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Trees, Shrubs and Conifers: osage orange seedling questions

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risingcreek
sun city, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 3, 2011
8:19 PM

Post #8538335

my very first try ever and almost all my osage orange tree seeds have sprouted and are about 1 inch tall. is it ok to move them to bigger pots with the idea of eventually getting them planted in the ground?

question 2- should i put them in part shade since they are not really for my zone?

thanks for any response.

ViburnumValley

ViburnumValley
Scott County, KY
(Zone 5b)

May 3, 2011
8:23 PM

Post #8538352

You couldn't kill them if you tried.

Careful with setting them free - you may regret having loosed this thorny indestructible plant upon your landscape and adjoining environment.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 3, 2011
9:02 PM

Post #8538448

If you started them indoors (or in shade somewhere), you should put them in shade at first because otherwise they can get sunburned--a bit of sunburn typically won't kill large plants but it can kill seedlings. Then gradually expose them to more & more sun until they're in the same amt of sun as whatever spot you have planned as their permanent home.
Weerobin
Saint Louis, MO
(Zone 6a)

May 4, 2011
2:34 AM

Post #8538661

There are some huge mature osage orange trees at Missouri Botanical Garden.
I think they're beautiful trees. The trunk character is outstanding.
Nice clean yellow fall color too. I hadn't heard they are invasive?

ViburnumValley

ViburnumValley
Scott County, KY
(Zone 5b)

May 4, 2011
4:36 AM

Post #8538738

Weerobin:

I am careful in my choice of words. Invasive has a specific meaning when ascribed to flora/fauna, and I pull out that howitzer only when appropriate. And you probably know as well as I: there is no shortage of folks who appreciate the fragrant scent and brilliant fall fruiting of Lonicera maackii, and I know several people who insist that Ailanthus altissima is the "cat's meow" for tough sites in middle America.

Maclura pomifera, though native in the central part of North America, has historically been used/planted widely as livestock enclosure and otherwise for quite some time. This use was largely abandoned as barbed wire and other fencing became available, which reduced the need for "live fencing".

Nobody told the Osage Orange. It has merrily persisted in original locations where not bulldozed out. The female trees produce their cannonball fruit annually and copiously. Squirrels and other wildlife eat and/or distribute the seeds, as does gravity (rolling downhill) and flowing water.

I have used these fruit as holiday decorations, and years ago unceremoniously tossed them off the back deck (down the hill) when they softened and discolored. I now have (despite repeated mowings and an occasional spraying) young vigorous Osage Orange that defy extermination, and I don't own a bulldozer.

One of the gentlemen I work with owns a 120 acre farm infested with this plant. Parent trees were maybe a half dozen old denizens of a very small cemetery on a ridge. Over decades - and unmanaged - there are now thousands of these trees which make some very handsome hillsides and valleys relatively impassable.

I make no quarrel with what Osage Orange can look like. I just offer the cautionary information, because the plant does not measure its interests with a human scale.
Weerobin
Saint Louis, MO
(Zone 6a)

May 4, 2011
5:26 PM

Post #8540157

I definitely understand your maclura point. But I really had never heard of it being a nuisance tree. I appreciate the information.

But I have never ever ever ever smelled even the faintest scent, pleasant or otherwise, from a lonicera maackii. And I find it's fruiting to be lame at best. Surely a viburnologist would shudder at the comparison. But alas, I too have acquaintances who attach some bizarre, misappropriated nostalgia for the mythical 'honeysuckle' and refuse to torch it as it deserves. Requiring great diligence, I proudly garden in a honeysuckle-free zone. Except those thousands of seedlings which continuously appear out of nowhere... Divine conception, I'm sure.

ViburnumValley

ViburnumValley
Scott County, KY
(Zone 5b)

May 4, 2011
6:27 PM

Post #8540300

No, that would be Tree of Heaven...

If I had the money to waste, I'd send you a flowering branch as the Amur Honeysuckle is going full tilt here (despite the rain/cold). And, I've admired many a fruit-laden Lonicera maackii. They certainly have a range from the truly lame to bordering on winterberry-like. I know I have pictures somewhere.

Maybe MO just doesn't grow 'em like we can.
Weerobin
Saint Louis, MO
(Zone 6a)

May 4, 2011
6:32 PM

Post #8540308

You can have them...
But what we may lack in quality, we make up in quantity.
Depressing.

