Saturday, April 28, 2012

To Eat or not to Eat

I have recently tried to identify a berry tree in our backyard. It's actually growing between our back fence and the fence of our backdoor neighbors, though it hangs mostly into our yard.

 I am fairy certain it is a mulberry tree, but I'm not sure enough to start munching on the berries.

The leaves and berries seem to match the descriptions I've found.  Has anyone ever come across one of these trees before?


Di said...

It is a red mulberry tree, and the fruits are very much edible. We had one in the front yard of a previous home, and the fruits when they turn dark( think blackberry) become very sweet and extremely delicate. In times gone by they were used to make jams and jellies, and their leaves are the single food source for the Chinese Silkworm ( who's cocoon is used to produce real silk). The only problem is that the tree grows very tall, produces a lot more than the birds and humans can eat and it drops it's fruit to the ground. Nice, dark purple, easy to crush fruit that permanently stains any fabric that it touches ( and leaves a long lasting stain on skin) It drops it's fruit in a great big circle under the tree, and as it rots it becomes an attractive hangout for yellow jackets. For this reason many people have removed the trees from their property ( the mess and the hassle). Personally I loved having the tree, having the fruits and showing my son how it would grow three shapes of leaves on it's branches. We would refer to the tree as "The Belly Berry Tree" because we could always wander over( stepping carefully) , and snack on a handful of berries. I believe a Google search will bring up some old recipes for jams, jellies and pies , and Oxy-clean worked well to remove the stains from the clothing :-)

Karen said...

Thanks for the info, Di! I guess we are fortunate that the tree is on the very back of our property line. It is still rather small; I'd say about 15 feet. The kids will be happy to learn we can eat them and I am looking forward to some snacking! Thanks for the links. :)