Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Osage Orange, Bois d'arc, Bodock Tree, Horse Apple, Hedge Apple
Maclura pomifera

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Family: Moraceae (mor-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Maclura (muh-KLOO-ruh) (Info)
Species: pomifera (pom-EE-fer-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Ioxylon pomiferum
Synonym:Toxylon pomiferum

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

19 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Perennials
Trees

Height:
over 40 ft. (12 m)

Spacing:
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Pale Green

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Foliage:
Deciduous
Shiny/Glossy-Textured

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

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There are a total of 28 photos.
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Profile:

31 positives
13 neutrals
5 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Neutral CandyLady50 On Sep 4, 2013, CandyLady50 from Caledonia, MS wrote:

I just wanted to let you know that we called them horse apples but couldn't figure out why they were called that because our horses wouldn't eat them. We did see cows eat them though. I didn't see a post for them growing in Mississippi? I wanted you to know that I personally know that they grow in the very small town of Artesia, Mississippi. They were fun to play with as a child. They also grow in Crawford, Mississippi. We called the tree Bodock. I can still remember stepping on some of the big thorns from the Bodock tree that grew in our front yard as a child. I was cutting the grass barefoot and called myself watching out for them but stepped on one that was still attached to a small limb on more than one occasion. Yes, I was just a country girl and still am. I have seen thorns over an inch long on the trees at my grandmother's house in Crawford. She told us that the thorns are very poison ness to always wear our shoes. Has anyone else heard of this before? My mom would practically drown our foot in rubbing alcohol, then put what we called monkey blood on it if we even stepped on a small thorn. We couldn't say the name and I can't spell it still to this day. Sorry about the long story, as you can see I don't get out much any more.

Positive gregokla On Nov 2, 2012, gregokla from Hulbert, OK wrote:

I would recommend the male of this species. It makes excellent shade, is drought tolerant, disease resistant, and grows to become a huge tree.

Natives used the wood to make bows for hunting, hence its French name, Bois d'arc. The sap is a strong adhesive which dries quickly. This can be attested to by anyone who has used pruning shears to cut its branches. Maybe there is a correlation between adhesiveness and the necessary pliability of good bow wood.

Anyhow, if rambling above-ground roots and lack of autumn color (but plenty of leaves) do not bother you and there is abundant space, this can be a great tree.

Neutral Meehlticket On Jan 15, 2012, Meehlticket from Daphne, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

When my husband and I were looking at small farms in Lawrence Kansas, one of the farms had a barn - we were told it was over 70 years old - that had beams and posts made from Osage Orange... it was on it's fifth roof but had all the original beams and posts - without a sign of rot. The posts were sitting in a dirt floor.
We were told that it is important to trim or saw the wood as soon as it's felled - after it cures it is "impossible" to cut.

Positive AresDraco On Jan 11, 2012, AresDraco from San Francisco, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I like using the fruit, intact, in fall arrangements. Just a bunch in a bowl. Great green color, like 'Envy' zinnias! My uncles in Ohio had the the trees along the fence lines on their farms. They called them "Horse Apples'. We moved to Texas and found them in the area around Dallas. We called them (phonetically) "bodark". With the 'r' sound... I used the wood for turning small bowls, my home in Austin, TX, ca. 1910, was of pier and beam construction. The piers were bodark and intact for over nearly seventy years in contact with the soil. I like the look of the foliage, the fruit and the thorny branches make wicked Hallowe'en wreaths. Can't say much good about the form of the trees, but most of the ones I saw had been butchered... Maybe with sympathetic care, they'd be a plus in a large country garden.

Positive Lorra On Jan 10, 2012, Lorra from Indianapolis, IN wrote:

Thanks to all of you for the delightful trip down memory lane, and all the information.

Positive RobinLane On Jan 10, 2012, RobinLane from Loretto, TN wrote:

My uncle used to make knives from the spent blades used in cutting fabric at a local factory. The wood he used for the handles was Osage Orange. He knew where to find the trees near us in southern middle Tennessee. There was very little graining, and the wood stood up to the daily requirements of a busy kitchen--my uncle was also an excellent cook! He made these knives for our family as well as special people in our lives. That beautiful wood has withstood the rigors of our kitchens for over 30 years.

