Osage Orange

by Green Deane

in Grain/Nuts/Seeds, Miscellaneous, Plants, Trees/Shrubs

Osage Orange

 Maclura pomifera: The Edible Inedible

Sometimes everybody is almost wrong.

If you Google “Osage Orange” or “Maclura pomifera” (mak-LOOR-uh pom-EE-fer-uh) (in 2009) you’ll get some 50,000 hits.*  Approximately 49,997 of those sites will tell you the Osage Orange is not edible. Two of three remaining sites, here and the one below, will say it is edible. The third one reports we say it is edible but we must be wrong.

Osage Orange Seeds

In all fairness, not all of the fruit is edible. Only the seeds are. In fact, the Osage Orange it is closely related to the Mulberries, which we do eat, and the Paper Mulberry which also has an edible fruit. But, 99.999999% of the Internet sites says it is not edible. Why? Two reasons. Somebody a long time ago said the fruit was not edible, and the Internet is mostly cut and paste wrong. I have truly become disgusted with sites like Wikipedia regarding the inaccurate information about plant edibility.

Fruit is not edible

It was from Jim Mason, a naturalist with the Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita Kansas, that I learned the seeds were edible. They taste somewhat like raw sunflower seeds. Not bad for an inedible fruit though he does say it takes a lot of work to get the seeds, and he’s right.  His web page is here. The Osage Orange grows in Florida — I know where there is one in Jacksonville. I have visited it several times. However, the tree grows in abundance in the mid-west, being part of the 1930’s reclamation process. It is, or was, the most intentionally planted tree in the United States. Its native range is a swath running from east Texas up into Oklahoma and parts of western Arkansas. It grows in 39 states and Washington DC, excluding the coldest and or driest areas, such as the high plain states and upper New England. Also found in Canada, it’s “invasive” in Italy and approaching invasive in Spain.

To separate the edible seeds from mature fruit put the fruit in a bucket of water and wait until the fruit is soft, then separate the seeds out.  This will be an aroma-filled process and not pleasant. Let’s just say starving would help.

William Maclure, 1763-1840

Also called Hedgeapples, the Osage Orange got some of its reputation from killing livestock. But careful investigation shows the animals usually suffocated on the large fruit. That got translated into “toxic.” But one livestock feeding study found no significant chemical problems with the Osage Orange. As for the seeds, birds and small mammals have enjoyed them for a long time. Squirrels seem particularly fond of ripping into one.

While the edibility of the Osage Orange has been maligned for decades, its usefulness as a tree has not. It was and still is esteemed for making bows. In fact, some bow makers think the Osage Orange’s wood for bows is superior to the Yew Tree, which is usually held up to be the classic standard.  The wood is turned into various products or used to make guitars. The bark also furnishes a yellow dye and tannins.

Botanically, the Osage Orange, Maclura pomifera, was named for a Scottish-born semi-American geologist named William Maclure (1763-1840.) He moved around a lot so calling him an American is a bit iffy.  Pomifera means bearing apples.

 Green Deane’s “Itemized” Plant Profile


Graphic courtesy of the Great Plains Nature Center

IDENTIFICATION: Tree to 40 feet and 20 inches diameter, often with a short thick trunk and numerous low branches. Bark gray to yellow-brown, thick, divided into narrow forking ridges, usually with hard sharp spines to one inch at leaf base. Sap thick, white, sticky. Leaves alternate, ovate, 2 to five inches long, one to three inches  wide. Fruit large yellow-green knobby balls to five inches in diameter.

TIME OF YEAR: Fruit, smelling faintly of orange, in late summer, fall.

ENVIRONMENT: Bottom lands that are often inundated with water, mixed with other hardwoods, and interspersed with prairie, and grow where moderately dry as well.

METHOD OF PREPARATION: Seeds raw or roasted

*The original article was written in August 2009. Since then the number of hits has increased from 50,000 to 1.5 million (Sept 2014)  and I think now a few more sites say the seeds are edible. One addition to make. I learned of a study that was looking for old homesteads to excavate in the midwest. They originally thought of using old wells as a possible homestead locator but found old Osage Orange trees were more indicative of a former homestead nearby. That says something about the usefulness of the tree. 

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{ 183 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erich E. December 17, 2011 at 17:15

These trees were used largely on farms to produce hedgerows, thus hedge apple, and for fence posts. The wood is very dense and resists rot well. I have a friend who does wood working and is always trying to save me the hassle of picking up the fruits. I spoke to a nieghbor, one of his trees came down in a storm and I was getting the main trunk and large branches for my friend, and he told me his father used to have a wagon tongued with Osage Orange. I found out through some farmers at an auction that this in fact true. Some locals used to buy the largest trees to harvest to turn ox yokes and wagon tongues. I also heard of a few people using the dye though I think that practice is far gone.

This is actually the first time I have ever heard of the Osage Orange being edible. I will have to give it a go next year as our season is gone and the only ones I find are mushy and overly pungent.


2 Steven Knauss December 28, 2011 at 17:16

Wow- on target about finding info on eating osage orange– spent over 2 hours and hundreds of searches before finding yours… including both the other 2 sites you referenced! I just knew there had to be an edible part of the fruit, and was disappointed that just the seeds can be eaten but that is better than nothing. I am very suprised it has not been referenced anywhere for use as a flavoring in any foods such as jams or jellys.


3 bill willey January 26, 2014 at 18:09

what are the results of eating the seeds?


4 Green Deane January 26, 2014 at 18:21

They satisfy your appetite.


5 Charles Day Sutton April 28, 2014 at 15:20

There is a lot of interest in the hedge-apple for curing almost
any type of cancer……….do you have any more information ?


6 Timothy Lane August 13, 2014 at 21:54

Regionally abundant, esoteric, underutilized plants often magically become a new “cancer-fighter” or “superfood” and are exploited by health food companies with strong marketing … In general, it is best to take such optimistic claims with a big grain of salt.

7 Eric October 29, 2014 at 18:13

Absolutely false. There is nothing in existence that does that. Those are silly claims made by people trying to earn a quick buck off of the ignorant. If such a thing were real we wouldn’t be dumping poison and radiation into people as a “cure”

8 underdogscancerclub November 7, 2014 at 22:05

they don’t dump poison and radiation into people as a cure, they do it to make money. lots of things work against cancer, but modern medicine is only interested in things that make money… I use 35% hydrogen peroxide and DMSO to fight my cancer and can’t wait to try this…. GOD Bless you

9 reggie November 8, 2014 at 01:28

Not delightful tasting, but not horrible either. Ever eat a real orange and bite into a seed before you can spit it out? That’s what Osage-orange seeds taste like. It’s a pain in the butt to get to them, and a god-awful mess too, alternately slippery and very sticky, a real mess. Wikipedia describes the juice of the fruit as a “latex”, and that’s the truth. Even after multiple handwashes, it is incredibly sticky, and god help you, if you get it under your fingernails.

The reason I found this website is because I just ate some seeds about 5 hours ago, and truly got a bit of a euphoric “trip”. I’m on the internet now, to find out what the heck just happened to me! According to the USDA write-up on the fruit, it is ALL edible, not just the seeds, but truthfully I would not recommend it, simply because it is non-yummy.

I ate three seeds, on an empty stomach, and at about 200 pounds I am, just to give you some idea of “dosage” here. About 45 minutes after ingestion, started noticing that something felt funny. I got a tight-and-floaty feeling across the forehead, a little tingling on lips and mouth. That forehead feeling, I recognized that, from college days. First thing that heralds the onset of a ‘shroom’ trip is that feeling on the forehead.

About an hour and a half after eating them, my cheeks felt numb and it seemed like my sense of smell got very sharp. Slight dizziness, felt giddy and sleepy at the same time, and that’s really the definition of “euphoria”. Briefly had a runny nose, but it was a 40-degree day, so maybe that’s what caused the wet nose?

No trouble with balance or motor skills, just a little “loopy” like I’d had too much coffee, but without the jitters that caffeine causes. After about 2 and a half hours, the euphoria started to fade and I stopped yawning, and now, almost five hours after, I feel completely normal. No upset stomach, no pains or any other lasting side effects, so far anyway!

As a whole, it was a fairly pleasant experience.

Now, after reading on the ‘net for a while, found that the fruit and seeds have mild anti-bacterial properties, and have very strong flavanoid compounds, which are a class of high-powered anti-oxidants. Also read that some compounds in Osage-orange fruit are under investigation for the most important anti-oxidant characteristic: preventing cancer!

