The Osage orange tree (Maclura pomifera) doesn’t have any distinctive attributes, so it is not usually grown as a specimen tree. The tree is often grown as a hedge plant at U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 4 though 9. The tree’s foliage will turn yellow before falling in the autumn, along with the female tree bears fruits that appear much like a wrinkled orange when a man tree is existing.
Osage Orange Fruit
The feminine Osage orange tree generally begins bearing fruit at about 10 decades old. The bumpy, yellow-greenish fruits, called hedge-apples, ripen in September through October. All these 4-inch-wide fruits fall to the ground when ripe, but are not edible. While the fruit of Osage orange trees is not a suitable food supply for people, squirrels rip the fruit apart and eat the seed.
Pollination, Flowers and Fruit
The Osage orange tree has male and female flowers on different trees, but neither tree has any ornamental or decorative value. The trees’ small green flowers usually bloom in mid-May through June. The trees are wind-pollinated along with a man tree is required for the feminine to place fruit. The male trees’ flowers can create litter and an offensive scent or maybe even cleaned up and the flowers rot on the ground. Fruit from the female trees can also become a litter issue, so they are not recommended for the home landscape usage.
Osage Orange Care
Osage orange trees are easy to take care of, because the can withstand poor soil, wind, heat, moderate alkalinity and cold and heat. The trees can also be immune to oak root fungus and have no other serious insects or diseases. It is simple to spread the trees using root cuttings, seeds and stalks. The trees transplant well. Thornless male varieties, such as “Wichita” and “Whiteshield,” are advocated for hedges.
Uses of Osage Orange Tree
The Osage orange, despite the potential litter issue, makes a wise selection for a difficult hedge, a backdrop plant and if pruned high, provides shade to your backyard. The Osage orange’s thorny branches make the trees a great barrier for livestock as a living fence. Wood from the trees is used to make fence, fence posts, archery bows, shrub fingernails and a yellow dye.