King James 1st mulberry trees

  • Pick: Mid-season
  • Self-fertile
  • Uses: Eat fresh | Cookery 
  • Disease-resistance: Good

King James 1st is a traditional English mulberry, dating from the reign of James 1st in the 17th century. It is also widely known as Chelsea.

It remains the most popular of mulberries, and is notable for the flavour of the fruits. These are a black/red colour, and should ripen in the middle of the mulberry season - around the end of August in southern England.

King James 1st mulberry trees for sale

Delivery from week commmencing 6th April (when showing as in stock)

Mature size*Supplied asPriceQuantity

Pot-grown fruit trees

Refer to product detailsHalf-standard premium - 12l pot£41.95Sold outalert me

Delivery period: Pot-grown trees can be delivered from September onwards. Bare-root trees can be delivered from mid-November onwards. Within those periods you can specify your preferred month of delivery during the checkout process. It is best to order as soon as you can to ensure items are reserved for you.

*Mature size: Height shown is the approximate height of the tree when mature (after 5-10 years), not the height when supplied. See photos of trees as supplied. Actual mature heights may vary considerably dependent on your local conditions and training and pruning regime.

Stock availability: Items showing as 'sold out' will probably be available again next season. Click here to be notified when we get more trees of this variety.

Summary features of King James 1st


  • Gardening skill: Average?
  • Cropping: Good
  • Fertility: Self-fertile?
  • Pollinating others: Average?
  • Ploidy: Diploid?
  • Vigour: Average growth?
  • Precocity: Precocious?
  • Bearing regularity: Regular?
  • Attractive tree
  • Overall disease resistance: Good?



  • Country of origin: United Kingdom
  • Period of origin: 1800 - 1849
  • Fruit colour: Red / Black
  • Leaf colour: Green
  • Popularity: Best sellers?


  • Temperate climates
  • Planting position: Full sun preferred

Pollination guide for King James 1st

King James 1st is self-fertile and does not need a pollination partner, although fruiting may be improved if there is a compatible tree of a different variety nearby.

Important: advice about pollination

How to grow King James 1st mulberry trees

Mulberry trees are self-fertile, easy to grow, and tend not to suffer from diseases. They are hardy trees and will grow in almost any situation, but you will get the best results if you can plant in a sunny open spot.

King James is fairly precocious by English mulberry standards, and you should start getting mulberries after about 4-5 years or so, with full production after about 7 years.

Mulberry trees grow slowly but steadily - the tree should get to around 5m-6m high after 10-15 years.

As with all mulberry trees, pruning is best avoided and is rarely necessary.

Keep the tree well-watered over spring and summer for the first 2-3 years after planting, and feed regularly until the tree has established.

Historical details

The original King James mulberry tree was planted in Chelsea in the 17th century during the reign of James I - and it is often known as the Chelsea mulberry for this reason. This tree survived until the Second World War, when it was cut down to make way for an air raid shelter, however cuttings were taken from which new trees have been propagated.

Botanical name

Morus nigra 'King James 1st'

UK-grown trees All our trees are grown in the UK.

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