Upper Shirley High

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“Your students have wonderful manners – they’re clearly very happy.” Visiting Colombian teachers

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Mulberrry Tree

2 October 2017

You may know that Upper Shirley High proudly cares for one the last remaining Mulberry trees in Southampton.

Early in his reign, King James I instructed landowners to plant Mulberry trees at the rate of six shillings per thousand in the hope of promoting a native silk industry to rival Europe. Mulberries have thrived in Britain ever since.

The Mulberry remains a unique and celebrated tree and the National Collection of Mulberries is planted in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. Prominent in the arts, Mulberry trees can be found in Shakespeare’s garden, they are referenced in his most popular play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and in Van Gogh’s favourite painting. This rare and protected species is recognised for its characterful appearance and heart-shaped leaves.

Mulberry trees live long lives; they flourish in the sunshine, grow strongly in the spring and welcome support as they mature. The Mulberry fruit is a distinct and versatile berry and pollen from its flowers is acclaimed for its physical prowess; considered the fastest motion yet observed in biology it challenges the limits for movement in plants.

Our tree is one small part of our school’s story. To discover more, please come and visit. Open Week 2nd October until 6th October.

“"I was so impressed with the friendliness and professionalism from all those I met, both inside the classroom as well as around the school."” Visiting trainee teacher