What type of tree is this?

(Question)

Hello, if anyone could help identify this tree, I would be so grateful. It’s about a metre high at this point. I’m trying to figure out whether it can stay in its current location or if it will become too large. Thank you so much!

image

(Answer)

I think your tree could be a White Mulberry (Morus alba). I’m basing this identification on the alternating arrangement of leaves on the stem and the lobed pattern of the leaves. (The leaves are not as lobed on older specimens.) You can further test this identification by snapping off a leaf. The petiole that attaches the leaf to the stem will exude a milky sap when cut. Be careful when doing so as the sap can cause skin irritation.

White Mulberry is a fast-growing tree that will grow to a mature height of 30 feet. It will grow in full sun to part shade and tolerates drought and air pollution. It has a round and spreading form – somewhat sprawling when young but evening out as it grows. White Mulberry native to China and was introduced to North America in colonial times in an attempt to establish a silkworm industry. It is available in nurseries and has been planted for erosion control and to create wind breaks.

It is now naturalized in many US states and in southern Ontario where it is considered an invasive species. The fruits are very attractive to birds which has contributed to its spread. White Mulberry is closely related to our native, endangered Red Mulberry (Morus rubra) which only occurs in Southern Ontario. White Mulberry is hybridizing with our native tree which may eliminate the endangered Red Mulberry.

If you’d like to read more about White Mulberry I’m including links below to several online sources of information:

https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=d439

https://treecanada.ca/en/resources/tree-killers/plants/while-mulberry/