Neutral annabelle15 On Jan 9, 2012, annabelle15 from Niles, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

if you are a little adventurous, you can make beautiful decroations out of the "Oranges." My dad, using my rock saw (the blade is luricated with oil to slice rocks) sliced several into thin slices,drill a small hole into the edge of the slice, laid them in the sun and let them dry. The thin slices dry a medium brown and are hard. he would take varathan plastic and cover all of the surface after they dried. making pendants and other kinds of jewelery out of them. it is a really messy process, and I had to chang the oil in the rock saw, but it was worth it.

Positive societygardener On Jan 9, 2012, societygardener from Myrtle Beach, SC wrote:


How nice to see this tree/fruit featured on this site. It evoked great memories of a family endeavor during my college days. We lived in Southeastern KY, Paintsville, actually, and my Dad traveled to educational meetings, etc and would spot these trees along the roads and manage to pick the fruit even while wearing a suit, etc.

My Mother had learned that the fruit could be cut/sliced and dried and add a lovely touch to a flower arrangement. We dried them, I believe in the oven and then my Dad would drill small holes in the center of the fruit through which we inserted a wire to give it that desirable long stemmed look. To cover the wire we added some glue and birdseed that completed the "look". Gloves would be helpful as our hands sometimes weren't too attractive but we had a wonderful family experience and it remains a wonderful memory for my sister and me.

Many thanks!

Judith

Positive emuehlbauer On Jan 9, 2012, emuehlbauer from Rego Park, NY wrote:

I have fond memories of this tree from my childhood. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, across the street from Prospect Park. I loved going to see the Osage orange tree...there may have been a few..in the park. I loved the furrowed bark and the aromatic "oranges". However, I would never consider planting this tree on anything less than an expansive property...it is very thorny, nothing that can be near a house. It is also completely USELESS as an insect repellant. I did research in a fish lab at NYU in my grad school days. The place was unbelievably infested with cockroaches, and we couldn't use insecticides without killing all the fish. One day, I went to the park and brought back as many "oranges" as I could carry, and distributed them throughout the lab. Not only were the roaches not repelled, they had obviously fed very well on the oranges themselves!

Positive woellms On Jan 9, 2012, woellms from Brimfield
United States wrote:

We most commonly use 'osage orange' as its nonmenclature. In the very early years,1700-1800, the trees were grown by nurseries and sold for the purpose of natural fence lines impervious to all animals. The saplings were planted and when a straight trunk had formed it would be cut so that it would send many multiple side shoots. The side shoots were woven together between neighboring trees to form a very tight fence from the ground up several feet before it was allowed to grow up naturally. It burns very very hot so do not burn it in an enclossure, metal melts (but some people do in their outside furnaces) and never in your home fireplace. A fun thing is slice it width wise into a circular piece 1/4" thick, place the pieces on a cookey sheet and into an oven about 150 degrees for hours. They turn into a ray flower disk, dried and ready to place into dried flower arrangements. They will smell odd while drying.

Positive gollambug On Jan 9, 2012, gollambug from Williamstown, South Australia
Australia wrote:

I have not seen this tree growing but bought some timber of it from a mill specialising in tree removal. To me, being a wood turner it is very beautiful timber. Very hard close grain, a yellowy-orange colour and takes a very high polish. Pieces made from Osage-Orange always attract the eyes of people at craft fairs and they sell well. I cannot ask if anyone has some timber to trade as I am a long way away in South Australia. Gollambug

Positive tkishkape On Jan 9, 2012, tkishkape from Gore, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Bois d'Arc trees are a common occurance throughout Oklahoma, presumably planted by people trying to save the land during the Dustbowl.

My Grandmother would enlist the energies of the Grandchildren (me, my sister and cousins) to fill a bucket with Bois d'Arc apples and pour them in a box by the back door. When the box was full, we threw about half of them under the house, a few in the cellar and brought the rest into the house to her. Grandma would then place one in every low cabinet.

