The One Tree That Every Homesteader Should Plant. The fruit and leaves are used to make medicine

For homesteaders seeking a versatile and beneficial addition to their land, the mulberry tree stands out as an exceptional choice. Known for its resilient nature, medicinal properties, and edible fruits, the mulberry tree is a valuable asset to any homestead. Here’s why this tree should be on every homesteader’s planting list.

Why Choose the Mulberry Tree?

1. Medicinal Uses:

  • Leaves: Mulberry leaves are packed with nutrients and have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. They can help manage blood sugar levels, making them beneficial for people with diabetes. The leaves are also known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Fruits: Mulberries are rich in vitamins C and K, iron, potassium, and antioxidants. They are believed to boost the immune system, improve digestion, and support heart health.

2. Edible and Nutritious Fruits:

  • Fresh Consumption: Mulberries are delicious when eaten fresh. They have a sweet, slightly tart flavor and can be enjoyed straight from the tree.
  • Culinary Uses: These berries can be used in a variety of recipes, including pies, jams, jellies, wines, and smoothies. They also make excellent dried snacks.

3. Easy to Grow:

  • Climate Tolerance: Mulberry trees are hardy and can thrive in a range of climates. They are drought-tolerant and can grow in various soil types, though they prefer well-drained soil.
  • Low Maintenance: Once established, mulberry trees require minimal care. They are relatively pest-resistant and do not need frequent pruning or fertilization.

4. Multiple Uses:

  • Shade and Shelter: Mulberry trees can grow quite large, providing ample shade and shelter for livestock and other plants.
  • Silkworm Food: If you are interested in silk production, mulberry leaves are the primary food source for silkworms.

Steps to Planting and Caring for a Mulberry Tree:

1. Selecting a Variety:

  • Choose a variety suited to your climate and soil conditions. Common varieties include black, red, and white mulberries.

2. Planting the Tree:

  • Site Selection: Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil. Mulberry trees need at least six hours of sunlight daily.
  • Planting Time: Plant in early spring or late fall when the tree is dormant.
  • Spacing: Space trees about 15-20 feet apart to allow for their mature size.

3. Soil Preparation:

  • Dig a Hole: Dig a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball.
  • Amend Soil: If needed, amend the soil with compost or organic matter to improve fertility and drainage.
  • Planting: Place the tree in the hole, spread out the roots, and backfill with soil. Water thoroughly.

4. Watering and Mulching:

  • Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist, especially during the first year. Water deeply and regularly.
  • Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the tree to retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.

5. Pruning and Maintenance:

  • Pruning: Prune the tree during the dormant season to remove dead or damaged branches and to shape the tree.
  • Fertilizing: Fertilize sparingly with a balanced fertilizer in early spring if the soil is poor.

6. Harvesting:

  • Fruit Harvest: Mulberries typically ripen in late spring to early summer. Harvest by gently shaking the branches over a tarp or by picking the berries by hand.
  • Leaf Harvest: Leaves can be harvested throughout the growing season for medicinal use.


The mulberry tree is an excellent choice for homesteaders due to its medicinal properties, nutritious fruits, and ease of growth. By planting this versatile tree, you can enjoy fresh mulberries, harness the health benefits of the leaves, and add a valuable, low-maintenance tree to your homestead. Embrace the mulberry tree and experience its myriad benefits in your sustainable living journey.

Leave a Comment