Keep the seed bed weed-free as the plants are forming. We found a study from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach where toxicologists extracted compounds from osage fruit balls. This dropping from the tree in autumn encourages the use of the balls for fall decoration. When mature, its spread can be up to 25 feet in diameter. If animals do eat the fruit, there have been cases of cows, for instance, choking on the fruit, as it is so hard and not too easy to chew. Osage is the only member of the Maclura genus that still exists today. Till the compost into the soil at the deepest setting. They can keep livestock inside of a certain area or create beautiful borders. They adapt well to most soil. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Here are a few of the most common ones: The biggest issue with pests when planting Osage orange trees are scales. With that said, what are they actually used for? If you have not heard of this tree before, you may be surprised when you see it, most especially the ugly fruit that it produces. Ultimately, this tree became a very important part of life for many years. Add sand and mineral matter to the top few inches of soil before planting if it is low in mineral content. The stems can be thorny. Omissions? Is this true? That would be worth trying to help with other insect issues. Plant Osage orange hedgerows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. At that time, many miles of hedge were constructed by planting thousands of young Osage Orange trees closely together in a line. Leaves are medium green in summer, changing to yellow-green or yellow in fall. This plant has some cultivated varieties. Building the urban forest for 2050. Dyck Arboretum of the Plains is affiliated with Hedge apples possess little value as a food source to humans although squirrels are active consumers of the fruit, expending much effort to pick out the seeds within the Osage hedge balls. These trees can become invasive and override existing vegetation if they aren’t managed. These pioneers called the tree the bow dark, which was then became known as the bow wood. Stack the plants together to transport to the hedgerow. These may cause minor damage, but if you allow them to get out of control, they can cause the leaves to die and fall off prematurely. The sap eventually turns black, and some people have been known to develop a rash from it. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Grows 35 feet high and wide and is fast-growing. Over time, the trees had adapted well, and today, you can find the Osage orange tree from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Eastern Seaboard to the Great Plains. The Osage orange (Maclura pomifera), also called horse apple, hedge apple, bodark and bois d’arc, is a 35- to 70-foot tree that was often heavily pruned and planted in tight hedgerows to contain livestock. Available Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera) cultivars include ‘Wichita’ and ‘Whiteshield’ (vase-shaped). The tree is very easy to grow from a seed, and it is fast-growing, so you don’t need a lot of time to create what you want with them. The mulch will help preserve the moisture, but the soil should not be allowed to dry out. Anyone who has ever been around the trees in the fall is familiar with their “oranges” (or “apples”). The Osage orange is often trained as a hedge; when planted in rows along a boundary, it forms an effective spiny barrier. If you have not heard of this tree before, you may be surprised when you see it, most especially the ugly fruit that it produces. Though it generally grows upwards, the training can allow you to grow the branches in any number of ways. Tsao R, Yang R, Young JC. Today, he heads the International Social Media Chamber of Commerce. The Osage orange was a very handy tree for Native American Indians, who used it for centuries to make bows. Though it may not function as a fence for modern farmers, its presence here reminds us of the ingenuity and tenacity of our farming ancestors on the Great Plains. The Osage Indians, from which the tree’s name is derived, were noted for using the wood to make bows. It is reported that Osage Orange bows were so highly regarded by Indian tribes to the north that they were willing to offer a horse and blanket in trade for one. See our, Peanut Plant Growing Guide for Home Gardeners, Privacy Policy, Disclosures and Affiliate Disclosure. Humans may also eat these seeds, but picking them from the pulp requires a huge amount of work for very little bounty.