Permaculture forum: Hedge Apples

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Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Oct 18, 2016 2:40 PM CST
Hedge apples (Osage Orange, Maclura pomifera). This is a tree with orange wood that was imported here to the South, to use as hedgerows around the cotton plantations. The hedgerows allowed hogs and cows to graze freely around the place with no worry that the animals would escape. The trees were strung with hand made "hog wire" fixed with hand made nails. The trees themselves have 1 inch thorns so they are great for keeping animals in. (I know about this because there is a row of them growing along my driveway from the 1840s. The original nails and pieces of the orginal wire) are still imbedded in the trees.

I never thought the hedge apples were good for anything. A local woman said her family used them to deter roaches. We mostly used them as decorations at the community Christmas parties. So I was surprised to run across this web site that has recipes for the Osage Orange hedge apples: http://www.mullinslogcabin.net/hedgeapples__cancer

Here's what they look like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZywvkcMMhIw









[Last edited by hazelnut - Oct 18, 2016 3:00 PM (+)]
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Oct 19, 2016 9:24 AM CST
Interesting stuff. We have them here too and most folks use them to repel spiders, especially in basements. Haven't tried it myself.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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stone
Oct 20, 2016 7:13 AM CST
I'm not sure that I'd say that Osage orange was "imported" to the south.... It was planted widely by the natives... And the European immigrants continued to plant the trees as fencing, until barbed wore became widely available.
Osage orange is getting scarce nowadays, and could probably use a hand with it's continued generations.
Considered a living anachronism, the seed dispersers that it once relied on are long extinct.
http://www.americanforests.org/magazine/article/trees-that-m...
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Oct 20, 2016 8:06 AM CST
Interesting article! Learn something new every day.

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Oct 20, 2016 12:10 PM CST
Thanks for the article Stone. I think there are some errors in it, however the information may be correct for the author's area. Here there are seed planted trees here, and squirrels do definitely crack the fruits and eat the seeds. The article gave me more inspiration to incorporate more of these in the hedgerows around my property. I am concerned about having trees that will sustain hurricane force winds, however the Osage Orange trees that are here at 2 00 years old do topple occasionally. I wouldn't want to be under one when it decides to lie down and rest.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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stone
Oct 20, 2016 12:27 PM CST
You might research "ghosts of evolution".
The entire book was once available to download as a PDF.

Maybe you might have better luck at the library...
There's a lot of information re: the riddle of the rotting fruit.... That I found fascinating.

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Oct 20, 2016 7:04 PM CST
I didn't find the PDF but I did find this You Tube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-kYjjphxJY
Ghosts of Evolution. She talks about Ginkgos, too, and Ive known a few historic specimens of those also!

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