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.
Every time I opened my front door, there was a large jumping spider on the storm door & I would spray it, but the next day another one was there. When I put the cut up hedgeapples underneath the door, I only saw a very small one at the top of the door in 2 weeks! Awesome.
Our home was infested with brown recluse spiders. We had no luck getting rid of them with insecticides. We have not seen a crawling insect of any kind in the house since using hedgeapples.
I'm not sure how effective they are but I can hope! I do know that only a couple don't seem to do it here in the country. I prefer to get a bucket full so I have ample to place a few in each location. That seems to work better. I hope to plant some of them this time. When they start to deteriorate I'll follow the info from this site and put them outside with some water to freeze and thaw and then make a slurry of them for planting in a fence row.
- 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
I thought the trees looked like "Adam Family" trees. Without leaves they are very snarly looking. Glad to find out some good things about the hedge apples. My kids call them monkey brains. I will try the insect theory. Thanks
This is an interesting site. Hedgeoranges grow all over the place in Southern Ohio. Even wild yet. I'll be back here more then once.
Recent Survey Entries
Years used: 1
How many used: 4
Obtained: Picked your own
Places where used: basement and closets
Pest After: sow bugs (potato bugs)
Spiders: Not Sure
Cockroaches: Not Sure
Ants: 75% Reduction
Slugs: Not Sure
Crickets: Not Sure
Fleas: Not Sure
Date Obtained: September
Any initial activity? No
Started Working?: One Week
Duration of Effect: Three Months
How widespread: Very Localized
Place them on a container? Never
General Comments: i'd like to buy a tree t grow in my yard. whrer do i find one?.
Did They Work: Yes
Years used: < 1
How many used: 4
Places where used: Kitchen and dining room
Pest After: spiders
Date Obtained: September
Any initial activity? No
Started Working?: One Month
Duration of Effect: Two Months
How widespread: Widespread, throughout the house
Place them on a container? Rarely
General Comments: I had an abundance of daddy long legs spiders that I just kept vacuuming up occasionally. Bought four hedgeapples, and saw no changes. I'd even put within a foot of a couple of them - nothing. After about a month and a half, the hedgeapples started going bad. And then shortly after that, the spiders have all disappeared from inside the whole house. Maybe it's just a timing thing, but I don't remember all spiders disappearing in previous years in Oct/Nov (I'm in SoCal.) I'm thinking maybe once they started going bad, then the effects were more potent, and that's what then chased the spiders away. At the current time, the spiders are all gone after 2 months, and the hedgeapples have all gone bad. So I'll toss them. And if the spiders come back, will try again to see if they have the same effect. If they do, then I'll be looking for some nice containers to put them in, and probably keep a couple around all the time so they can go bad and not look bad..
Did They Work: Yes