The Big Trees and Shrubs of Michigan 39. Morus alba L. var. pendula Dippel Weeping White MulberrySkip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
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Page 379 ï~~2004 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST 379 THE BIG TREES AND SHRUBS OF MICHIGAN 39. Morus alba L. var. pendula Dippel Weeping White Mulberry Elwood B. Ehrle, Michigan Big Tree Coordinator Department of Biological Sciences Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008 email@example.com The largest known Weeping White Mulberry in Michigan is located northeast of South Haven in Allegan County in the southwest part of the Lower Peninsula. Description of the species: The Mulberries belong to the family Moraceae. Other Michigan representatives of this family include the Red Mulberry (Morus rubra L.), the White Mulberry (Morus alba L., introduced from China), and the Osage-orange (Maclura pomifera (Raf.) Schneider, introduced from the region of Arkansas and Oklahoma). The family is characterized by the production of milky juice and multiple fruits, which are fruits made from an entire pistillate inflorescence rather than from just a single flower. The family is mostly tropical or sub-tropical and includes such well known plants as hops, figs, breadfruits, and Cannabis (both hemp and marijuana). There are two kinds of mulberries in Michigan, red and white. Both types have variously lobed leaves (see Fig. 1). Red mulberries are infrequently seen and can be recognized by the pale and downy hairs of their leaf undersides and the long-attenuate leaf tip. White mulberry leaves are glabrous on both sides but may have pubescence along the main veins on the underside and the tips of the leaves (or lobes, if any) are blunt or barely pointed. White mulberries were introduced to help establish a silk industry in the United States, because their leaves are the preferred food of silkworms. The white mulberry has given rise to many horticultural varieties (Dirr, 1983), one of which, Morus alba var. pendula has thin, hanging or pendulous branches, frequently cascading in tangled masses to the ground. Location of Michigan's Big Tree: The largest known Weeping White Mulberry in Michigan is located on the Elmhurst Farm, the Centennial Farm of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Barden. They operate a bed-and-breakfast known as the Elmhurst Inn (269. 637. 4633) in their farmhouse. The tree's site can be reached by taking 1-96 north from South Haven (Exit 20) to 109th St. (Exit 26). Turn right onto 109th St. and go approximately 3.0 miles to 64th Street. Turn right and go 1.3 miles to the Elmhurst Farm sign in the front yard on the west side of the road and turn into the driveway to the house and barn. It is 0.3 mi. south of the Leisure intersection on 64th St. The tree is located near the house and barn. If you visit it, please call first. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 42Â~ 27.871' by W 86Â~ 10.114'.
Page 380 ï~~380 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 43 380 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 43 FIGURE 1. Characteristics of the Weeping White Mulberry and location of Michigan's Big Tree. The asterisk on the map indicates the location of Michigan's Big Tree. The drawings are from Barnes & Wagner (1983). 1. Winter twig, xl. 2. Portion of twig, x2. 3. Leaves, x%. 4. Fruit, multiple of drupes, x2. Description of Michigan's Big Tree: The tree has a single solid, healthy trunk. Its girth at 4% feet above the ground was 60" (5', 1.56 m, diameter = 19.1"). The tree was 20' (6.1 m) high. The average crown spread was 16' (4.9m). The crown consisted of a tangled mass of thin branches cascading to the ground. The tree was fruiting very heavily when measured on 28 June 2003. The total points for this tree are 60 + 20 + % x 16= 64. INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE If you would like to join in extending this series of articles by visiting and describing one or more of Michigan's Big Trees, please contact Elwood B. Ehrle
Page 381 ï~~2004 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST 381 for help with locations, specifications for taking measurements, and assistance with the manuscript. The Michigan Botanical Club encourages your involvement in this activity. Please remember to ask permission before entering private property. For the most recent list of Michigan's Big Trees see Ehrle (2003). LITERATURE CITED Barnes, B. V. & W. H.Wagner, Jr. 1981. Michigan Trees. A Guide to the Trees of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor. viii + 393 pp. Dirr, M. A. 1983. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses. 3rd Edition. Stipes Publishing Co., Champaign, Illinois. i + 826 pp. Ehrle, E. B. 2003. The champion trees and shrubs of Michigan. Michigan Botanist 42(1): 3-46.