To my knowledge, she never saw a cockroach or ant in the house... ever.

Positive 1lolita1 On Jan 9, 2012, 1lolita1 from Elgin, IL wrote:

Tkishkape,your note brought back something I'd totally forgotten- I bet your Grandma didn't have spiders,either. One year in the fall we had a big spider problem when the weather turned cold. Mom complained to Grandma about it. Next thing I knew we were chopping sticky 'oranges' in half and placing them all around the house. Next day the spiders were all gone and didn't come back. Those oranges smell great but that sticky latex sap could put crazy glue to shame!
I grew up with these trees in the midwest.Granted,they can be a big problem in areas that were built up around the original hedgerows,but they're still appreciated out in the country.I know a few people that bought farmsteads based mainly on the fact that the original hedgerows were still there (so no fence expense!). The wood was also a favorite for wagon wheels. Osage Orange wood is a bright yellow,and so were brand new wheels. People back then would paint them yellow as they aged,to make them look new again. To this day, wagon 'reconstructions' usually have wheels painted yellow- I wonder how many 'Old West' afficianados know why!

Neutral johnola1 On Jan 9, 2012, johnola1 from Fresno, CA wrote:

I remember the trees when I was growing up in Grayson County, Texas. Our small farm had fences made from the large branches and trunks of the tree. Since most of the limbs are crooked the fence took on a rather tattered look. The fruit made excellent weapons to throw at the red wasp nests. We also threw larger limb pieces into the creek, where they promptly sank.
When I moved to California I found that the tree is rare, the only place I have seen them is in hedge rows planted along the side of the Merced River near Snelling, CA. I think probably to keep claim jumpers out of the gold bearing gravel along the river.

Positive 100miler On Jan 9, 2012, 100miler from Huntsville, TX wrote:

We have quite a few of these trees growing on our twenty acres. Another name for the large fruits here in Texas is "horse apples" as many horses love them. There are never any fruits lying around on the ground, as our horses patrol under the Bois d'arcs daily to search for newly-fallen ones. Feral hogs also gobble them up. Deer will browse on the tree's leaves. The wood is a lovely bright yellow, but loses that color shortly after being cut.

Positive Gardeningman On Jan 9, 2012, Gardeningman from Kingman, KS wrote:

I see these all over the place in Kansas. The wood does have one use that it is still harvested for today. It makes great fence posts commonly called "hedge posts." They are weather, termite, and rot resistant. There are hedge posts that were stuck into the ground back in the 1930's that are still in the same place today. And they have not rotted! Farmers would use them to install barbed wire fences.

Positive RebeccaLynn On Sep 23, 2011, RebeccaLynn from Winston Salem, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

For many years we have driven along U.S. Hwy 21 in Iredell County N.C. between Turnersburg and Harmony. We've often commented on the large, lovely tree with interesting branches and green, "bumpy," softball size fruit underneath in late summer and fall. Today we decided to turn into the semi-circular driveway in front of the early 20th Century home. The man who answered the door bell seemed to know that we were there to inquire about the tree. It happens often he said. Osage Orange, the tree was there when he moved there, deer don't eat the fruit, neither do people. take all you want. Now we know.

Positive oldbluehouse On May 16, 2011, oldbluehouse from Celeste, TX wrote:

Many grow along fence rows because they were the original fencing matieral of "the west". In order to grow them as a fence:
1) Dig a trench
2) Mash up the "apples" and put them in the trench
3) Bury the mashed up apples
4) Water and wait

The idea was to weave the spiny branches together so that they would be "hog tight, bull strong, and horse high". Meaning that your hogs couldn't root their way through it, your bulls couldn't push his way through it, and tall enough that your horse couldn't jump over it.

Positive Renza On Dec 10, 2010, Renza from Godley, TX wrote:

I have my hammock hanging under one of the many trees in my back yard. No, there is no fruit on that one! These are the best shade trees in Texas and at least ten degrees cooler in the summer especially when there is a breeze.

