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...

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









[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.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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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...
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.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb

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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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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?...
Ghosts of Evolution. She talks about Ginkgos, too, and Ive known a few historic specimens of those also!
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Pollen collector Fruit Growers Permaculture Hybridizer Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jul 27, 2018 4:25 PM CST
Osage Orange is also the preferred rootstock for Cudrania tricuspidata aka che or melon berry. It doesn't sucker like Cudrania tricuspidata does on it's own roots. In 2016 and again in 2017 I planted Osage Orange seeds and I'm already grafting che to them this year with high success rates.
🌿A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered🌿
Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Critters Allowed Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Organic Gardener Frogs and Toads
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UrbanWild
Oct 9, 2018 7:04 AM CST
stone said: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...


There is a lot of supposition and inference in the writer's thesis. Are large mammals efficient dispersers of seed? Sure. But when he supposes the perceived decline of osage orange is due to the extinction of large megafauna, he not only doesn't support this with evidence, he ignores a point made earlier in the article where he States they spread readily from roots. Therefore, the extinction of megafauna would not necessarily result in a decline, rather it would simply not be spread by seed. There are some interesting facts and hypothesis to the article . However, caution should be exercised when attempting to weave discreet facts into greater tapestries of historical and ecological import. Additionally, hyperbole such as the intro, "Warning: Reading this article may cause a whiplash-inducing paradigm shift. You will no longer view wild areas the same way. Your concepts of "pristine wilderness" and "the balance of nature" will be forever compromised. You may even start to see ghosts" is nether warranted in this case nor a good idea under the guise of informing people about science. It renders the appearance of tabloidism which does disservice to both writer and reader.
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Critters Allowed Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Organic Gardener Frogs and Toads
Dog Lover Birds Vegetable Grower Spiders! Hummingbirder Butterflies
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UrbanWild
Oct 9, 2018 7:07 AM CST
BTW, as someone notes above, it is a good hedge plant. I've Incorporated it into prickly boundaries in a number of places. Another good one is American plum... Which has the benefit of providing fruit to hardier pickers! 😏
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE

FrankMosher
Oct 9, 2018 7:49 AM CST
The Internet is full of outright fraudsters taking advantge of those suffering with advanced cancers, by claiming that buying and consuming their supplements (containing hedge apples) even cures stage 4 metasticized breast cancer. Just rubbish. Interesting first posting by Hazelnut!
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Oct 9, 2018 11:14 AM CST
I miss @hazelnut. She posted lots of interesting articles and was the backbone of this forum.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Pollen collector Fruit Growers Permaculture Hybridizer Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
Daylilies Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Photography Herbs Region: United States of America
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ediblelandscapingsc
Oct 10, 2018 6:10 PM CST
What happened to her?
🌿A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered🌿
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Oct 11, 2018 7:07 AM CST
Don't know. I haven't seen any posts from her for quite a while.
I did notice hedge apples on trees this past week. A good time to collect them.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
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quercusnut
Mar 8, 2019 9:21 PM CST
Osage Orange is in no danger of extinction in my area. I consider them weeds on my property. I will always keep at least one or two though for diversity. The rest I get rid of.
Name: Mac
Still here (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
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McCannon
Mar 9, 2019 8:20 PM CST
When the farmers cut the trees down we turn them into firewood and lumber. Some folks collect the limbs and turn them in to hunting bows.
THANKS TO ALL THE HEALTHCARE WORKERS LOOKING OUT FOR US! WEAR A MASK IN PUBLIC!! PLEASE!!
Be Careful Out There! Stay Safe! Check On Your Neighbors!
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We could learn much from them!

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Name: Phil
Columbus, OH (Zone 6a)
Permaculture
phlday
Aug 6, 2019 6:13 PM CST
Here is a link to a book from 1879 "Caldwell's Treatise on Hedging" that describes how Osage Orange was used to make hedges. https://books.google.com/books...

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