You probably heard about anti-oxidants in red wine and dark chocolate and broccoli, and recently Nestle has done testing on a drink they concocted which is massively stuffed with various flavanoids. The news is that the drink had a remarkable effect of boosting memory in participants of the study, but Nestle has more testing to do and doesn’t expect to begin selling the stuff for a few more years.

Now that I just got an actual “buzz” from Osage-orange seeds, I’d say skip that glass of bordeaux and 80% cacao bar, just give me a handful of monkeyball seeds… now if only they could make ’em taste like chocolate, LOL.

Well that’s it, I’m off to more ‘net reading, to find out just what compounds are in the Osage-orange seeds and find out what gave me a 2-1/2 hour euphoria. Honestly, that was completely unexpected. I just ate them because a friend found one on the side of the road and we didn’t know what the hell it was, but googled it and Mr. Goog said the seeds were edible.

If something’s edible, I’m an omnivore, so I’ll eat it. But now, I’m pretty darn interested in finding out more!


10 debbisu January 22, 2015 at 15:12

What you described is the same type of reaction I get to anti-inflammatories. This is an allergic reaction – be careful!


11 RM McWilliams August 13, 2015 at 00:50

‘Giddy and sleepy at the same time’ sounds like a very strange definition of euphoria.
Certainly that is not how I would define or describe it.


12 Murph December 29, 2011 at 15:52

Where I used to live in Western Pennsylvania, the Amish sell the fruit as a spider repellent. We used to keep the fruit in paper bags in every room of the house and discard as soon as the fruit started leaking into the paper. Supposedly the fruit ripening gave off a gas that repels the little buggers. Saw very few spiders in the house.


13 Brady August 6, 2013 at 23:08

I have heard that the fruit are sold in Asia for the same purpose… but never seen it with my own eyes.


14 Melly November 18, 2013 at 23:30


Where in Asia is it sold?



15 Kristin January 27, 2015 at 08:46

I live in Kentucky & when I lived with my parents they dealt with Wolf Spiders constantly. A hedge apple tree grew just down the road from the house, & my dad would always get the ones that had already fallen off of the tree & cut it up to lay them around spots in every room of the house. You rarely ever saw a single spider afterwards. No idea how it works, but it always worked for them!


16 Janis July 22, 2015 at 12:27

I hang mine is a mesh bag. The just dry slowly, no mess. Keeps out the mice too.


17 Dezso Falabu January 8, 2012 at 15:06

I saw hedge apples for first some 30 years ago at the local botanic garden, and i really liked the trees with the big yellowish balls. Later it appeared that it is not only nice but one of the best wood for bow making. wow! The hunt for the seeds started and ended up with a stolen ball. ( i confess) For some some reason the messy frosty watery workup did not bring any seedlings at all. Eventually i found a place where i could get 30 cm “almost trees” from a nursery. Nice thorny stuff 25 of that. The osage conquered Hungary, Szeged. I’ll be back with its taste after the first harvest.


18 Shuge Smith January 13, 2012 at 12:48

Did you buy yours from cold stream farm? I was considering doing so, how did they look? Thanks.


19 Green Deane January 13, 2012 at 23:27

No, I did not.


20 Steve Santhuff March 11, 2013 at 13:09

I received my first 700 from Cold Stream farm. They arrived and planted well, it was Feb. 2012. Most, like 99% all budded leaves. Some right away in March and some really late, maybe as late as June and I’m in Georgia. I was thinking the later to leave up had root problems to sort out? Now I sprout them from Seed, that’s real fun. Tree Help.com has seeds. And a friend of mine harvested 69 Hedge Apples for me. A video shows a soaking in a bucket of water does wonders on picking through the fruit for the seeds. This tree and it’s fruit has some very interesting chemicals that may be very beneficial to humans.


21 Jon April 13, 2012 at 01:00

I’ve been searching for the answer to the question of Osage Orange growing in Florida… and you have answered it for me! Thanks! Now I have another question. I live in Pensacola and have been trying to find a Osage Orange tree for some time. Do you know of any up here or what sort of areas should I be looking in for me to find one? Thank you for your help and great website.



22 Green Deane April 14, 2012 at 17:35

A few hundred miles north of you they are epidemic.


23 Charles Day Sutton April 28, 2014 at 15:22

I live in Jacksonville. Don’t know where any are.


24 Green Deane April 28, 2014 at 15:48

There is an Osage Orange tree on Euclid Street in Jacksonville. If I could just remember the cross street. It is 1750 Euclid Street. East side. South of cross street Beverly. Here is a view of the property. I think the Osage Orange is south of the big one in the middle… next to the car. But I think that is the right spot. That’s about a mile due south of you.




25 Dave October 7, 2012 at 12:01

I’ve got several growing in the back yard, in Marianna, FL, about 250 mi. west of you. Be glad to send you some “oranges” so you can plant some new ones. You pay the postage. Relatively slow growing trees.
They do have nasty thorns when they grow a bit. They go right through the sole of a sneaker, and into your foot.


26 Katie Spence August 10, 2013 at 02:27

Wow…I live in Ponce de Leon, 40 miles west of you. Glad to hear that they grow in this area. I am in the woods and have heard that neither spiders or roaches like osage. I would like to buy a few from you to plant on my property. Thanks…


27 Green Deane August 10, 2013 at 17:40

Actually about 45 miles north. I don’t have the tree but I can speak to the owner of it and ask him.


28 THERESA February 27, 2014 at 13:23



29 peaches July 9, 2014 at 22:57

Hello everybody im here in memphis do anybody know someone that has a orange tree n can send me some u guys r bless just 2 get up in go out n your own yard in get oranges anytime u please awww man im so jealous.


30 cc July 15, 2014 at 23:22

There is one at the edge of Lamar park in Oxford ms.


31 James September 2, 2014 at 11:47

There is a grove of them in Grand Jct. Right into town, left on the first road (by the old Western Auto) to the end of the street. Turn right and they are in the yard to your right. I don’t know the current owners but it seems a good way to make a friend.


32 GinaB April 21, 2012 at 03:33

I love my Hedge Apple trees here in AR!! (Growing up in OK, we called them Horse Apples.) Yes, they are all over the place here. I try to protect the ones that I have. Besides me loving them and the fruit…I like a tree that’s strong! They provide snacks for the squirrels and deer that visit here plus some entertainment for my kids!

And I have tried frozen shavings of the hedge apple with no ill effects. It was were VERY mildly sweet in an earthy sort of way. That was daily for several weeks last fall and I’m still here!


33 Arien July 16, 2014 at 09:54

How do you eat it
You eat the seed only or the fruit has edible part

I have a big tree in the yard and it has thousands of big green fruits. Few are falling on the ground due to weight.


34 Green Deane July 16, 2014 at 10:37

The article explains what parts to eat.


35 John May 1, 2012 at 22:43

These trees are also know as bois d’arc (pronounced like: boaw dark). this is French and the French explorers gave it this name; meaning bow wood. They had noticed that the Indians made their bows from it.

I now live in Kansas and everyone here calls it Osage orange but where I grew up in Oklahoma everyone called it bois d’arc — only they pronounced it bodark.


36 Robert October 25, 2012 at 15:28

I did a search of the osage orange after reading the name in a couple of different stories. I was born in Kansas and have lived most of my life here and all I have ever heard the tree called is Hedge or Hedgeapple. Makes great fence posts and burns very hot. Have seen horses eat the apples and pack rats seem to use them as their mainstay food source. My dog brings them to me for me to throw for her to fetch. Will have to look into making a bow from hedge.


37 Dwayne May 7, 2012 at 10:36

Question concerning the edibility of this plant. You indicate that the seed are the only edible portion of the fruit.

Is the rest of the fruit poisonous or simply bad tasting making it unpalatable for any type of consumption?

In your article you mentioned the amount of mis-information on the Internet and I do not trust what I have read so far. The reason I ask is that I was contemplating a jelly experiment, but not sure if it would be a poisonous experiment or not.


38 Green Deane May 8, 2012 at 21:17

The rest of the fruit isn’t toxic per se. It just has a difficult texture. The comment about freezing it.


39 Steven Knauss September 6, 2012 at 21:38

did you ever work on the Jelly/Jam experiment? I was also interested in its use as a flavoring of some sort and was going to experiment myself this fall.


40 mrs 703 September 10, 2012 at 10:21

Any luck with jelly/jam experiment? I’d have sworn I had found a recipe for one or the other a couple of months ago, but now that a neighbors OO (osage orange) has fruit — LOTS of fruit — I haven’t been able to locate it. I get a new stove in the next few days — maybe I’ll do some experimentation.


41 Esty Clark September 4, 2012 at 16:22

I have heard that if you cut up the fruit into pieces and put around your house or outside it will keep cockroaches away


42 Green Deane September 4, 2012 at 18:26

I’ve read the same.


