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.
I wish I had gotten them earlier and more of them.
I would actually say that the reduction of spiders is more like 80 to 90%, though not 100%. I've only been using them since early August 2010, and it looks like there are still some effects keeping the spiders away (we finally threw our shriveled hedgeapples away last week). I'm not sure if our lack of ants in the house is due to the hedgeapples or if we just haven't had any ants come in. The hedgeapples also seem to be good at getting rid of moths, and may be keeping some centipedes away. The morning after we put some hedgeapples out, we found a big spider running away very fast from the direction of one of our hedgeapples, and over time I have noticed that spiders moved away from them. When I'd "chase" them with a hedgeapple (that is, keep moving it under their position on the ceiling), they'd finally give up and leave, never to be seen again! I am definitely getting more.
These grow wild all around our farm, so we pick buckets full & just toss them around. There is never an odor, they dry very well. Many times we forget where we tossed them & will find them later. Our grandparents & great grandparents used them in house as well. During lean times, they were gathered to feed to our cattle. Of course hedge posts for fence, the best there is, lasts for decades. Very hard wood for burning. The thorns are major problem, if one breaks off under your skin, can cause a pretty bad infection. Those thorns are very sharp & long, easily puncture thru the soles of shoes
- 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 just found the fruit from one of the trees at Central Park yesterday. It was the first time since I was 11 years old that I saw one and I didn't know back then what it was, either. Thanks for having this web-site. It was driving us all crazy wanting to know what it was!
i have acres of hedge trees. They cause great problems with cattle in that they get logged in their throats. However over the years i have aquired a tool to remove the logged hedgeball without harming the animal.i have pulled many hedgeballs out of my cattle's throats. If you are interested i knowing about this great tool, e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and i'll wnlighten yo on this trick.
- steve miller
Recent Survey Entries
Years used: 1
How many used: 4
Places where used: Living room, kitchen, under beds in the bedrooms
Pest After: spiders, ants
Spiders: 100% Reduction
Ants: 100% Reduction
Crickets: 100% Reduction
Date Obtained: August
Any initial activity? Not Sure
Started Working?: One Week
Duration of Effect: Four Months
How widespread: Widespread, throughout the house
Place them on a container? Always
General Comments: They worked great. I bought some for summer and again at the end of Sept. to carry me through the winter. I didn't see any spiders at all! I will definitely use again!.
Did They Work: Yes
Years used: two
How many used: 6
Places where used: Inside under beds and desks and in closets
Pest After: spiders (non-web builders)
Spiders: 75% 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 Week
Duration of Effect: One Month
How widespread: Very Localized
Place them on a container? Most of the time
General Comments: worked in areas I placed them -- with an approx working diameter of 12 ft from apple.
Did They Work: Maybe