The Old Mulberry Tree in the High Street

Photo:Mulberry Tree November 2012

Mulberry Tree November 2012

By Derek Skipper

This tree was originally thought to have been planted in the early 17th Century by order of King James I during his initiative to promote a silk industry in England. He mistakenly had 10,000 black mulberry trees imported from all over Europe for landowners to purchase and plant, at the rate of six shillings per 1,000, instead of the white variety whose leaves are the natural food of the silkworm moth. However, during a survey conducted in 2000 by South Cambs District Council to identify the oldest tree in S.Cambs, it was judged to be the 6th oldest at 429 years old and so must have been planted around 1571 in the 16th century reign of the first Queen Elizabeth.

The land on which the tree stands was once part of the garden of Quarry Farmhouse, demolished in 1970 to make way for a development of six houses. When the nearby old Lock Up was knocked down in 1979 to make room for the Village Hall extension, some of the bricks were used to surround the tree and give it support.

Because of the age of the tree, the Parish Council have taken responsibility for preserving it. Despite losing most of its branches in a great storm in October 2002 the old Mulberry has re-grown and survives to produce a heavy crop of fruit each year, much appreciated by local jam and pie makers. 

This page was added by Derek Skipper on 28/11/2012.

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