I am experimenting with growing a straight one, 3 years now and is it as straight as a hackberry tree. The tree is at least 6 years old. Before we placed our house, the field was a 3 acre hay field and there are about 7 trees that have been growing in a grove four at least 30 years.

(We bought this property in 1980, they were around 10 to15 feet then,) We put our house to the north of this grove for the cooler breeze in the summer.

Before that I had cut this particular shrub down with a tractor four times and it always came back. So, I decided I would cultivate it given the usable properties of this wood.

That one tree is now around 15 tall and pretty straight. I have simply been diligent about keeping it trimmed so it would not grow crazy. The plan is to have a tree with a huge canopy for shade.

I have others that I am cultivating for the wood. I would like to try to build a guitar from this wood for the beaty and hardness of it, as well as the long lasting no rot properties.

And btw, it is good fire wood IF you are careful with it...AND IT'S FREE and abundant. You just have to be willing to put in the work which seems to be a lost art in the U.S. these days.

Theese trees are a blessing from God.

Positive eatmyplants On Oct 31, 2010, eatmyplants from Comanche county, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Contrary to the comment des22555 the park superintendent said about osage orange making "excellent firewood", it does NOT make good firewood. It would be like putting firecrackers and sparklers into the fire. Yes, the wood is hard, durable, rot-proof and beautiful, but this doesn't translate into being a useful firewood.
As far as planting this tree, it is best planted off to itself where you have plenty of property and can keep it away from bare feet and the heavy fruit dropping won't be a problem. If you actually could determine if you were planting a male or female seed or seedling, it would be a different story, but there's no way to know until the tree gets larger. In my area, it was never planted as a hedge row because barbed wire had already been invented, so any trees growing here were planted by birds or by seeds flowing down the rivers and creeks.

Neutral artadd On Oct 29, 2010, artadd from Lubbock, TX wrote:

To the list of areas where bois d'arc grows (or has grown) might be added:

Fort Worth, Texas, campus of Texas Wesleyan College (now University), near Mulkey Hall, ca. 1955.

Lubbock, Texas, where two magnificent, mature female specimens currently grow side by side in the front yard at 2220 40th Street, just across the street from Clapp Park and the Lubbock Memorial Arboretum. On Oct. 28, 2010, 1400 "horse apples" (as I have invariably heard them called in Texas since the 1950's) weighing 700 lbs. were picked up from under and around these trees, taking two men two hours. It was hazardous work, since the fruit continued to drop. Several fruits were taken by the property owner to the horses of the Texas Tech University Polo Club (U.S. national champions a few years ago), who seemed to accept them with great enjoyment.

Positive Carbo On May 29, 2010, Carbo from Celina, TX wrote:

I have a huge Bois d'arc tree behind my home that is fruitless and thornless....I love this tree! It gives wonderful shade and is big enough to walk under. It's also great for the kids to climb and we have even hung swings for the kids from it's branches. It's my favorite tree on our property. We live in North Texas on top a white rock hill and have shallow top soil. It has thrived here where many other deep rooted trees would not have. We've lived here 28 years and it's like a member of our family!

Positive JCH1952 On Apr 29, 2010, JCH1952 from Houston, TX wrote:

I own a house on a limestone cliff over Stevens Park golf course - Dallas, Texas. Through the years I have seen a large number of trees bite the dust in this neighborhood. My neighbor's house was built in the 1920s. In photographs of the house taken right after it was completed, there are two Bois d'arc saplings. They are huge now, and appear to be healthy and well acclimated. They never have apples, so they are apparently male trees. The bark has an orange hue to it, and the trees give his yard an almost prehistoric look. They are not on the approved list for Dallas. He has two of the most magnificent trees in the neighborhood. It makes no sense to me. I have to replace a tree that blew down in a storm. I'm getting a male Bois d'arc.

Positive texasflora_com On Mar 26, 2009, texasflora_com from De Leon, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Someone gave me some seeds about 18 years ago that came from far North Dakota. I got at least one to germinate and planted the tree on a rocky limestone and caliche slope in Brownwood, Texas. It's now a tall beautiful male tree that doesn't make fruit.

