Hunting lost mulberry trees
After my blog on mulberry hunting in Yorkshire, I have been busy trying to find other old mulberries across the UK.
Since my last blog, in which I uncovered the origin of the childhood nursery rhyme "Here we go round the Mulberry Bush," I've made it my mission to record as many of these under-rated and under-recorded trees as I can. They deserve to be recorded and valued.
I discovered through another tree recorder, that there used to be an old mulberry tree in Elgin, near Inverness; and as I hadn't found any other old mulberries in Scotland, I certainly wanted to discover if it still existed. Happily, my son was travelling up there one weekend and agreed to record it for me, if I told him where it was.
It used to be in the grounds of Elgin cathedral, but now the land is incorporated in a public park. I phoned the parks deptartment to see if it was still alive, and happily it was -although no one had been near it for quite a while. As usual it is lurking in a dark corner, this time behind a public toilet block!
My son scrambled along the ground, the usual multi stem and found it and recorded it for me. He even managed to take photos.
As this tree was still alive, I presumed there could be more old mulberries in Scotland and another has just come to light, in East Lothian, so I will be travelling down there as soon as the weather improves.
My mulberry exploits were heard of in the higher echelons of the Woodland Trust and I was asked to write an article for The Woods Today magazine, about my hunt for more of these special, historic trees.
My article was published under the title of 'Mrs Mulberry' and I asked for my email address to be put at the bottom of the article, so anyone who knew of an old mulberry in the UK, could to let me know of it's whereabouts.
I think the term 'going viral' could be applied here! I have had over 100 emails to tell me of old mulberries, from all over England, one from Wales, one from Ireland-but sadly, none yet from Scotland. The response has just been incredible; so many interested folks, who enjoyed my article, and were keen for me to know of another old mulberry, sometimes more than one.
I have replied to all of them, and in some cases have had photos sent to me too.
It has been so exciting, that I am going to embark on a journey- a very special Grand Mulberry Tour down to England this summer, and also around London, to see some of the morus londinium trees, as they contacted me too. On my trip I will endeavour to see and record those trees that seem to be of most historic interest (if not already recorded).
If you know of an old mulberry tree please leave a comment below to tell me about it and where it is.