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Tree Browser

With these characteristics: None

Osage-orange

Maclura pomifera

Moraceae - Mulberry

Description

Leaves: Alternate; simple; oblong-lanceolate to ovate; 4" to 5" long; deciduous; entire margin; with a long acuminate apex; dark green and glabrous above; milky juice; petiole 1/2" to 1-1/2" long.

Twigs/buds: Twigs stout; orange-brown; hairy; armed with stout, sharp-pointed thorns.  No terminal bud; lateral buds small, round, brown, partially imbedded in bark.

Flowers/fruit: Dioecious.  Flowers small and inconspicuous with no petals.  Fruit a pale green, orange-like structure; 4" to 5" in diameter; containing a bitter, milky juice; becoming woody; called a "hedge-apple" by some and thought to have moth repelling properties if stored with clothing.

Bark: Thin; dark orange-brown; furrowed with flat ridges.

Wood: Moderate importance in some areas; characteristic bright orange color; very hard and dense; ring- porous; yields a yellow dye; used to make bows, thus the tree is sometimes called "bois d'arc" (pronounced bodark) or "bow wood"; excellent firewood.

General: Native to Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.  Shade intolerant.  Fruit can be a nuisance; use fruitless varieties if possible.  Thorns or spines that can be dangerous; use thornless varieties if possible.

Landscape Use: Was extensively planted as a hedge (the species is sometimes called hedge) or windbreak by early settlers in the eastern Great Plains, and a few old windbreak trees still exist in Utah as far north as Weber County.  Typical height is less than 30 feet.  Very tough tree with very interesting wood.  Fruitless (male) and thornless cultivars are becoming available and should make this a good landscape tree.  I like it even with fruit and thorns.  Yellow fall color.  Zones 4-9.

Cultivars: 'Double O', var. inermis, 'Wichita'.

Characteristics

General

Family:
Moraceae - Mulberry
Cultivar Availability:
Yes
Hardiness Zone:
4-9
Type:
Broadleaf
Utah Native:
No

Growth

Growth Rate:
Medium
Mature Height:
Medium
Longevity:
High
Is Good Under Power Lines:
No
Crown Shape:
Rounded

Ornamental

Bark:
Yes
Fall Color:
Yes
Flowers:
No
Foliage:
No
Fruit:
No

Tolerence

Shade:
Low
Salt:
Medium
Drought:
High
Poor Drainage:
Medium
Alkalinity:
High
Transplanting:
High