Positive bagsdevlin On Jul 4, 2008, bagsdevlin from Hammonton, NJ wrote:

I realize that the fruits of this tree can be laborious as well as dangerous to clean up. I need vast amounts of these fruits for a research project. If you are overwhelmed in the fall with osage orange fruits on your property, I will gladly remove them free of charge. This can help us both! Thank you and feel free to contact me at my personal email at bagsdevlin@comcast.net

Tara

Positive GardenOfJan On Jun 24, 2008, GardenOfJan from Alvin, TX wrote:

Glad to know it repells roaches. I lived in zip code 75147 and have a tree on my vacant lot. Never had to worry about watering it. The kids always enjoyed the fruit of the tree as a ball. They practiced and built their throwing arm by using them. Also, I used the wood and the fruit in a dried flower arrangements. You slice the fruit, arrange on a cookie sheet covered with foil or parchment paper (so the seeping juice want stick to the cookie sheet, saves clean up) and dry in a oven set at 200 or so. Punch a hole in the slice or go ahead and put a hanger (xmas hangers used xmas decorations works fine). You can paint them or leave them the natural color. Enjoy.

Negative des22555 On Jun 24, 2008, des22555 from Centralia, IL wrote:

I am a park sutp. in Centralia Ill. There are many osage orange trees in this 300 acre park. I agree that the wood makes excellent fire wood and would last a lifetime as fence posts. The problems I have encountered in recent years is that limbs will crack and sag but not break off and milti-trunk trees often split and half will lay over. The worst tho is that the tree must have shallow and/or brittle roots as there have been many uprooted. Granted there was more rain this spring, but they fall when dry also, often with no appreciable wind.

Positive morrigan On Jun 23, 2008, morrigan from Craryville, NY wrote:

We used to live in Southampton, NY. There was one tree growing right on Noyac Road on the line between Southampton and Sag Harbor. I would see the hedge apples for YEARS, (they fell all over the road) and never knew what this HUGE tree was, and what the apples were. When I finally looked up the fruit in a tree field guide book, I learned what this tree was. That tree was WELL over 40' tall. It was georgeous, but the apples in the road were a hazard both for people and wildlife. Animals would go into the roadway to eat the car-flattened apples, then they would get hit by cars. The tree should NEVER be planted over a roadway, in my opinion. BUT, it is a great shade tree and quite beautiful.

Negative sheliaagreen On Jun 23, 2008, sheliaagreen from Goodfield, IL wrote:

We have MANY of these trees growing on our 3 acres that used to be have cattle grazing. Trees are virtually indestructible and very difficult to remove. Every limb that is cut is replaced by several new ones. Hedgeapples seem to vary from year to year - some years have many and other years few. Squirrels and deer seem to love them which leaves a mess then more trees grow!

Positive ringwood On Jun 23, 2008, ringwood from Niagara Falls
Canada wrote:

Light green fruit make a lovely addition to winter outdoor urn decorations. Impaled on a kebab stick or slender cane and poked in among the greenery they last well through to the new year.

Neutral ival On Jun 23, 2008, ival from Arlington, TX wrote:

Where (and when) I grew up in south central Kansas, there were still thousands of miles of bodark hedge lining roads all over the countryside. Driving down one of these roads, especially in the summertime, was like driving down a green tunnel, especially if the hedges had not been recently trimmed back. As wildlife shelter, they were absolutely wonderful, providing deep thorny cover for birds and rabbits. I still remember seeing my first indigo bunting, a brilliant blue songbird, flying through the slit of sunshine down the center of one of these emerald tunnels. And covies of quail running across the road from one hedge to the other. But for the past several decades farmers and ranchers have systematically eradicated the old hedge rows, as they took up a lot of acreage that could be used for crops or forage. Not too many long reaches of hedge are left now. As a yard plant, they aren't well adapted to our small modern lots, because of the thorns and shrubby growth habits and mess from the falling fruits. But on a larger acreage or in a wildscape, they would be a wonderful addition, and relatively easy to grow, even in a harsh plains climate.
John Blair, Arlington Texas (native of Wichita, Kansas)