43 Buddy Hendrck September 18, 2012 at 22:05

Looking for a Definite answer as to whether the osage orange is edible or not. Thank you


44 Chris June 19, 2013 at 16:38

Very edible. I eat them everyday. It tastes alot like a mild cucumber.
Not to mention they are great for your health. Thanks.


45 George June 22, 2013 at 09:55

how do you prepare them to eat I just planted three new trees and looking for help as to what to do with them. I know if there is a fruit some one has figured out how to use it


46 Melly November 17, 2013 at 20:19

Freeze. When it is hard enough, grate it with cheese grater, i use the fine grater. Eat one tsp a day if you are not sick. One tablespoon three times a day if you have serious ailment. There was an anecdotal account that a man ate 18 hedgeapples, and after which his serious ailment disappeared.

Too bad, the mulling log cabin accounts of its use and cure testimonials have been taken down.



47 Rita S. Sim October 6, 2012 at 13:48

My husband brought home this strange green “brain” fruit as big as an orange about a week ago. I finally cut it open today, (took several tries!) and it was sooooo sticky! Like latex ugh…hard to get off. No big seed in the middle, but a few very small seeds that looked like pumpkin seeds. The smell was just a green, fresh smell. After reading all about the Osage tree and where it is located, I would like to announce we have at least one tree in Dalton GA!


48 eswari balan February 21, 2013 at 09:12

Sticky latex comes off easily with a little cooking oil. Rub and use an old rag to wipe it off. Then wash.


49 Ganel Bryan October 13, 2012 at 23:20

I live in country Bama and I see hundreds of these fruits on trees and on the ground. It is hard for me to believe that they aren’t edible. They look so much like the breadfruit from the islands except they have seeds. I haven’t cut any of them open because I didn’t know what they were.


50 Victoria Rhine June 1, 2013 at 00:45

HI Ganel,
what season are hedge apples in ‘Bama? I am interested in having some of the fruit….will pay all expenses. email me. I am in dire straights to find the fruit.
thank you.


51 james lucas November 10, 2013 at 16:55

I have hundreds of these items. I hate them and would be glad to send
you all you want, just let me know


52 aletha January 6, 2014 at 13:36

I would love to have a few!! I used mine in Michigan and really works to get rid of spiders. Let me no and how to work this out or if you still want to get rid of a few. Thank you so much you can contact me at my email


53 Thuy January 19, 2014 at 19:08

James Lucas if you could send me some. I will pay for postage. This is hard to find and CA doesn’t have any. I would greatly appreciate it. I’ve read it is good for cancer as a family member was recently diagnosed with the evil cancer. Thank you in advance


54 Charles Day Sutton April 28, 2014 at 15:28

Send some to c.d.Sutton at 3545 Thomas St., Jacksonville, FL 32254. Let me know what postage is. Thanks.. 904-566-0959


55 MICHELLE HEANEY June 19, 2014 at 22:03



56 Green Deane June 20, 2014 at 06:41

One grows in Jacksonville, if you are there the right time of year you can pick the fruit up for free.

57 Ron August 30, 2014 at 21:17

I have a number of these trees on my property here in Charlotte NC. They are all in full bloom and full of fruit!! Would be happy to send some to anyone willing to pay shipping and add a little something for my efforts (Please keep in mind, if you know this plant, it has 1/2 -1 inch thorns that chew up your arms and the fallen branches can easily pierce thru sneakers and into ones foot).

Contact me at Ronnyboy921@gmail.com or text me to call you back at 704-905-6183

58 Camille October 24, 2012 at 21:01

I know people who have been using the fruit as a pest repellent for their home for many years, and they swear by it. I’ve been to their home during each of the seasons and never once seen any kind of bug or spider in it, much less any other kind of pest! They place them a few feet apart all around the exterior perimeter of their house and property every year (or perhaps twice a year, I’m not sure…).
I live in Pensacola, FL, and have family in Corpus Christi, TX. I am desperately looking for a source in both places, as we’d very much like to start using the osage oranges. (An intense phobia of any and all cockroaches/palmetto bugs/whatever you want to call them is a salient point here!) It’s obvious to me that they work better than any bug spray, chemical, or electronic deterrent we’ve ever tried! Let me know if you can help, please! Thanks!


59 Jason November 20, 2013 at 16:15

For deterring cockroaches…I’ve read catnip (nepeta cataria) is very effective. Osage apples may work also, but the least amount of sugar or smell of rotting fruit might just attract them.


60 Aron November 12, 2012 at 18:14

Hi guys I need som Osage orange fruits if any one can sand mi I well pay all expenses.thank you


61 Judy Mullins November 13, 2012 at 21:58

This link was just sent to me, and i cannot keep from leaving my comments. Hedgeapples are edible, and NO, they are not poisonous. They taste a little like cucumbers. The most valuable use for hedgeapples, is the ability to stop cancerous growths. I have been either eating or taking a hedgeapple capsule for 7 or 8 years now to help prevent cancer. I personally know several people who have been CURED of cancer by eating the hedgeapple. If i was told i had cancer, i would not take chemo. I would just double up on my hedgeapple intake. The ingredient found in hedgeapples is called tetrahydroxystilbene. Look it up, studies have proven that this ingredient reduces cancer cells. Nope the pharmaceutical companies or doctors won’t tell you about this. They can’t figure out how to put a price tag on it. There’s too much money in cancer research.


62 Barb Williams January 23, 2013 at 03:00

Where do you get hedgeapple pills at? I have never heard of this.
I live in Kansas and there are hedge trees all over in Central East Kansas , say around Lawrence. They were planted as fence rows back in the early days, and they really don’t like them here now and some farmers just cut them down. They use the tree for fence posts and even burn the wood, but it sparks really bad . The hedge balls just fall on the ground as no one uses them and have no use for them. If you drive down a country road when the hedge apples are ripe, you will see them laying in the ditches. I have heard that some people put the hedge balls around their house or basement to keep bugs away, but that’s all. Mostly, people don’t like the trees anymore because they have humongous thorns and will go right through your shoe and even a tire!
I have never heard of anyone eating the hedge ball.


63 Petero April 9, 2013 at 20:08

Barb Williams ; I have been eating the fruit of hedge apple for five years ,,, and drink the sap or from the fruit since 2000’s … I also have used the fruit and sap for the externer portion of the body … like flesh eating bacteria ,,, poison ivy ,,, spider bite ,,, cold sore ,,, skin cancer ,,, burn sore from electric blanket ,,, warts … used on warts since 1980’s … and in 1995 i use it on flesh eating bacteria … and heal me with in three days … still used on other thing’s …….,,,,,…….


64 bill willey January 23, 2014 at 22:27

i have hedge apple capsuls and get you any amount that you need


65 Pat Bryan July 13, 2015 at 12:30

I am interested in getting the capsuls.Thank You.


66 jimmy walker March 5, 2013 at 23:45

Can you tell me where I can get hedgeapples this time of year or where I can buy the capsules. My wife has stage IV colon cancer and decided to stop the second round of chemotherapy – didn’t think she could live through the second round! Your reply will be greatly appreciated.


67 Chris June 19, 2013 at 16:29

Please go to (a now defunct website) and search for the hedgeapple cancer cure. There are people on there that freeze them and will send them to you for just the cost of shipping. Also tell her to try 2 teaspoons of baking soda mixed with deer park water twice a day. When you get the hedge apples, make sure she eats as much as possible for 6-8 weeks. I am NO DOCTOR, so take my info for what it’s worth. Just trying to help. I pray your wife makes a hasty recovery.


68 Melly November 18, 2013 at 23:37


That website does not exist anymore



69 bill willey February 7, 2014 at 22:51



70 bill willey March 18, 2014 at 14:33

Jimmy ,
I have as many hedgeapple capsules as you will ever need . Are you still in need of them? if so you can call me at 937-763-1969, this is my cell phone , if I miss your call leave a message and I will return your call as soon as possible.

Bill Willey,


71 Debbie July 19, 2013 at 15:22

Can you tell me where you get the hedge apple capsules? I have been looking. I had cancer removed from my bladder last year and am interested giving this a try.


72 bill willey January 23, 2014 at 22:33

did you find any hedgeapple capsules? i have an abundant supply if you still need them


73 amy October 27, 2013 at 17:40

THANK YOU!!!! Judy Mullins Your reply was what I was looking for on here. I have heard the same thing and I have seen several trees down the road from me and would like to know how much of the shavings you eat a day and I have heard that it freezes well.


