Just got my Select Seed catalog and they had some very neat garden markers made of birch sticks. They are 12" long, cut to a point at one end, and have a flat place carved at the top to put the name of the plant. They are painted in a clear lacquer to help preserve. I am going to make some out of my bois c'arc sticks. I probably won't have to paint them at all as bois d'arc is a very hard wood.
Where does bois d'arc wood come from? I am a woodworker and tree lover and have never heard of it. I went through my "Trees of North America and Europe" book and I couldn't find it. I would like to know more about bois d'arc like where it grows, what it looks like and so on.
BTW The hardness of the wood has little to do with it's abiliy to last in contact with the soil.
Go to this web site and it has quite a nice, short history of the Bois d'arc...sorry, didn't think it might not exist everywhere...the barbed wire fences they talk about in the article many times used the bois d'arc for the fence posts...with some of them sprouting and growing again. It is a beautiful tree when full grown, but a little unpleasant in the beginning...it will survive cattle browsing. I have four huge ones on my place. I have no idea how old they might be...it takes three adults to reach around their trunks. The wood is very hard and just does not rot...I live in a farm house that's over 100 years old and its foundation is bois d'arc stumps. They are so hard you cannot drive a nail into them. They are one of my favorite trees, but they are not for the town dweller unless you only want one tree.
This is the site you can go to and see what one looks like in winter...
That tree goes by Osage Orange here in michigan and I have it of it before. When I went to my "Trees of Michigan and the Upper Great Lakes" it had a note in there calling it Bois d'arc.
Thanks for the info!
It's also called "hedge apple" in many parts of the country.
It's a beautiful wood, by the way; a favorite of boyers because staves made from it are tough, resilient, but not brittle.
The hedgeballs or hedgeapples, as we call the fruit are a great deterent to mice, spiders, roaches and other bugs. You collect the hedgeapples in the fall of the year, cut them in half and place around your basement or utility room or wherever you can. It keeps most of the unwanted critters above away. It does work. Debby
Patty: Yes, they are poisonous. Another thing that I have seen done with is Christmas ornaments. Slice hedgeballs into about 1/4 inch slices, let dry, spray paint silver or gold, put string on for a hanger and hang on the tree or gift packages. Debby