Negative cofieck6 On Jun 23, 2008, cofieck6 from Wichita, KS wrote:

My son has these trees growing in his back yard on city property as a hedge groove. This was farmland before the homes were built. The city will not remove the trees and the homeowner has to take that responibility if he or she wants them gone. The trees are very messing when the hedge apples drop and we (grandkids also) have to be careful not to get hit in the head. The trees are difficult to cut back and remove because of the thorns. Also, it is very expensive to have someone come in chop the trees down. The trees we have are not very attractive. Some have multiple small trunks that have been butchered by someone. I have read that the wood is a beautiful yellow color and the wood is very hard. I will be glad when the trees are remove so that we can garden and utilize the backyard more. These trees are every where in Wichita, Kansas.

Positive marwood0 On Jun 23, 2008, marwood0 from Golden, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

I've also seen this in Pittsburgh PA by the river, a long way from it's native North East Texas. The wood from this tree doesn't tend to rot, which is the reason why it was used for fence posts. I've have a small log of it in my aquarium for 20 years now and it always looks the same. As a kid I used the thorns to make barbs for fishing arrows. As a teenager I made a bow from a small branch of this tree and it's a decent bow, but I included the new softwood. The hardwood, which is very hard but flexible, is really what should be used. Very useful and nice looking tree, entertaining fruit!

Negative docgipe On Jun 23, 2008, docgipe from NORTH CENTRAL, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I vote negative only because of the plants endless thorns and the fact it takes excessive space to be raised as a continous bush fence row. After a child steps on one of these thorns the next stop will be the hospital. A horse can injure itself by stepping on these thorns. Foot problems with any animal is difficult to doctor.

I have primative method bow hunter friends who still make selfed bows with which they hunt.

I have seen this plant growing in soil from netrual into acid levels of 5.5 PH.

Neutral brenfro1 On Jun 23, 2008, brenfro1 from Spring Hill, KS (Zone 6a) wrote:

This tree is dioeceous meaning it has male and female flowers on different plants. It is only the female tree that bears fruit. I personally would not grow the tree as a specimen in the yard it is perfectly suitable for a hedge and a pasture tree. I live in eastern Kansas and the tree is considered a weed tree along with the Eastern Red Cedar and we are aggressive in their removal.

Negative bareknees On Jun 23, 2008, bareknees from West Brooklyn, IL wrote:

One of the worst situations caused by this tree is if your have many old ones on your property are the thorns. We have experienced many flat tires on our tractor and wheelbarrow.
The thorns can be as long as one inch on the smallest dead branch often unseen until it has done it's damage.

The wood is very hot when it burns. If it is used in a fireplace one should be very careful. If it has a certain amount of pitch it will create a fire just like a Sparkler.

On the other side of the coin, I have seen a very beautiful live hedge created from these trees . It makes a good barrier fro unwanted guest! The owner told me it is not fun to shear!

Positive jessaree On Jun 19, 2008, jessaree from Anderson, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have several of these trees on my property, both male and female. They are great shade trees!

The limbs can get heavy at times and break off. Where one breaks off, or one is trimmed, several more grow back in it's place.

There's nothing like being woke up in the middle of the night from a horse apple falling on the roof.

I was once told that the milk in the horse apples are poisonous to roaches, spread them around your house & no more roach problems. We've lived here for 10 years and hardly an roaches at all, just the occasional stray one.

The good of this tree outweighs the bad. I wouldn't trade them for much of anything!

Neutral Maggie_TX On Oct 25, 2007, Maggie_TX from Garland, TX wrote:

I grew up on a farm in Collin County, Texas. These lovely trees are common there.
Word of caution to those who have cows or any other animal which you might want to get milk from for drinking, the apples, when eaten by the animals, give the milk a bitter taste.
Other than that they are great trees and there are crafts to be done by slicing and backing the apples...they look like dried "flowers". Don't eat them.