74 Tim Shrout November 6, 2013 at 12:01

There must be truth to Judy’s story. They have withing the last few months pulled her website. I am trying to find out how to dry and capsule the fruit because I find the taste unappealing but now can find nothing about it on the internet….seems someone has been pulling the plug on websites that claim the hedgeapples can cure cancer. What has happened to this country’s right to free speech!!!!


75 Green Deane November 6, 2013 at 12:43

I do not know anything about the cancer-fighting abilities of the Osage Orange, if any. But I assure you I am about as independent an old grouch as one can be and I will not be forced to remove articles that I think should stand.


76 Melly November 17, 2013 at 20:24


It is so good to see you posting again. Miss your website. Huh, but i copied and posted it and have the whole thing on file. I sent email to the lady that gives away the apple, but have to pay for postage, and she has not answered.

Please email me for the source of the capsules.

Many thanks Judy. God bless you kind heart.



77 Melly November 17, 2013 at 21:36


Should taking the hedge apple be pulsed? Meaning taking it three weeks then one week off, then three weeks again, then one week off again, etc.? Do you pulse your hedge apple in take?

Many thanks Judy.



78 Christopher Wanjek November 19, 2012 at 10:31

A tale of two oranges…

I gave the osage orange a try this year. I can attest that the seeds are hard to remove. I picked up about 10 osage oranges from the ground. I got better at seed removal by the third piece of fruit by slicing them vertically to make about five or six thick, round slices. Then I used my thumbs to push out the seeds into a colander. Then I washed them. The difficulty was the time and mess. The white, pulpy substance became quite sticky — superglue strength, holding my fingers together — and took much cleaning with pumice soap to remove.

And all for what? I dried and roast the seeds. They tasted ok; but for me, the labor wasn’t worth the small yield and mundane taste.

Also this year, though, I tried Poncirus trifoliata, also called bitter orange or hardy orange. These definitely were worth it. As explained at “Plants for a Future,” I let them sit for about two weeks, which somehow made them juicier. But then I was on my own to figure out how to eat them. I cut two or three at a time and squeezed the pulp, juice and seeds into a tea pot; added boiling water; let cool to room temperature; strained and drank. Delicious. I’d describe it as a lemony grapefruit juice.

Bottom line, I’ll continue to respect the osage orange but will leave it alone. And I’ll be sure to harvest far more bitter oranges next year.



79 RM McWilliams August 13, 2015 at 01:07

Maybe the ‘super glue’ aspect should be investigated?
Oil seems to do a better job removing the sticky latex than soaps, with or without pumice.


80 Heather December 2, 2012 at 07:10

I was just introduced to this fruit yesterday and the winter farmer’s market in Wisconsin when a man gave my daughter one and told us about it. It has such a wonderful, earthy, fresh, fruity smell. Is there a way to make it into potpourri or use the scent for soap? I just read some company is using the essence as a natural bug repellent. I’m not sure if that means mosquitoes, but I’d love any ideas for turning this into something useful.


81 Green Deane December 3, 2012 at 06:13

No,not mosquitoes but rather cockroaches in the house.


82 Mike Conroy December 3, 2012 at 12:18

Good day to you Deane, and to all your readers.

Mama always said… or Uncle Ed said… or Grandma said… but someone always said about the Hedge…

The wood is hard and dense to cut (true that, I have used a chain saw on them), they burn hot in a fire (true that too), as stated prior – they kill cockroaches (Mama said this is because they eat the fruit and the sticky juice clogs their digestive tract – but I have not experimented with this so cannot confirm), they were used in the past to create a hedge that was impervious to cattle – simply by taking cuttings of the limbs (up to several inches in diameter) and burying them horizontally in the ground so they just show at the top of ground level, and that no animals eat them (untrue – I have observed partially eaten fruits for many years, mama got this one wrong).


83 John December 13, 2012 at 23:41

Your moma was right, they don’t eat the tree, but they do eat the hedge apple. Notice my email (osagemann) The hedge apple is not the tree…I make wooden cooking utensils from Osage Orange wood.


84 Brett December 8, 2012 at 16:09

I found lots of these fruits awhile back but didn’t know they are from Osage as I am a beginning bow maker. I googled fruit uses and was happy to see your site. I’ve been watching your youtube videos for a long time:) Much respect


85 Bill Collister January 8, 2013 at 22:38

I keep looking, but have yet to find any Osage Orange trees in my area. Deadwood, SD Any clues on close in spots would be appreciated! I’ll probably have to just buy som seeds!


86 E.B. February 9, 2013 at 12:20

If you’re actually wanting to grow the trees Musser Forests sells them online and through their catalog for relatively decent prices. I’ll be ordering some for my parents’ property as a (slightly late)gift for their anniversary.


87 Jeff Gibson January 16, 2013 at 16:34

I read all your wonderful posts and had to add my two cents. I use hedge posts because my grandfather took branches about as big around as your arm and made fence posts during WW II and the are still solid to this day. (however it is impossible to drive a fence staple in them now) The wood continues to get harder with time. Okay I am gonna to touch on a subject that has only been briefly touched on, burning this wood for heat… This wood is the hottest burning wood in my area (Missouri). If you put just osage orange in a fireplace insert it will get hot enough to MELT the metal. If you burn this wood mix it with other types of wood. Lastly, my grandmother and great grandmother made ornaments but slicing the fruit and baking them in the oven. The fruit turns brown and wrinkles in a wavy sort of way. The made some really pretty ornaments that I remember fondly. If you want details on how they did it let me know.


88 laura February 10, 2013 at 19:34

Hi Jeff,
I would love to find out how they made the ornaments.
Thank you.


89 Pat April 18, 2013 at 21:50

I would love to get the details on how your grandmother made the ornaments as well.


90 Diane November 16, 2013 at 14:12

Would love to have details on how to make ornaments with Osage Orange fruit.


91 Michele December 7, 2013 at 11:00

I would love to make these ornaments, too!


92 Josie December 7, 2013 at 13:14

I would like details on making ornaments.


93 Timothy January 29, 2013 at 22:21

I have been wondering if there’s a shortcut to getting the seeds out – perhaps soaking or freezing the ripe fruits whole to soften them (or a combination) — it seems like there must be some shortcut to make collecting them more worth one’s while. They can often be so bountiful where one finds them…


94 Dave February 17, 2013 at 12:36

As a retire I spent several years as a Passport in Time volunteer with the Forest Service. On one project we were searching for house remains to map a mill village that had existed between 1790 and 1890. After spending much time looking for stone piles and fireplace remains a fellow worker and I were talking about the site when it came to our attention that each of the house sites we had located had had a Osage Orange tree near by. We began looking for the trees instead of the foundations and were very successful. “The Question” Why were these people planting this tree? The insect repellent is to date the most logical answer I have been given.


95 Mike February 20, 2013 at 12:00

Good shade canopy, open understory, resistant to rot, long lifespan, resistant to oxen and horses (you can park a carriage under them without concern of destroying the shade tree), fruit is easily avoided (as opposed to small acorns that hurt your feet when you walk on them). What a better yard tree is there?


96 crystal February 17, 2013 at 15:13

Im from Missouri where the hedge apple/ missouri orange/ osage orange trees are all around. The trees were grown mostly for ‘hedge rows’ they grow fairly fast and work really well for fence rows. They have a yellow inner bark that burns hotter than any other wood I know of in a fireplace or woodstove. The wood crackles and pops and most of us midwesterners that burn wood for heat know that you will stay very warm while burning hedge wood. The hedge apple is worthless, as far as I know. Cows, pigs, and wildlife won’t even eat them but they do have a glue substance inside of them that works like elmers glue when your in a pinch. I’m sure it has other uses, but none that Im aware of from folk tale.


97 Petero April 9, 2013 at 21:38

crystal ; osage orange fruit and sap can cure disease and cancer ,,, from external portion to internal portion of the body … and i’m still use it on everything … and sharing with friends … i have some been bottled since 1995 … I would like to test it on something like uncure deadly disease …….,,,,,…….


98 Rose April 23, 2013 at 11:11

Petero, Please do share what experiences you’ve had and what you know of using Osage Orange for medicinal purposes. I made a tincture last fall using cut up pieces fruit gathered in Arkansas late Sept. off the ground – my gut feeling was that it must be medicinal in some way. I have several friends with cancer and want to know more about herbal alternatives. Thanks!


99 bill willey January 26, 2014 at 18:49

i slice the whole hedgeapple in thin slices and put them in a dehidrator until it is dry and then i put it in a blender and it comes out like dust. then i put this in capsules . i normally take one capsule in the morning and one at evening meal. im not prscribeing this to anyone , but you can google hedgeapple and use your own thoughts as to what you want to do.


