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.
got my mother to try them ..she has past it on to others..never see a spider again with them..
These things are magic. We've got large wolf spiders that like to hang out in our basement. I've counted as many as 10 at one time. Watch your step. Those suckers bite. I usually go out in the fall and collect 4 hedge apples (we always called them road apples)and put them in the corners of our basement. Within a week, there are no signs of any spiders. Just like magic.
We had a problem with cochroaches appearing on an almost daily basis. Within two days of placing 8 hedgeapples in the rooms of the house, the cockroaches stopped appearing. We saw the first bug maybe 5 weeks later.
- 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
Here in Southwestern PA, they are usually called "monkey balls." One uncommon local name is "Irish snowball. I never heard the name, "hedgeapple," either in forestry college or on the job. One year I grew some easily by mixing a rotten fruit with wet sand from the creek behind by house, spreading the slurry on a seedbed, and covering with a thin layer of soil.
When I was growing up in East Tennessee, my Grandpa Charlie had a Osage Orange tree on his farm. It was a huge tree and it would bear a lot of hedgeapples every year. I enjoyed playing with the big, green, bumpy, weird-looking apples. My parents, aunts and uncles would tell me, my brothers and my cousins not to eat them because they were poisonous (which made the apples that much more of a mystery to me). For some reason I remember calling them witch's apples. I think one of my brothers or cousins came up with that name. I also remember my aunts saying that if you put one in your kitchen, it will keep the ants away. During visits and family reunions my aunts would take some of the hedgeapples home with them and they would get a few extra to give to friends and neighbors. Any truth to my "aunt's ant" story? If so, how do I go about finding a hedgeapple for my kitchen? Could I find them at the local farmers market? My Grandpa Charlie's farm was sold several years ago and I am not sure if the tree is still there. Besides, the farm is in TN and I am now living in NC. Please help! These ants are driving me crazy! I have to use an ant spray about twice a week. I don't like to use the spray; it stinks and makes a mess. I would much rather look at a handsome hedgeapple sitting on my countertop. Besides, it would be a constant reminder of my wonderful childhood, growing up on my Grandpa Charlie's farm. Those were the best years of my life.
- Lora Morgan
Recent Survey Entries
Years used: 1
How many used: 6
Obtained: Picked your own
Places where used: in the closets in my house.
Pest After: recluse spiders
Spiders: 100% Reduction
Date Obtained: October
Any initial activity? Not Sure
Started Working?: One Week
Duration of Effect: Five Months
How widespread: Widespread, throughout the house
Place them on a container? Never
General Comments: .
Did They Work: Yes
Years used: 6
How many used: 3
Obtained: Grocery Store
Places where used: Around the house. In corners.
Pest After: Spiders
Spiders: 100% Reduction
Cockroaches: Not Sure
Ants: Not Sure
Slugs: Not Sure
Crickets: 75% Reduction
Fleas: Not Sure
Date Obtained: September
Any initial activity? Yes
Started Working?: One Day
Duration of Effect: Two Months
How widespread: Very Localized
Place them on a container? Never
General Comments: Right after I put a few hedgeapples in my room, I literally watched a spider run out of my room. .
Did They Work: Yes