Positive billyporter On Nov 14, 2006, billyporter from Nichols, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

The first time I saw one was when I was little. I was fascinated. I still love them. I bring the ''hedgeballs'' home every year and set them in front of the flower beds as accents. They have a sticky sap that make me itch, so I wear gloves and take a sack along.

Neutral jcutts1 On Jun 6, 2006, jcutts1 from Dodd City, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

This tree/shrub appears to grow freely in my area. We just moved here and are trying to identify most of what's growing on our property. The Bois D'Arc trees, wild roses and cedars are all that I have managed to identify so far. I'm not too crazy about the thorns on this tree, but won't give it a negative until I find out more about it. I do favor the fact that wildlife are attracted to it...

Positive Breezymeadow On Aug 28, 2005, Breezymeadow from Culpeper, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have quite a few large specimens of these trees on my farm & in my yard, & apart from having to rake/pile up the "fruit" in early autumn, I find them quite lovely, especially if one takes the time to provide a little maintenance - i.e. clip off suckers, stray branches, dead wood, etc.

Even during our hottest summer temps & drought periods the canopies are always impenetrably dense with bright shiny green leaves, & the garden swing I have situated underneath one is always the coolest spot to be on a hot humid day.

The dense cover & thickly corrugated bark is like a magnet to all sorts of birds, especially woodpeckers, nuthatches, & warblers, & the fruit, although inedible to humans, is positively adored by wildlife. I have personally watched deer breaking them apart & munching on them, & it's hilarious watching squirrels attempt to drag them to a safe haven for snacking.

All in all, I give this interesting tree a definite thumbs up.

Neutral donshane On Dec 3, 2004, donshane from Mayfield, KY wrote:

The seeds of this tree are easy to retrieve if the fruit rots a while. Just pry them open and you'll find the seeds in the pulpy center. They're about the size of orange seeds. I wouldn't recommend cutting into the fruit while it is still green because the milky sap in the fruit is very sticky and hard to get off.

Neutral tnvol91 On Sep 12, 2004, tnvol91 from Lowell, AR wrote:

I think this is one of the most interesting trees I have ever seen. The fruit is perfectly wrinkled and light green in color. I picked one from the ground and used a knife to split it in half. To my surprise, there were small 1/4" larvae wriggling about in the rotted portion of the fruit close to the stem. The tree I see from my front window looks like it could have been along a hedge line several years ago. I am thinking at least 50 years ago according to the locals in the area. At any rate this tree is well over 40 feet tall more like 60 to 70 feet and is one of the most beautiful trees I have ever seen. The wood is beautiful. I am not sure I would plant it in my yard because the fruit is nearly grapefruit sized and a little to plentiful for me to go out and clean up every day. Plus if one of these horseapples hit you in the head on its way down, it would definately leave a bruise!

Positive yinzer On Aug 18, 2004, yinzer from Pittsburgh, PA wrote:

I wanted to report that this tree grows in Pittsburgh, PA, as well. Specifically, I know of two gigantic specimens on the grounds of the Amberson Apartments on Morewood Ave. in the Shadyside district of the city. They are certainly taller than the 40 feet listed as the max height here; my guess is that they're closer to 75 feet. I have no idea how old they are. There are also smaller ones in abandonned lots and parks in the rest of Pittsburgh.

Positive RAGGMOPP28 On Jun 1, 2004, RAGGMOPP28 from Greenport, NY wrote:

I saw this for the first time in Greenport, LI NY when looking at a piece of property. I did no know what it was and everyone I knew didn't either. Two years went by and I moved to Greenport but not that property. When I was walking my dog I saw to my surprise a mature one growing in my neighborhood. I picked up the orange and kept it hoping it would turn into a seed. That was three years again. Last eek I was in a Dr's office and found an article on Lewis and Clark- lo and behold there it was
So I was able to surf the net . It is a lovely tree with nice fragrance and the 'fruit' has a slight odor.
I heard you have to freeze the fruit to make it grow.