100 pat bryan July 13, 2015 at 12:52

It is curing my half sister of cancer.She is taking the capsuls.I donot know about it being bottled.I would like to know about that.


101 RM McWilliams August 13, 2015 at 01:18

These posts are obviously not emailed back to the people who posted them… but is interesting to see that someone apparantly read the article, and still says ‘the hedge apple is worthless’.

I havn’t seen livestock pay any attention to them, but the squirrels pulled them appart in the late winer or very early spring for the seeds. By that time the fruit had been through a bunch of freeze/thaw cycles and had spftened considerably, making the squirrels’ work easier. Before that they ignored them.


102 Dew February 19, 2013 at 15:02

I had a bandsawmill for several years, the goal to get free pine trees and cut into lumber and build my house. After all that people kept bugging wanting me to cut up trees for them… it wasn’t long after I got rid of the sawmill, but not before someone told me they would swap me some cypress logs if I’d cut up their osage orange trees into 6×6 posts. I had to get special bandsaw blades. The wood is denser than hickory and puts off more BTUs in the fireplace than hickory or oaks also. It makes a beautiful gold sawdust and the wood itself is gold and dries into a pretty bronze. They used the posts in the construction of their 3 story house on the river.


103 Victoria April 17, 2013 at 14:01

I am very interested in purchasing hedge apples, for medicinal purposes, not just for me but several of my friends that have cancer. I live in the orlando area of Florida. Please feel free to email me any sources. FYI the hedge apple does not need to be completely ripe, to eat.
thank you


104 bill willey January 26, 2014 at 18:57

Victoria, I have several hedgeapple capsules ready to ship. If you are still interested you can contact me at , rangerbill01@hotmail.com


105 Dee April 21, 2013 at 20:22

Several years ago we had horses that would go nuts over them. We always called them horse apples because horses seemed to love them.


106 Mad Rider May 10, 2013 at 15:41

Thumb up for this great article! Living in Romania, I first found the ‘monkey balls’ of this unusual tree some 10 years ago in a garden located several blocks from my home. For the last 3-4 years I’ve been trying to get my own Osage orange tree from burying the lime balls in my own garden at my country house, but with no results. Last fall I ordered from a supplier a couple of Maclura Pomifera baby-trees no higher than a foot and I’m happy to say that both of them survived a harsh winter. Does anyone know how long it takes for a small tree so have fruits?


107 Reid July 13, 2013 at 02:52

be care what you wish for these things can take over before you know it and they are almost impossible to get rid of. These things have thorns that are sharper than nails . They can easily pierce a car tire.


108 Charlie Sommers May 18, 2013 at 19:41

I was brought up in a rural part of Tennessee and we had an Osage Orange chopping block in the backyard that I used to split kindling for our cook stove. It was also used to end the lives of probably several thousand chickens over the years. It was rot resistant and had stood the test of at least 25 years of use with only a slight indentation from repeated hatchet strokes. The wood is resinous and burns with a hot flame but can gum up your chimney and cause a fire hazard.


109 Reid July 13, 2013 at 02:56

Fence posts made from Hedge can easily last a 100 years. They resist rot and insects . Once dry ,cutting this wood is near impossible. Even green it will dull an chain saw before you know it. When burned as fuel it burns hotter than any wood i’ve ever seen.


110 Melly November 17, 2013 at 21:12


Is it true that when you burn the wood, it gives and fire cracker sound and sparkles as well?



111 Sarah June 2, 2013 at 23:46

Two more cents…

There is a spineless variety called ‘White Post’, but very difficult to find. My folks had one such when I was a child. If anyone knows where a nursery is that will sell such, I would love to know! (The spines can leave flaws in the wood, and I would like some turned items in this wood, larger than the purchased ‘pen’ blanks).

I have been told there is also another variant called ‘white shield’, supposedly faster growing and softer, as it was designed for turning utensils. .

I still have and use daily grandmas osage orange cutting board. And a turned potato masher. Hmmm… I wonder how it would do as a garbage disposal pusher…

To those who are looking for the standard spiney variety, eBay has both seeds and started sprigs.


112 Chris June 19, 2013 at 16:02

Great work, but I eat the WHOLE fruit everyday and it is VERY edible and quite tasty. It tastes kind of like a mild cucumber and is VERY good at getting rid of any fungi or cancerous tumors in the body and it also helps clear your sinus passages of fungi and mucus and help you to breath normally. I know of several people that had cancer in late stages and eating the entire fruit killed all the cancer cells and saved their lives. You can believe what you want but I am telling the truth. You would just have to test it for yourself. Thank You.


113 RM McWilliams August 13, 2015 at 01:32

The huge variation in edibility shared here makes me wonder if different stages of ripenness affect the taste, texture, and latex contnet? Or if there are huge genetic variations between the trees that the fruit is singificantly different from tree to tree?

It almost sounds like people here are sometimes talking about different species, but is is hard to mistake this tree for any other in the US. Even when tlaking about the thorns; they were there but we never had any issue with them. Fallen limbs were gathered and burned or added to the bruch pile in the woods, but the tractor tires stayed intact when mowing the area. And the horses p;ayed with them a bit but never really ate them. Just the squirrels, and only after winter had softened them. Oh, and the wood burned too hot for wood stoves, but was fine in stoves also designed for coal burning. I don’t remember it being an issue in terms of build-up in the chimney stack, maybe because it was cured?


114 Robert Morri June 24, 2013 at 16:37

The other day while collecting mullberry leaves for tea making,l noticed a horseapple tree with almost mature sized fruit.I’m having a bug problem so l brought home a few.Having read the above testimonials l thought I’d test the waters and nuked one in water for about ten minutes.The resulting tea tasted fine and after a few hours I was feeling fine,so l decided to eat a pinkie sized portion of the fruit.I went to bed feeling fine.Get this ,l had a viagra-type response all night.When l awoke l felt a little queasy,but not too bad. I ate and did some chores. Around noon l became sick and puked my guts.I remained in bed all day weakened,and I’m still weak today.


115 Green Deane June 24, 2013 at 17:24

Next time avoid the chores…


116 Sean Howe July 8, 2013 at 17:49

I have a huge one of these in my yard and found out the hard way about these knives, I mean thorns that still has my hand throbbing. Live in North Carolina and we have lots of water bugs (roaches )so gonna try them as a bug repellent. Very curious how you eat them for the medicinal purpose as a cancer killer this sounds awesome. The big ugly fruit no one eats cures cancer. Go figure.


117 Reid July 13, 2013 at 02:47

we have land in SE Kansas that is overrun with these hedge trees. I was pretty sure that the white sap that comes from piercing one of the “apples” was poison. When we were kids my brother got someone it in his eye . His eye turned red and swelled shut. We had to take him to the ER . They gave him Antihistamines and patched his eye for a day or two. Does anyone have any info on that white latex like sap??? I’d like to find a way to make these pesky things pay


118 bill willey March 7, 2014 at 12:25

its been reported out of Kentucky that it cures skin cancer


119 Jeremy July 22, 2013 at 21:29


Pile the hedge apples up beside or on your compost pile in the fall. The woodland critters will appreciate the winter food supply. To your advantage they only want the seeds and leave a nice pile of compost for you in the spring when there is never quite enough of that black gold.


120 Devinann Gibson August 4, 2013 at 17:25

The fruit of the hedge apple is indeed edible, I have eaten it myself and as long as the fruit has two hard frosts or freezes on it it is edible.


121 Maureen Daniel September 3, 2013 at 16:55

I live in SE Kansas where hedge trees are plentiful. We trail ride with our horses and when the hedge apples start to fall, it’s difficult to push the horses past them. I have never heard of them being poisonous and my horses have been eating them for as long as we’ve had horses (a long time). They do prefer them after a frost. I was told once that the fruit will take on an alcohol type quality after a freeze. That’s when the horses seem to REALLY want them. I have tasted them and they are citrus tasting. I have also sampled the shiny leaves of the female tree, again very citrus tasting. The horses prefer the mature fruit and love the leaves. I think if your looking for human consumption, you should follow the horses nose and go for the mature fruit. I think the seeds would be much easier to remove once the fruit has been frozen once or twice too. They are extremely hard when they first come on the trees. Once they have fallen and frosted, they become much softer, sweeter and easier to work with.


122 Carol Reese October 2, 2013 at 16:06

Finally! Maureen is right. I grew up with horses and cows, and they relished the fruit and the leaves. I was once served a pie made with the “horse apples” and it wasn’t bad, though cinnamon and sugar could make most anything palatable. This tree is closely related to mulberry, which also has milky sap, so don’t buy into that meaning it is poisonous.


