Osage-Orange (Maclura pomifera)
Osage-Orange is a native tree coming from a relatively small area in eastern Oklahoma, portions of Missouri, Texas and Arkansas. While used for centuries by native Americans in its original area for war clubs and bows, it was the first tree Lewis and Clark sent back east from St. Louis in 1804. Yet, with that modest beginning, the Osage-Orange probably has been planted in greater numbers throughout the United States in the 19th and early 20th century than almost any other tree species in North America. Because of its value as a natural hedgerow fence, it made agricultural settlement of the prairies possible, it then led directly to the invention of barbed wire in 1874, and then provided most of the posts for the wire that fenced the West. It is still considered the best wood for making archer’s bows. The Osage-Orange is one of America’s more interesting natives. It has at least two Internet web sites dedicated to keeping Osage-Orange enthusiasts informed (see www.osageorange.com and www.hedgeapple.com).
|Osage-Orange (Maclura pomifera)||Mature height of 30 to 35’ with a spread of 25’||Zones 5 through 9A, prefers full sun and will grow in most soils.|