Hicks Everbearing Mulberry Scionwood: 10 inch stick
**Cut 1/25/20 and will ship out in February**
The Hicks Everbearing Mulberry is the celebrated mulberry of the American South, once heralded for its use as a poultry and hog feed. Compared to the Illinois Everbearing or Stubbs Everbearing, the Hicks is a prodigious bearer, with an 8 year old tree producing a quart of mulberries per day for 60 straight days(!). The deeper South you go, the longer it bears, with accounts of this tree bearing fruits for 4-5 months in Louisiana.
Back before the onslaught of industrial agriculture, when pigs and poultry were mainly outside, it was said that a "10 year old tree ought to support a pig 4 to 6 months old during the tree's fruit season. As the tree gets older, 15 to 20 years old, if it has had good attention and has grown well, then it ought to support two or three pigs at the same age as mentioned above." -J. Russell Smith'sTree Crops: A Perennial Agriculture .
The mulberry leaves themselves have been said to be gobbled up by hogs nearly as fast as the mulberries once they drop at the end of the season. Plant 40 to an acre to allow for large trees, double or triple that if you'd like to pollard or coppice in-between trees for spring leaf hay to feed your hogs (ours love it).
The Hicks' whereabouts were first brought to The Fruit Explorers attention by Dr. David Shields. The positive ID on Hicks comes from Dr. A.J. Bullard, former president of NAFEX and botanical wiz. Eliza has met a family member for the old remaining Hicks orchard and he told her the following:
General Sherman came through this orchard when he was about to take over Goldsboro. The Union army took all of the pigs grazing under the mulberries and left the family without any means to restart their herd. Once Sherman's army left, a single pig emerged from hiding in one of the trees. She was pregnant and her litter, combined with ample fruit dropping from the trees, saved the family from starvation.