The Osage Orange is a beautiful tree with a fascinating story.
Once common throughout the Southeast United States, its range had shrunk to just a stretch of land around Texas and neighboring states when Europeans arrived due to the extinction of its primary seed disperser.
2. The Native Americans highly prized the wood for making bows. Meriwether Lewis said the Osage Indians, who gave their name to the tree, traveled hundreds of miles to find it.
3. Its wood is the densest of all the trees, which is not surprising since it must support its numerous 3-5" two pound fruit.
4. In the age before barbed wire, the trees were planted to create living fences . The thorny limbs of the trees, planted in a row, would be weaved together to form an implementable wall to keep livestock in and predators out.
5. Since the wood is amazingly resistance to pests and rotting, it was popular for barbed wire fence posts.
6. Its distinctive yellow-orange colored wood can be used to make a dye.
7. The wood burns at the highest temperature of all trees.
8. Although its botanical name is Maclura pomifera, it is also called bois d'arc (French for "wood of the bow"), or a corruption of that, bowdark or bodark. Its fruit is also called a horse apple or hedge apple.
9. The trees are male or female. Only the female trees produce fruit.
|Squirrels eat the seeds, but are not ideal seed dispersers|