Broussonetia papyrifera, Paper Mulberry

Invasive Species February 09, 2012 Print Friendly and PDF

Invasive Species: Broussonetia papyrifera, Paper Mulberry

Paper mulberry is a fast-growing deciduous tree that can reach 50 ft (15.2 m) in height and invades disturbed areas throughout the Eastern United States. The tree crown is broad and rounded, with wide-spreading branches. Paper mulberry leaves are highly variable in size (3 to 10 in. [7.6 to 25.4 cm]), shape, and arrangement. Shape ranges from heart-shaped and entire to multilobed and highly dissected. The leaves are usually alternate, but they can be whorled or opposite. Leaves are fuzzy and have coarsely serrated margins. The sap is milky white and flows freely from cut surfaces. Flowering occurs in the spring, when female flowers form in globose heads and male flowers develop in catkins. Fruit are red to orange, globose, and 1 to 1.6 in. (3 to 4 cm) in diameter. Winter twigs have a "fuzzy" appearance. Paper mulberry quickly invades disturbed areas and can be found along forest edges, old fields, and roads, where it displaces native vegetation. Due to their shallow root systems, the trees are susceptible to being blown down in high winds. Paper mulberry is native to Asia, where it was used to produce paper. It was introduced in North America in the early 1900s and has been widely planted as an ornamental tree.

What are invasive species, and why should we be concerned about them? 


Taxonomy: Scientific and Common Names for This Species

Urticales > Moraceae > Broussonetia papyrifera (L.) L'Hér. ex Vent.

Synonym(s): none

Broussonetia papyrifera - USDA PLANTS Profile

Distribution Maps

paper mulberry - The reported distribution of this invasive species across the United States (Source: Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States)

Up-to-the-minute distribution maps and why they are important 

Reporting This Invasive Species

What is the best way to report the occurrence of an invasive species? 

 How to report an invasive species sighting to EDDMapS - Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System

EDDMapS - Report an invasive species to EDDMapS.

County Extension Offices - Find your county Extension office on this map provided by USDA.

How to Identify

This invasive species can be identified by looking for the characteristics described in the paragraphs that follow.

Tree

Paper mulberry is a fast-growing deciduous tree that can reach 50 ft (15.2 m) in height. The tree crown is broad and rounded, with wide-spreading branches.

Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, bugwood.org Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, bugwood.org

Foliage

Foliage is the best identifying characteristic for this species. Paper mulberry leaves are highly variable in size (3 to 10 in. [7.6 to 25.4 cm]), shape, and arrangement. Shape ranges from heart-shaped and entire to multilobed and highly dissected. The leaves are usually alternate, but they can be whorled or opposite. Leaves are fuzzy and have coarsely serrated margins. The sap is milky white and flows freely from cut surfaces.

Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, bugwood.org Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, bugwood.org

Flower

Flowering occurs in the spring, when female flowers form in globose heads and male flowers develop in catkins.

Gerald D. Carr, Carr Botanical Consultation, bugwood.org James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, bugwood.org

Fruit

Fruit are red to orange, globose, and 1 to 1.6 in. (3 to 4 cm) in diameter.

Amy Richard, University of Florida, bugwood.org Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, bugwood.org

Native Morus Species Resemble Paper Mulberry

Morus rubra, red mulberry - Images at invasive.org

Paul Wray, Iowa State University, bugwood.org Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia, bugwood.org
Paul Wray, Iowa State University, bugwood.org Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, bugwood.org

 

Additional Images for Paper Mulberry

paper mulberry - Images at invasive.org

 

Learning Resources for Paper Mulberry

 

Additional Information, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Control and management recommendations vary according to individual circumstances. Location, habitat, weather, and a variety of other conditions are factors that help determine the best treatment choice. To find the safest and most effective treatment for your situation, consult your state's land-grant institution. If you will use chemicals as part of the control process, always refer to the product label  .

United States Land-Grant University System - Find your Land-Grant University's College of Agriculture, University Cooperative Extension Service, or other related partner on this map provided by USDA.

A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests - USDA Forest Service

A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests - USDA Forest Service

Florida National Forests Invasive Plant Series - USDA Forest Service

Weeds Gone Wild: Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas - Plant Conservation Alliance

Weed of the Week - USDA Forest Service

Invasive Species Management Plans for Florida - University of Florida, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

Invasives Database - TexasInvasives.org


 

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.