ViburnumValley

ViburnumValley
Scott County, KY
(Zone 5b)

May 4, 2011
7:13 PM

Post #8540396

Plant more viburnums - or JMs, if one must.
risingcreek
sun city, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 5, 2011
4:38 AM

Post #8540870

what are JMs?
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 5, 2011
7:09 AM

Post #8541166

Japanese maples
killdawabbit
Christiana, TN
(Zone 6b)

May 5, 2011
8:50 AM

Post #8541376

I wouldn't plant an OO unless I had some good-sized acreage and then I would plant them in a semi-wild spot. I have quite a few down by the creek and one near a fencerow that I am pruning and shaping. I wouldn't be without at least one just for the biodiversity.
I haven't found them to be a nuisance seeder so far. I have cherry, hackberry, poke, privet, and cedar to fill that role. Bless those beautiful birds for that. My garden would be virtually weed free if not for my wonderful feathered friends. On the plus side, I think they are responsible mostly for my almost total lack of insect pests. So I guess it's a good trade-off.

ViburnumValley

ViburnumValley
Scott County, KY
(Zone 5b)

May 5, 2011
9:09 AM

Post #8541421

THAT'S the circle of life...
killdawabbit
Christiana, TN
(Zone 6b)

May 5, 2011
9:48 AM

Post #8541480

Amen, brother!
risingcreek
sun city, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 5, 2011
12:08 PM

Post #8541724

now i am sorry i planted the seeds. here i thought i would have this great tree with lots of history and now it sounds like a monster. all i wanted was something with thorns, and fruit to feed the animals. nothing i read said it was this big an issue. guess i need to do more extensive research before i plant things.

killdawabbit
Christiana, TN
(Zone 6b)

May 5, 2011
12:20 PM

Post #8541748

risingcreek, I would go ahead and plant one if you have the room. A true gardener wouldn't mind pulling volunteers. I don't think you'll have a problem.
They are pretty trees in the right place. If it's what you want, I say 'go for it'.
risingcreek
sun city, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 5, 2011
1:19 PM

Post #8541857

the ground here is so awful, and the weather so hot in the summer/cold in winter that i was just hoping one would survive. i am going to go ahead and plant anyway, cause i got them to grow from seeds (a major accomplishment for me) and i cant murder them. i have no issue with pulling up volunteers. i was actually hoping to move them to gallon pots and plant them where i am moving, which is a rural area with some acreage and very few trees.
killdawabbit
Christiana, TN
(Zone 6b)

May 5, 2011
1:41 PM

Post #8541902

Well, one good thing about OO is it doesn't matter what the soil or climate. If it's nothing else it is tough.
Good Luck with your OO. :-)
risingcreek
sun city, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 5, 2011
5:43 PM

Post #8542485

thank you. i think it will be years before they go from seedling to fruit bearing.
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

May 25, 2012
4:46 PM

Post #9138643

Just don't name 'em.

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

June 6, 2012
11:41 AM

Post #9154713

Just came across this thread. Wee you hit the nail on the head with the moniker 'viburnologist' Love it!

Doug

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 13, 2012
4:56 PM

Post #9164064

Another late comer. My mom asked me to start some OO trees for her a number of years ago. I did - gave her 6-7 foot tall trees and she planted them. She managed to mow down all but one. So they definitely are destructible! Her last tree has not yet produced fruit to my knowledge.

Tam
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

June 26, 2012
1:36 PM

Post #9182262

I have to add this comment. My husband and I stayed at a Bed and Breakfast where, in the back, we parked. The home was a turn-of-the-century VIctorian, with more than a bit of old colonial flavor. Where we parked, there was the most beautiful, gnarley, pom-pom-dropping, tree. It looked like a big Bonsai. It was surrounded by pavement and brick sidewalks, and honestly, we just loved it. We asked the owners what in the world that special tree was, and they both grinned broadly, and proudly pronounced it an "Osage Orange."
It fit in beautifully with the old ivy, oaks, cherry tree, and of course, the tall boxwood fence. The owners did not say anything about it being anything other than inconvenient for needing to step around the big pom poms that it dropped.
Hubby wanted to take one of those pom poms home, I told him, instinctively I guess, NO.
risingcreek
sun city, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 26, 2012
6:43 PM

Post #9182671

i must say that i love mine. they are about 4-5 feet tall (grown from seed) no poms yet but the wood is highly prized by woodworkers. the tree is wonderful looking, i think.

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