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The mulberry tree (Morus alba) originates in Asia, but is now found throughout southern Europe. In the 17th century, mulberry trees were even imported to northern Europe and planted extensively; the leaves of the trees were to provide food for silkworms, which were being bred at the time there. But the trees turned out not to be durable for the northern countries, today they are a rarity in Germany. The wood is particularly tough and hard, very durable and strong, and the heartwood is of a uniquely beautiful golden yellow to light brown color.The wood offered here comes from an ancient tree of the mulberry avenue in Zernikow, that died many years ago. This mulberry avenue is lined with mulberry trees more than 250 years old and listed as a historical monument. Zernikow is located near the Rheinsberg Castle of Prussian King Frederick the Great in Brandenburg. The trees were planted in 1751, and only a few of the original trees have survived since then. Silk production in Zernikow was founded by Michael Gabriel Fredersdorff, he was given the Zernikow estate by Frederick the Great in 1740 for his services, and the mulberry plantation established by Fredersdorff was located on both sides of the road leading to the Zernikow mill.Theodor Fontane mentions it in his Wanderungen durch die Mark Brandenburg:..." Fredersdorff was fond of silk cultivation, the garden and the roads were planted with mulberry trees (already in 1747 there were eight thousand of them) and the following year he had for the first time a net profit from the reeled silk. In everything he proved to be the docile disciple of his royal master, and by the whole way he tackled things it was evident that he knew how to follow the king's organizational plans with understanding and to use them as a model."