Mulberry trees produce an attractive decorative wood useful for making decorative items, including pens, bowls, ornaments, and also furniture. It has a natural luster and medium density making it both durable and insect resistant. As there are several different types of Mulberry, they all have slightly different properties and appearances. Discover more here.
What You'll Learn Today
Does Mulberry Make Good Furniture?
Due to its durability, it would be easy to think that Mulberry would make a good candidate for furniture making. There are, however, a few things to take into account.
Firstly, some types of Mulberry trees don’t grow large enough to produce wood that can be used for making boards. White Mulberry, Morus alba, native to Asia, is the most common type used for this purpose.
Common problems encountered with mulberry wood that has been used for constructing furniture are warping, cracking, and color change, all of which happen over time as pieces age.
Extra precautions to prevent warp are advisable. The natural colors of mulberry wood are attractive, and if a potential change in color is accepted when making an item, it can be a bonus rather than a problem.
Typically the wood darkens and takes on richer, deep honey and red tones over time.
Items that are often made from mulberry wood include:
- Indoor and outdoor chairs and tables
- Drop-leaf tables
- Turned, decorative objects
Mulberry Wood Appearance
The color of the heartwood varies from a golden brown to a darker reddish brown, and the darker hues can become more prominent with age.
Sapwood is lighter and can range from almost white to a pale yellow.
The wood has a natural luster, and the grain has a uniform, straight alignment.
Mulberry is known to be a durable wood that is resistant to rot and insects. It’s also quite weatherproof, making it a suitable option for outside furniture.
Resin And Sap Content
Mulberry trees contain a latex sap which can be problematic for your skin and is slightly toxic.
There is no particular aroma associated with mulberry wood. It has only a slight, pleasant wood smell.
Does Mulberry Make Good Decorative Items?
If you want to make decorative items, then mulberry wood is a good choice. It is suitable for use on a lathe and will accept glue and produce a pleasing finished item with its natural luster and varying colors.
Mulberry is popular for turning into bowls and other decorative items. It’s important only to turn sapwood when it is fresh and remember that as it ages, it will darken to a more amber shade due to light exposure.
In this video, you can see how to turn a piece of mulberry wood into an attractive bowl:
Is Mulberry A Good Burning Wood?
When it comes to finding great firewood that burns slowly with little smoke and produces a lot of prolonged heat, then Mulberry is ideal. It also has a pleasant fragrance and is easy to split.
The downside to Mulberry is that it tends to spark a lot, so it isn’t really suitable for open fires in the home as it can easily spit out sparks and cause a fire. If you have a wood burner, however, then it is pretty perfect.
Another drawback is that due to its sappy nature, Mulberry can take several years to season thoroughly. Seasoning (drying out) of the wood is essential as unseasoned wood doesn’t burn well and can cause a tar buildup in your chimney, which can cause potentially hazardous chimney fires.
The main reason why mulberry wood is not used as firewood is that it isn’t grown commercially and is simply in too short a supply.
Mulberry is also a great wood for making charcoal.
Is Mulberry Good For Smoking Meat?
The sweet aroma produced by mulberry wood makes it useful as a smoking wood to impart flavor into meats. However, it isn’t a particularly smokey wood, but it will burn slowly.
It is best to use pieces that have been split into sticks of about 1 inch in diameter rather than larger logs.
Is Mulberry A Hardwood Or Softwood?
Mulberry is officially classified as a hardwood, which is why it is so durable for making objects and why it burns so well.
Why Is Mulberry Wood So Expensive?
Because mulberry is not grown commercially for its lumber, it is much harder to come by than other types of hardwood.
One of the reasons for this is that they are simply too small, even though the trees are relatively fast-growing. Mulberry trees can grow to between 30 and 50 feet in height and have a trunk diameter of between one to one and a half feet in width.
This means that if you try to source mulberry wood from a commercial wood seller, it is likely to be extremely expensive and cost as much, if not more, than other exotic hardwoods.
The best way of getting hold of mulberry for a lower price is to use your own trees that you no longer want or find trees that are being cut down by private individuals in your local vicinity.
Mulberry trees are not a threatened species and are not on the IUCN list or CITES Appendices.
Although white mulberry is best known as the principal food source for Silkworms and all species of the tree are popular for the production of their edible berries, the wood is also useful for creating decorative pieces of furniture and ornaments.
The wood is hard and durable and changes color over time. It has an attractive natural sheen that can make anything made from it quite beautiful.
The main downsides to mulberry wood are its cost due to the rarity of the lumbar, problems with warping (if it has not been seasoned for an extensive period of time), and splitting, which is a natural occurrence with this type of wood as it ages.
Many people enjoy using mulberry wood to turn and create bowls.
We have many more articles about mulberry trees and their fruit on our site, which you may find interesting. Why not take a look?