Sunday, July 24, 2011

Osage Orange [Maclura pomifera]--delightful tree


The Osage Orange is a most interesting tree providing a worthless fruit in the fall often called "hedge apples" but the timber from the tree has worthy properties and earned a place in part of the history of the North American Plains Indians and settlers..."The heavy, close-grained yellow-orange wood is very dense and is prized for tool handles, treenails, fence posts, electrical insulators, and other applications requiring a strong dimensionally stable wood that withstands rot." And in some cases the "...yellow-orange dye can be extracted from the wood, which can be used as a substitute for fustic and aniline dyes."

I had one of these in my backyard that survived a tornado and provided a nest for a red bird. The nest was in the center of the tree and the bird had excellent protection for the stems produced tough, sharp thorns. The birds navigated through the razor sharp thorns with ease.

Maclura pomifera [Wikipedia]


Sue E. Genaris said...

Osage orange fruit isn't worthless -- it keeps the crickets in my garage from taking over the rest of the house. All I have to do is leave a fruit in a corner of the garage and I get about a month of cricket free living.

Mercury said...

I suppose that I should have been more specific about the fruit. There is no commercial value like apples or oranges. I too have used the fruit cut into sections and placed in several areas in a basement. The sticky stuff inside is quite appealing to many insects...and they eventually become stuck.