Positive Paolo On Nov 9, 2003, Paolo wrote:

It is growing very well in Delaware County, Ohio. It is doing particularly well near the Marina in the State Park in Delaware.I am hoping to grow it as hedging on my land next year. I have some wet and dry land, so I may be able to report on its tolerances.

Positive Gerre On Oct 27, 2003, Gerre from Huntsville, TX wrote:

Don't bother with cuttings - I experimented with several ways to propagate and seed is the overwhelming best way (seed seems to need freezing temp in winter to germinate - I put mine in the freezer for a month and get high percentage germination). As simply a tree in the yard, it's the most awful thing you ever planted, but it makes a great hedge. I like it because in my humble opinion it has the most beautiful wood of any native North American species.

Neutral tombryant On Oct 27, 2003, tombryant wrote:

This tree grows in the east-central region of Iowa. I am in the process of trying to get more established along an old fence row. An interesting note; Fenceposts made from this tree were sometimes used when still green. They would ocasionally take root and grow. That is one reason you can find these trees growing along fences to this day.

Neutral Terry On Aug 30, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Ordinarily, you shouldn't mix (or confuse) apples and oranges - except when it comes to the fruit of Maclura pomifera which you might know as Osage Orange or Hedge Apple, depending on where you grew up. Another common name, Bois d'arc, is an allusion to the Native American's use of the wood to make bows.

This spiny hedge shrub/tree is commonly found growing throughout the central U.S. The fruit is inedible and quite hard, but some sources indicate it can be used as an alternative foodsource for silkworms. It's also sometimes recommended as a natural insect repellant, specifically against cockroaches and crickets.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Montgomery, Alabama
Tuscumbia, Alabama
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Lowell, Arkansas
Hesperia, California
Ellington, Connecticut
Brimfield, Illinois
Centralia, Illinois
Goodfield, Illinois
Jacksonville, Illinois
Kansas, Illinois
Palmyra, Illinois
Urbana, Illinois
West Brooklyn, Illinois
Lawrenceburg, Indiana
Saint John, Indiana
Nichols, Iowa
Tracy, Iowa
Kingman, Kansas (2 reports)
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Wichita, Kansas
Bagdad, Kentucky
Benton, Kentucky
Danville, Kentucky
Dry Ridge, Kentucky
Farmington, Kentucky
Georgetown, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Mayfield, Kentucky
Smiths Grove, Kentucky
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Coushatta, Louisiana
Lutherville Timonium, Maryland
East Lansing, Michigan
Grand Blanc, Michigan
Owosso, Michigan
Tecumseh, Michigan
Bates City, Missouri
Saint Robert, Missouri
Sedalia, Missouri
Warrensburg, Missouri
Belle Mead, New Jersey
Frenchtown, New Jersey
New York City, New York
Southampton, New York
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Harmony, North Carolina
Ashtabula, Ohio
Bucyrus, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio (2 reports)
Columbus, Ohio (2 reports)
Galena, Ohio
Hilliard, Ohio
Lancaster, Ohio
North Olmsted, Ohio
Blanchard, Oklahoma
Gore, Oklahoma
Hulbert, Oklahoma (2 reports)
Jay, Oklahoma
Owasso, Oklahoma
Peggs, Oklahoma
Sand Springs, Oklahoma
Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Bath, Pennsylvania
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Center Valley, Pennsylvania
Greencastle, Pennsylvania
Montoursville, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Hendersonville, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Alice, Texas
Anderson, Texas
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas
Baytown, Texas
Brownwood, Texas
Celeste, Texas
Celina, Texas
Copperas Cove, Texas
De Leon, Texas
Dodd City, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Godley, Texas
Grapeland, Texas
Houston, Texas
Huntsville, Texas (2 reports)
Lubbock, Texas
Montague, Texas
Princeton, Texas
Red Oak, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Seguin, Texas
Stephenville, Texas
Tennessee Colony, Texas
Wilmer, Texas
Lexington, Virginia
Mount Crawford, Virginia
Williamsburg, Virginia
Asotin, Washington
Madison, Wisconsin



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