[nafex] Osage orange

Gianni GIANNI-2 at prodigy.net
Tue May 22 21:00:41 EDT 2001


Hi Lucky:

Thanks for the great reply on Osage. "OO." And just caught that apple. purrrty woods. Never thought
how really beautiful any apple wood is really. Is the purple a fluke like variageteds in citrus?
No kidding, OO is considered noxious?  As a cow killer, I can see why and general pain in the assumption. 
That fits the bill precisely because I'm trying to cut back a small pasture that has been neglected for over 
20 yrs and at war with bittersweet, poison ivy, poison sumac and of course every growers favorite animal,
deer. The fruit trees & selected others all have been clipped & damaged over time.They like it over here, 
(the not so deer do) unfortunately. On the other hand, is any of the fruit edible? 
Archery craftsman you say. Woo woo. Thanks! 
Had no idea the wood was prized for bows. Or posts. Or the remarkable property of the wood. Or the beauty.
This osage as a wood, what might it resemble in comparison to any other wood. The colors of the wood
sound simply fantastic, cant wait to get some stock to work with to see it, sounds quite beautiful.

Is Cudrania a maclura pomifera osage or just yours that you brush hog? And it's considered a melon-berry. 
These have yet to bloom their very slow. In fairness I got them as seedlings 3 yrs ago.
Thanks very much for the scoop, found it all quite interesting and now going to trench where they are with
a backhoe and backfill nice and replant and promote them as this is great news!

Also thanks jhecksel for the other use as knife handles. So would it ring true too, for whittling?

Many, many thanks.

Best of growing,
~Gianni

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 proper length.

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).




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