123 Len October 5, 2013 at 22:11

Today was the first time I had seen this tree and fruit. Being the curious guy I am, I picked one up, broke it open, smelled it (it smelled like citrus n sweet) and took a nibble. It tasted sweet but I didn’t swallow it since I didn’t know if it would be safe. I picked up others and noticed that the ones that didn’t smell as sweet often had this white sticky stuff oozing out. Can anyone tell me how to tell if the fruit is ripe? I’m guessing that the ones oozing “latex” are not ripe.


124 Kirsten October 7, 2013 at 02:50

I have hundreds of these fruits lettering my yard. If anyone wants them, drop me a line.


125 Angel October 10, 2013 at 01:50

Kirsten, I do!!! I’ve been searching for these around me.. I’m wanting to plant a living fence around my land. I live in north east Texas, near Houston. Are you far from there?


126 Joel October 14, 2013 at 15:40

Found a tree growing in La Porte, TX. Took me forever to identify based on the fruit.


127 Melly November 17, 2013 at 21:20


Do you still have some nice ones? I mean ripe, but not over ripe, with no black dots? I would like to purchase some.

Also how does one know if the tree is female or male? Must one have both male and female so there could be fruit on the female tree?


128 Kirsten October 12, 2013 at 15:26

I am in tennessee


129 Shannon Cila October 13, 2013 at 23:05

We just moved to a rural home in Southeastern Iowa and have these trees all around our property. At first we thought they might be some kind of black walnut from the large, green, bumpy fruit, but diligent google searches led us to discover its true identity as osage orange. I have learned a lot from this page so thanks to everyone for sharing their knowledge about it.

I am interested in the ornaments, and also wondering if anyone has tried baking the sliced fruit. Also, how do you cut the wood if it is so dense and gummy? Isn’t that bad for a chainsaw? I read that the bow makers split the wood somehow with a wedge.

We have lots of these fruits scattered over the property and at this time (early October), we have not had a deep frost yet (temps have gotten down to the 40’s, though), and the fruits are still very bright green, hard, and milky. They do resemble bread fruit in the internal fruit structure, although breadfruit is not sappy, but starchy inside as I remember. That’s why I was wondering how they bake up, because they bake the slices of breadfruit on the islands. Also curious if the osage orange is related to breadfruit, and what does osage means?


130 Shannon Cila October 14, 2013 at 01:13

I found a page about osage orange’s medicinal properties and many scientific studies confirming its anti-cancer, anti-fungal (especially Candida albicans) , anti-Alzheimer, anti-Parkinsons, immune-promoting, and antimicrobial to name a few. Thought I’d add the link for anyone wondering: http://www.racehorseherbal.com/Wild_Herbs/Osage_Orange/osage_orange.html

Like the vital nutrient iodine, they found a component called lupeol, that causes natural cell death (apoptosis) which stops tumors from developing and even shrinks active ones, and there are heart-protective factors, as well as powerful antioxidants.

Apparently, researchers have taken notice, and the tree’s leaves and inner heartwood (the fruit, too) have been positively shown to contain a form of resveratrol, and something called Tetrahydroxystilbene (THS) which has very strong antifungal properties. Follow the page to the end and it contains abstracts from the actual scientific studies and a chart of the plant’s healthy polyphenols. Researchers also concluded that although the plant is considered inedible, it is also safe and “can be used as a food additive.”


131 Lindsay May 17, 2014 at 18:25

I’ve also read this article which has led me to work with the leaves (tinctured) ~ a very delightful taste I must say… Hoping to learn more in terms of its anti-fungal activity…


132 RM McWilliams August 13, 2015 at 01:40

The density of the wood makes it a challenge to cut, but I do not recall even the fresh wood being ‘gummy’. But the fruit can be, with the latex substance.


133 Boon Warwick October 21, 2013 at 13:41

I live in southern ontario canada and just found out about this strange fruit after finding a couple of trees on my way to work. I plan on gathering a couple and try and get the seeds out to grow my own tree. I will totally try putting some in the house for a spider deterent.


134 Margaret October 28, 2013 at 18:39

These things are currently dropping like bombs in Cincinnati, common on the hillsides in the older parts of town. In winter they’re easy to spot, the naked trees have a greenish yellow cast to them unlike any other. On the rare occasion I mistake a different tree for an osage, the culprit is always a mulberry. The grosing habit is similar.
As for sprouting osage, throwing the whole fruit in the compost pile resulted in scores of seedlings, but the youngsters need to be faithfully watered or they wither. Very hardy when they grow up, but not when they first hatch.
If you want the seeds, freeze the fruit, then thaw it. This renders it somewhat mushy, and surprisingly easy to slice. Then you work the fruit with your fingers and thumbs and pop the seeds out. Kind of messy, use bowls, a sieve, water. Yield is impressive, 500 seeds from one very large specimen, about the size of a big grapefruit. Not bad work if the internet’s down for the evening.
To me, the raw seeds taste like the hedge apples smell, with a barnyard manure aftertaste. Maybe it’s the medication I take. YMMV.


135 Ronyon August 18, 2014 at 22:22

I live in Cincinnati on the west side,can you cite a street?
I would love to grow a hedge of these, the food value is incidental…


136 Margaret August 19, 2014 at 09:35

I haven’t seen them on the west side, which doesn’t mean there aren’t any; I just haven’t seen them. The hillsides around the old city parks are good spots. Easiest to point out is a big spreading tree at almost the bottom of Parkside Pl., in Eden Park. In fact, it’s on Google streetview listed as 1066 Parkside. Looks to me like there are mulberry trees in the mix, but the Osage is there too. Most of the oranges roll down the hill and get squished on Martin Dr., but many stay under the tree.


137 Margaret August 19, 2014 at 09:47

PS. When extracting seeds, have dedicated utensils. Spouses object to the latex getting stuck to knives, bowels, countertops…


138 Margaret October 13, 2014 at 22:11

Bowls. Not bowels. ;o)


139 limaro October 12, 2014 at 19:53

Lehman Avenue in Price Hill. Along both sides of the road near Summit View apartments.


140 Pat Bernhard October 28, 2013 at 22:38

I picked up a bunch from the roadside the other day. They were much bigger than they appeared from a moving auto. Hadn’t a clue what they were till my dog ate into one;then I looked hard on the Internet to be sure it wasn’t poison for her. I am in Rochester NY and this thing seems to do just fine in our long, cold, snowy winters.


141 Nan October 30, 2013 at 11:52

I am in San Felipe TX and just passed one of these trees on my morning walk. Thanks for helping me ID it, and for all the helpful information!


142 Christy November 14, 2013 at 00:52

Wow, so glad I ran across your site on Osage Orange. My husband had brought home some hedge apples because I was loosing the battle with 2 different types of cockroaches, he had stated that when he first bought the house 30+ years ago he had roaches and said he took his families advice (what he thought was called “crab apples” not really knowing the correct name), and put out the Osage orange/ hedge apples and said that within in weeks they were gone. Told me to just cut off the top and place in a bowl or lid and place under the sinks and in places where the pets couldn’t get to them. I went to search on this to make sure these were crab apples because to me they are some HUGE fruit, none that I have ever seen growing up, to my surprise they ARE NOT crab apples. :) I am glad to learn the proper name of these brains. I know can educate him on what they are and we will be tasting the fruit as well. Still learning something new every day!!


143 smokey November 16, 2013 at 18:22

the article you replied to was about how only the seeds are edible. so why are you tasting the fruit? It’s latex. and not good.


144 Chris November 14, 2013 at 23:55

Two points not mentioned – if you want to burn the wood in your wood stove, cut the tree after all the leaves have fallen and wait a few more weeks. The sap runs back into the roots and gumming your chain saw won’t be as much of an issue. Once it is cut, let it cure for a year at least. It needs to dry out. The hotter burning wood is the old stuff – wood that has been cut and curing for years. If you find some old hedge posts, they burn great and very hot. But you will go through chains faster on the old stuff. It cuts like steel.

Second point – if you want to plant some, don’t bother digging the seeds out of the hedge apple. Dig a shallow hole and plop the whole apple in it. No need to dissect it. Apples buried by animals by stepping on them grow every year around here (Flint Hills of Kansas). We spray them and cut them down because they grow so readily. They are one of the easiest trees to start.

One more point, there are male and female trees. One does not have thorns and does not bear fruit. There have been some comments about the thorns. Thorns are longer in the Spring when new branches form. They can be three to four inches long when green. But when they harden, they are only an inch or so. Best to wear leather boots when working around trees where the ground is not maintained. You will likely have sore feet if you wear tennis shoes.

But if you want a more spiny tree, plant a thorny locust. Their spines are three to five inches long. They grow right next to the hedge trees. They WILL pierce a tire.

