of killing zoysia grass? We bought a house that sits in the center of four acres of mature zoysia. It looks beautiful, however, despite our best efforts at "weeding...
view the full question and answer

Should the herbicide Ornamec 170 be used on unwanted grasses?
March 15, 2012 - I have a lovely wildflower garden in a field behind my house; unfortunately, the wildflowers are being smothered by grasses. I understand that Ornamec 170 can be used to control grasses in wildflower...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center