Woodlot – Osage Orange

Also known as: Hedge apple, horse-apple, hedge, bodark, Bois d’Arc
yellow wood, mock-orange, and bow-wood, is a very strong and useful wood source.

I am most familiar with this tree from when I was learning primitive skills several years ago. Osage Orange is a very sought after wood for making bows. Historically, it was also used as hedge rows before the invention of barbed wire due to its strength and its thorns. Other prolific usage includes/included wagon wheels, mine supports, and fences posts because it is extremely resistant to rot. Because of it’s strength, it is also wonderful for making tool handles.

“horse high, bull strong and pig tight” – Johnathan Turner, @1847

Because of this, Osage Orange could be useful as part of our woodlot as building materials, not just as a fuel source. It only grows about a foot per year, so it will take some time to establish a decent sized grove.

As a fuel source it is the highest BTU producing wood in North America. This means you need less cords of wood to produce the same amount of heat.

Can grow from seed or propagate via cuttings. It is reported to be coppicable.

“some swear it is a natural insect repellant and will keep a “hedge apple” under each bed in the house and in the basement.”

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