Oh, one more thing (reminds me of Columbo), the old hard hedge wood posts you find need to be extricated fully from the ground. If you break them off (can be done with a skid steer), you will leave a stob which will puncture tires. Experience speaking. That old hard post is like a chunk of sharp steel sticking out of the ground. (Pardon me for any misspellings – I’m typing on my phone.)


145 RM McWilliams August 13, 2015 at 02:02

Ah! Cutting the wood when dormant was why we never had an issue with gummy wood. But why would anyone cut any kind of tree for firewood, or lumber, during the growing season? (Unless one fell acrosss a road or something.)
Aside from it being too hot for that sort of work in summertime, wouldn’t it be best to cut wood when the sap is in the roots?
Plus many kinds of trees will sprout and regrow pretty quickly from the established roots- for totally renewable firewood, fence post, fence rail, and pole building wood- among other uses. You get MUCH quicker regrowth than from planting seedlings, though the sprouts may have to be thinned depending on what you want to use the resprouted wood for.


146 Melly November 17, 2013 at 21:29

Thank you Chris. I am trying to get acquainted with this tree and i find you very informative on the subject. I wonder if this would make good garden chairs if they don’t rot.



147 Bruce November 23, 2013 at 21:01

I have about six bushels of fruit from one tree. We have just harvested the crop today after a heavy frost. A local market sells the fruit mainly as a decorative fruit for the season. I took in a bushel two days ago and they were almost sold out. I am going to continue researching this fruit to see if it has any nutritional benefit. If anyone out there finds anything further please let us all know. Thanx from Southern Ontario, Canada. Bruce


148 Nona Noel November 27, 2013 at 12:46

We’ve use the fruit as a super pest repellant for years on the southern shore of Lake Michigan. Spread around the basement. The one year we didn’t when we went to Florida, pests destroyed the hvac system


149 TATM December 11, 2013 at 14:07

I found the easiest/lazyman’s way to sprout the seeds for seedlings is to leave the fruits lie and freeze on the ground through the winter, in a protected place open to the elements. The fruits will be rotting in the spring after thawing and the seeds will germinate in a clump. the rotting fruit seems to nourish and protect the little germinants. They root right through the soft fruit into the soil. Give them a few weeks to “harden” before separating while keeping moist, and planting temporarily in potting soil. Keep well watered until their second season.


150 Mary Combs January 13, 2014 at 21:58

Does anyone know whether bows are made from the stem or branch wood? Also what size wood stave would be best for using to make a bow?
Will Osage Orange grow in Northern Idaho? Thanks!


151 Green Deane January 13, 2014 at 22:26

On the Green Deane Forum there is a thread dedicated to bow making and a lot of useful and technical information.


152 bill willey January 23, 2014 at 22:37

If anyone
is looking for hedgeapple capsules i have an abundant supply.
i can be contacted by e-mail . rangerbill01@hotmail.com
no order to small and no order to large.


153 halewkh February 4, 2014 at 12:10

Specifically which birds and small mammals eat the seeds of Osage orange? Can you refer me to any references?


154 Margaret March 18, 2014 at 22:19

I’ve seen squirrels eating the seeds, but no references, just an eyewitness account.


155 RM McWilliams August 13, 2015 at 02:07

I have also observed squirrels eating the seeds, each year in late winter or very early spring, after the fruit had softened, they dug out the seeds and ate them. This was routine, every year.


156 Nancy Oden February 18, 2014 at 15:24

Musser Forests (sell trees and other plants) sells Osage Orange trees. They’re a reliable seller. Plants are small but relatively inexpensive.


157 ZAch March 2, 2014 at 15:41

Do you have any seeds you are giving away? I live in Ontario and would like to try and grow this! It’s native to the region.


158 annelize geldenhuis April 26, 2014 at 00:35

Hallo from South Africa…..I use Macluras as decor …..how can i make the fruit last longer ….will they dry well? Any advice on their preservation please


159 Orlando Roman July 6, 2014 at 09:02

Can I grow Osage Orange in (tropics)Puerto Rico? I know is there is some in Hawaii India, Africa,I’m into archery and would love to have it close so in my old age I could make bows,lol!


160 Tim July 10, 2014 at 19:01

The fruit also make great smashballs. One person pitches. The other person swings and SMASH! Loads of fun!


161 Green Deane July 11, 2014 at 07:27

As that helps the tree get its seeds spread around the tree would probably agree.


162 E. Wright July 26, 2014 at 18:07

I grew up in central Kansas and we always called them Osage Oranges. My grandmother, who homesteaded in WaKeeney in 1901, believed that the trees’ roots went out 16 feet into the fields and caused the drought that made their farm fail. When she was very old and had dementia, she would repeat “16 feet into the fields” dozens of times a day. She hated them, but I have always loved rows of them alongside the fields.


163 Green Deane July 26, 2014 at 18:16

Perhaps there was more to the story… but it is interesting how small incidents can be come personally important in many ways.


164 RM McWilliams August 13, 2015 at 02:33

Current understanding of how trees function within the hydrological cycle would contradict your grandmother’s impression. Trees typically help, rather than harm, this cycle. First, the hedgerows also act as windbreaks, moderating the dessicating effect of dry winds on any plants in their windshadow. They also collect dust and dirt blowing in the wind, which can have an effect like sandblasting on plants.
Osage orange tree roots reach, according to one government report, as much as 27 feet down into the soil. This allows them to access water unaccessable to the roots of most crop plants. Trees pump water from deep underground into their leaves, and then into the air via transpiration. Other plants underneath and nearby benefit from the moisture that falls at the ‘drip line’ around the far edge of the foliage, as well as from the local increase in humidity.
After centuries (or longer) of viewing every living thing as being in competition with each other, scientists are beginning to understand that synergies and co-operation are far more common than cut-throat competition. Most farms and homesteads that failed did so because few people then understood how natural ecosystems thrived, and how to tap into the inter-relationships that made the prairie so abundant. Only a slightly higher percentage of farmers understand this now. Sadly, periodic drought just made the ‘wearing out’ of those farms happen that much faster.
Those interested may want to read Jerry Brunetti’s ‘Farm as Ecosystem’.


165 Dahna July 28, 2014 at 22:44

I live in North Carolina. Today I went for a walk near my house, there is a dead end in the area with one small field, on it there is a section with overgrown weeds , I love to look at the different kinds of weeds, to me they are also beautiful . As I was looking around I saw a small tree in the middle of them. I looked up and there were three softball size green lumpy fruits. I have not seen them since I lived in Ohio 50 yrs. ago. I got so excited that called out ” monkey balls” that is what we use to call them when I was little. I then turned around and there were two people looking puzzled. LOL I had to laugh and I asked the man if he knew what they were called, I of course explained . He told me he never noticed them before, but I could google the description .And I FOUND YOU. thank you for the awesome info I am going back and check on them later in the season, it’s probably too early. I have a lot of health issues, and I need to investigate this. Every ones insight was helpful.. God Bless


166 Green Deane July 29, 2014 at 08:39

Thanks, and I will be in Boone NC for the next two weeks hiking around.


167 baker August 6, 2014 at 00:02

the tree with so many names…..the hardest tree native to north america…the wood with the highest density….one of my favorite trees….i have an old bo’dark bow that is at least 60 years old, still has a cast to it that is amazing… i drive for a living, and keep my eyes out for like victims errr,,trees, every once in a while i find one being taken down, and try to collect the trunk….i have a number of staves curing …..fruits for the house pests….and now i will be collecting them for eating also…the giving tree


168 Mountain Emporium September 5, 2014 at 08:17

I have plenty for sale. please see websitehttp://www.ebay.com/usr/ehmountainemporiumhw


169 glenda October 11, 2014 at 14:22

closet or room deodorizers:
this is what I found works best.
take a sharp knife and cut the skin off, leaving them sappy, take an old coffee can with a lid and store in your spices after you use them to coat the hedge apples that have been skinned.
once you do coat them with spices (I prefer cinnamon) you have to lay them in an open air wire basket. like one of those three tiered hanging wire baskets that you can hang over your sink for your taters onions etc. but don’t stack them as they will mold if air is not allowed to flow around the whole apple. they will shrink up a lot as they dry. once dry though they are quite easily the best pomander you will ever have to give or use as a gift. when you get them ready to lay in basket, take a christmas tree ornament hanger and stick it into the flesh of the orange, once the apple dries up and turns hard then you have a way to hang your apple in closet or on christmas tree or you can then cover the apples with lace or ribbons whatever you wish. have made several over the years and still enjoy seeing them in the closets when I go to get something from it. they will shrink up to about 1/4 of their original size.

