Walking out on my daughter’s balcony in her Maryland townhouse, I am careful not to step on the dozens of berries that fell onto the deck from the branches of a Mulberry tree that tower over the veranda.
The tree is laden with ripe black-purple berries that dangle from the tree’s branches. Tufted Titmice, gray birds with large black eyes and thick crests, fly into the tree and harvest the blackish fruit. Each bird eats one or two berries and flies away. A chipmunk climbs up the stairs leading to the deck and picks up one of the fallen berries and devours the fruit. Later a eastern gray squirrel descends from the tree onto the railing of the porch, picks up a mulberry and eats it.
The fruit is edible by people too, but be sure you identify the plant correctly. People die from eating poisonous berries and other parts of some plants. Additionally, be sure your plant hasn’t been sprayed by pesticides. Red mulberry is a great plant for your wildlife garden.