Fruit of the Osage Orange Tree, the HedgeApple.
Hedgeapple Season Has Ended.
Folklore provides numerous claims that hedgeapples are repellent to insects and spiders. The fruit of the osage orange has been placed in households for ages.
The Hedgeapple's average lifespan in an air-condition environment is 2-3 months. Although some can develop spots at an early stage, Hedgeapples should only be discarded once most of the green has disappeared.
Just went and picked about 20 to place around my house. Last year I had so many spider bites I was desperate to find something. This completely worked! I couldn't believe it. I didn't suffer one spider bite after placing these around my home and basement.
Now that people know what these are and their many purposes it's getting harder to find them on the roadsides. These really do work. I was skeptical at first but I noticed a difference in as little as a week. I wish I could get them more than once a year but I can't be greedy!
It seemed to help, I noticed a huge reduction of spiders during the wintertime. Whereas normally I find at least one spider per week during winter, I only found less than 10.
- Hedgeapples are not poisonous. However, Hedgeapples have suffocated livestock by lodging in their esophagus.
- Very often, a Hedgeapple is incorrectly referred to as a Hedge Ball, Horse Apple, Green Brains, Monkey Balls or Mock Orange. In Texas, they call them Horse Apples, in fact they write poems about them (click here for the poem). Thank you Nancy for letting us post it.
- The hedge tree has several names, Osage Orange (most popular) and Bodark (French) and Maclura pomifera (scientific name). Naturalist, Jim Mason has posted a very professional page about Osage Orange.
- The Osage Orange is native to a limited area centered on the Red River valley in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas.
- Strangely the oldest and biggest Osage Orange tree is in Virginia. Why isn't it in its native states? I challenge the people of Oklahoma and Texas to find an older and bigger Osage Orange tree and take your rightful place.
- Not all of the Osage Orange trees will have fruit because hedge trees are either male or female.
- Osage Orange is a cousin to the mulberry tree.
- It is rumored that During WWII GI's were fed hedgeapples due to food shortages. If anyone knows the details on this, please email or put in the guestbook.
- Hedge Wood has several top characteristics:
- Has highest strength for primitive bows used in archery. For more information see Mike Easter's Osage Orange page. He is as devoted to Osage Orange tree as I am.
- Highest in rot resistance without additives.
- Dried hedge is highest in BTU's when used as firewood. Hedge wood is the closest to a piece of coal as you can get. Check this link out to see which dried wood has the most BTU's. Mr. Hedgeapple is No. 1 here too!
- Green Hedge puts on the most spectacular light show when burned in a fireplace. Occasionally, I would put some green hedge in our fireplace and watch the fireworks. It emits sparkles constantly and some can go over a yard in distant. There are never large pops, just a constant blevy of very small sparks that would go through the fireplace screen. They were not large enough to mark clothes or carpet when they land. It is not recommend to use green hedge as firewood unless in a sealed stove. However, dried hedge is much more quiet, safer, and has more BTU's than any other dried wood. As with all woods, you still should use a protective screen or shield between the fireplace and the room.
- Could Hedge wood be the best for making string musical instruments?
- Gary Woodall thinks it might be. Check out his Guitar. Move over famed violin maker, Antonio Stradivari, Gary is here!!
- There is an person in Americus, Ks who makes Harps from Osage Orange because he believes it is the most dimensionally stable of all woods when aged and placed under strain.
- Hedge wood is an attractive yellow wood. Check the pens by Mimosa Custom Pens.
Articles about Hedgeapples
Martha Stewart Living Magazine, Nov., 2001, Page 5
"Enjoying Hedge Apples" Article discusses uses of Hedgeapples.
HedgeappleFruit.com is mentioned in it! We're so proud!
Article by Iowa State University's Entomology Department Research study states "Chemicals produced naturally by the osage orange (also known as hedgeapple) repel German cockroaches."
The Versatile Osage-Orange (Hedgeapple)
A good starting point for the person that want's to know the history and the properties of the osage orange tree. This is a very good read!
Crafts Using Hedgeapples
Growing and Planting
- Planting Hedge Trees - Old Timers told our friend Clark Knapp that they started Hedge Rows by dumping the Hedgeapples in a barrel, letting them sit over the winter allowing them to freeze and thaw until spring when they were soft. They then mashed them, added water and poured the slurry into a plowed furrow and cover about a inch or two. They kept the hedgeapples moist during the winter by drilling holes and letting about 2 inches of water stand in the bottom (if all the fruit is left submerged for extended length of time, they will not sprout). Mr Knapp is only 86 years old, and claims he is a few days away from being an Old Timer himself. I assume this method would be a good technique if one would want the hedge row to act as a fence. Mr. Knapp knows his business. Picture at right was taken on his farm. I tried this planting technique last spring and it works (over 300 seedlings in a 8 ft hedgerow). Complete description of Hedgeapple seed experiment.
- Small Osage orange trees can also be snatched from pastures. Identifying the tree can be tricky, hedgeapple trees have leaves very similar to Mulberry trees. You definitely do not want a wild Mulberry tree attracting flies to your front yard.
- Mr Hedgeapple will be preparing seed this winter and might have some available for sale. The winter season is the best time to plant trees to reduce stress & promote healthier growth. I am selling trees from my garden hedge row now (email me for details).
Recent Guestbook Entries
What about propagation? I would like to be able to start some of my own, and have a couple of hedgeapples and seeds drying right now. Will let you know how it works if I don't hear from you soon!FYI -- Kentucky has several areas where you will find the Osage along fencerows and naturalizing in the edge of woods and draws, particularly in central and western KY. Watch the roadsides -- they're hard to miss!
I found this site trying to prove to a friend that hedge apples are not something I made up. When I was a kid growing up in NE Kansas we would gather hedge apples near my grandparents farm. My mother would then scatter a few of the hedge apples around the basement for insect control. I don't recall how often she replaced them, but they seemed to last for quite some time in the cold dark environment.
Recent Survey Entries
Years used: 18
How many used: 100
Places where used: under post and pier cabin, around camp site.
Pest After: knats, spiders, ants
Spiders: 75% Reduction
Cockroaches: Not Sure
Ants: 100% Reduction
Slugs: Not Sure
Crickets: 75% Reduction
Fleas: Not Sure
Date Obtained: July
Any initial activity? Not Sure
Started Working?: One Day
Duration of Effect: Three Months
How widespread: Widespread, throughout the house
Place them on a container? Never
General Comments: Property has allot of osage trees. Noticed no knats, mosquitoes, flies, spiders ect under our primary shade tree. So scattered them liberally about. works good. When out in the lawn away from the osages there are numerous knats and skeeters. Though woods ticks seem to breed in the osages. .
Did They Work: Yes
Years used: 1
How many used: 5
Obtained: Picked your own
Places where used: The bathroom, and my bed.
Pest After: SLUGS
Spiders: No Reduction
Cockroaches: No Reduction
Ants: No Reduction
Slugs: 100% Reduction
Crickets: No Reduction
Fleas: 25% Reduction
Date Obtained: October
Any initial activity? No
Started Working?: One Month
Duration of Effect: One Week
How widespread: Widespread and Outsides, as well
Place them on a container? Never
General Comments: I love hedgeapples!.
Did They Work: Yes