if you want hedge apples, you can buy them in boxes off ebay, they are quite cheap as many sellers!! I sell some boxes every year on ebay. they are good for so many things.

we like to find the weird looking ones, like doubled up ones and use markers and make faces, etc and take pictures for our hedge apple album. our kids and grandkids like to use them like baseballs and throw them at the trees to see if they will stick on the spikey thorns, its like a fall game after hunting season hours are over. yep sit in the deer stand for all morning then come down and have hedge apple baseball games. improves their throwing skills. and they have gathered up the crummy ones, put on the sand pile and used as targets for gun shooting practice too. then I make them gather up the pieces and throw into the chicken pen, as the chickens love the seeds. squirrels sit in trees and scream at them too for ruining their winter possibles. deer also eat on them. so hubs will take the machete and chop em up and spread them on the deer trails too. helps squirrels gather up what they want for winter as well.

we also have tumbleweed races out here, so whatever trips your trigger, hubs says.

am currently dehydrating slices of the skin and pulp about 1/2 off around the apples, leaving the seed pod centers, will take out as many seeds as we can, and feed the rest of those fruits to the chickens to peck clean fo seeds, then will throw up against the house outside for repellent balls. I am not sure they work as repellents but we do kick em over to the foundation when chicks are done with them.

one winter we gathered all of them and put them whole in the big hole in our driveway, when the cowboys run over them with their trucks, it squashed them enough the squirrels and our chickens were fighting over the seeds, but we kept throwing them in the hole til finally it managed to make a nice underlayment for the load of sand we put on top, made a sort of tough layer and has been helping hold that sand in place to keep the size of the water hole smaller after a rain or snowmelt. so we have used the apples for many things.

I sliced them into about 1/2 inch slices, put one toothpick broke in half into the center then layed them on my oven rack and turned oven on to 200degrees then after the dried, they were a wavy conical shape, I pulled out the toothpicks then made a U shape out of the top of floral wire and stuck the wire thru those holes, twisted the wire together under the cone shape, then covered that stem with green floral tape and stuck them in a vase, makes a nice brown flower arrangement for fall.

each year I like to try something different, but nothing beats a display of pumpkins and hedge apples on the porch. til the apples start to get mushy and turn brown, then they go to the chicken yard or the foundation of house.


170 Debbie October 16, 2014 at 23:21

My husband has stage 3 rectal cancer with 1-2 positive nodes. He was on chemo pills and radiation for 28 days. He will soon see a surgeon. I started him on Osage Orange this week. He seems to be getting a headache. Could OO be the cause?


171 Karen October 19, 2014 at 01:14

Everyone has great info about these! I have 2 of the trees on my new property in Ky. I always wanted Hedge Apples after reading about their medicinal uses. I had never seen one in person. Then we bought the property not yet knowing. I saw a tree from a distance that looked like it had a fruit, and turns out it was the Hedge apple! I was actually excited. I’ll post more if I try to eat them. My husband has cancer like symtoms, so hopefully I can get him to try it, but that’ll be REAL hard to do!


172 Frank December 23, 2014 at 07:17

Some of the string instruments I’ve seen on line show attractive grains in the wood, however I am curious given the hardness of the wood, could a seasoned (dried out) blank of osage be used to make recorders or primitive clarinet type of instrument? A common wood for clarinets has been grenadilla (extremely dense wood), if osage is also dense, resistant to rot, I wonder if it also might be a good wood for such instruments. I’ll be curious to try some bow limbs for a bow/arrow experiment also. Good winter project cutting some large limbs down to cure for later.


173 Oma Lee December 28, 2014 at 23:08

Thank you so much for all the information.
God bless you


174 Chanel January 11, 2015 at 17:20

Be my guest and come get these horrible trees that yield big annoying green balls every fall. They fall all over the yard and are hard to clean up. I live in Shelbyville, Tn and have a backyard full of them.


175 Dave January 30, 2015 at 15:50

I’m sitting in my tree stand watching a squirrel go to town on an OO hedge apple and got to wondering what else oo was good for. Wow.

And I’m surrounded by them. I have no idea how many there are.

I have a blind behind an oo dead fall the I’ve used for almost 10 years. I just realized it hasn’t really rotted much at all.

I’m thinking this might be good wood for making knife handles.


176 Cody February 9, 2015 at 18:32

Now, let me be clear, I am not an expert, but I am very fond of this tree. just wanted to throw in a few cents on what I have learned.

1. they do repel insects. they work wonders at it
2. they make great fence posts.. ugly knotty fence posts, but they rot at 1/3 the rate of marine treated wood and last a long long time. i can remember fence posts that i was told had been up through 3 sets of wire as a kid, and thats a long time. family said that fence posts had been up over 35 years… still holding up.
3. they burn HOT HOT HOT. be CAREFUL. you can use a small log to clean creosote out of your chimney.. but again.. start with a 6″ long by 2″ thick piece and feel it out! many ha house with triple insulated chimney has burnt to the ground because some dope threw in a large chunk and it overheated the system!!!

common names, osage orange, bowdark, IRON WOOD, hedge apple… and the IRON wood comes from the fact that when laying rail they would pile this wood up on a rail and burn it, and without bellows they could stack it in a way that would get hot enough to bend rails, it seriously burns that hot. .. or so the story goes. and i believe it.. partly due the fact that i have experimented with it, and let me tell you.. it burns HOT.


177 Jennifer March 16, 2015 at 13:08

I live in Indiana on a bluff overlooking the Wabash River. I have Osage orange, honey locust, and Kentucky Coffee Bean trees. Although the article states that only mega fauna eat the hedge apples, I don’t believe that’s true. Here’s a picture of some hedge apples on the ground in October. After the snow covered the ground there were all kinds of very small animal prints in the snow around the hedge apples tearing into & eating the seeds. There were never any deer tracks, only rabbits, squirrels, and the tiny prints which I think might be mice or possibly chipmunks. Wish I had taken a picture of the “torn apart” hedge apples with all the tiny animal prints! Now that the snow has melted, the hedge apples are completely gone.


178 katesisco April 11, 2015 at 21:38

But it is such an ugly tree. Its a mess. It doesn’t even grow like a tree. You dont just prune it, you have to attack it like a gladiator. It sprouts from the ground, every branch every tip, every notch, every fork. Its a mess. If ever there was evidence that a plant can be damaged by radiation or energy or infrared, its the Osage.
Braham cattle are the equivalent. This strange version of the cow, huge hump, massive folds of dewlip, almost not a cow, is the Osage version of a tree. Its a mess.


179 RM McWilliams August 13, 2015 at 02:49

Brahman cattle are actually a different species of cattle than Europena cattle – Bos indicus instead of Bos taurus.
Though, like the botanists Gren Deane mentions on this site as constantly changing the scientific names of plants, some scientists use different names for these distinctly different kinds of cattle, or consider them to be sub-species of the same kind. Doesn’t matter- you are right, Brahmans are not the same as European cattle! THe hump and dewlap are aong their adaptations to hot climates with distinct wet and dry seasons.
Osage orange, to me, is a beautiful tree. Distinct in appearance, yes. But wouldn’t it be boring if all trees looked the same?


180 TC July 8, 2015 at 17:04

I actually boiled and ate a very small amount of the fruit itself several years ago with no ill effect. I don’t recommend this due to the stated toxicity of the fruit. This tree is related to the breadfruit tree. The fruit upon boiling it did have a slight bread scent to it.


181 Rick July 13, 2015 at 15:38

Osage Oranges or as French Trappers called them. Boi D’arcs (BOWDAWK Americanized…). While Indians used it for hot burning firewood and wood for their bows… Settlers originally prized it as a Living Fence. Planted a few (3) feet apart in a shallow linear trench. You would take the first years growth and bend it left (or to the right) weaving it across the planted tree to it’s left (or right if you choose!). The second year limbs would grow vertically UP from these horizontally bent pieces and you would weave them in the same pattern. The 3rd and 4th year you’d have a hedge described by settlers as “Horse High, Bull Tough, Hog Tight”. The tree grows about 3 feet per year. The wood burns HOT as it’s a member of the Hickory family. Named after the Osage Indian tribes. Pretty yellow wood but nasty thorns. Referenced in many of first settlers letters and diaries of the plains. Enjoy.


182 RM McWilliams August 13, 2015 at 03:02

I thought that osage orange was in the same family as mulberry and figs. But hickories are in the same family as walnuts, butternuts, etc, I thought. Deane, can yoy shed some light on this?


183 Rick July 13, 2015 at 15:39

P.S. Keep it trimmed if you use it as a fence…it’s pretty invasive!


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