[nafex] Osage orange
Lucky.Pittman at murraystate.edu
Tue May 22 13:33:46 EDT 2001
>Never knew these(Osage orange) were ever considered for wood because of
>the beauty of the wood.
OO wood is quite pretty, with a distinctive yellow-orange pigment
present. Wasn't it Don Y. who talked about the 'evil yellow roots' of
mulberry - a close relative? I can always pick out an OO in a big dozer
pile, because of its orange roots
Here in western KY & middle TN, Osage Orange(aka bois d'arc, bodock, mock
orange) is largely looked at (at least by farmers/ranchers) as a noxious
weed tree, to be cut & poisoned or ripped out by the roots, due to its
propensity for puncturing tractor tires.
I have seen an occasional cow choked to death while attempting to swallow
incompletely bletted & masticated OO fruits.
They do make exceptional fenceposts, as they are very dense and contain a
natural fungicide; OO fenceposts may stay in the family for several
generations, but you almost have to drill pilot holes in an old one to be
able to drive in fencing staples.
It's French common name, "bois d'arc" is testament to its use by the native
Americans as the wood of choice for fashioning bows. Even modern-day
craftsmen who make hand-made longbows treasure good OO wood, but they often
have to search long and hard to find the appropriate straight stems of the
I've got only a couple of them growing on the farm here, small seedlings
which have been bush-hogged on a yearly basis, but I may let them grow for
a year or two and try my hand at topworking them to Cudrania(Chinese Che,
Mandarin melon berry).
USDA Zone 6
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