osage orange seedling questions

sun city, CA(Zone 9a)

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.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

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.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

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.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

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?

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

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.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

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.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

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.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

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

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Plant more viburnums - or JMs, if one must.

sun city, CA(Zone 9a)

what are JMs?

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Japanese maples

Christiana, TN(Zone 6b)

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.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

THAT'S the circle of life...

Christiana, TN(Zone 6b)

Amen, brother!

sun city, CA(Zone 9a)

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.

Christiana, TN(Zone 6b)

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'.

sun city, CA(Zone 9a)

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.

Christiana, TN(Zone 6b)

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. :-)

sun city, CA(Zone 9a)

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

Warrenton, VA

Just don't name 'em.

Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

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

Doug

Northeast, PA(Zone 6b)

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

Warrenton, VA

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.

sun city, CA(Zone 9a)

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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