There are several specific varieties of mulberry trees: white, black, and red. Identifying the trees by their leaves is difficult because the leaves are the least unique part of the tree. White mulberry trees have thin leaves, red mulberry leaves are thicker, and black mulberry leaves are the smallest.
A mulberry leaf can be identified by its overall shape. A mulberry leaf is heart-shaped, and the tops of the leaves are rough in texture. The red mulberry leaf has sawtooth edges. Mulberry trees may also be identified by the time of year that the leaves emerge. White mulberry tree leaves emerge in early spring, red mulberry tree leaves in mid-spring, and black mulberry tree leaves emerge in late spring or early summer.
White, red, and black mulberry trees all have lobed leaves. The white mulberry tree, however, has different lobe patterns, even on the same tree, and some leaves may not be lobed at all. White mulberry trees can identified by the white buds the tree produces. Red and black mulberry trees are known for the color of the fruit they produce and not their buds.
All mulberry trees produce berry-like clusters of edible fruit. To properly identify mulberry trees, one may visit a local library or cooperative extension office for resources providing more information, including pictures and graphics.