Does anyone have extra osage orange or hedge apples? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I live in North-West Pennsylvania and am looking for someone who could either mail or ups osage orange or hedge apples. These grow on a thorny bush/tree and produce a greenish/yellow fruit that is reputed to keep away spiders. From my understanding the fruit doesn't start to fall until after the first good frost. I would like a boxful to keep around the house and give to friends and family. I would pay for shipping. Also, does anyone have any young starts or can the seeds from the fruit be planted? For anyone that has these "useless" fruits, they can be a moneymaker. I used to work at a greenhouse that sold these for $1.00 each. You would not believe how many sold! Thanks in advance fellow Countryside readers!

-- Michael W. Smith (, September 03, 2000


I can not believe people bought these things for $1/piece. For what? Spider control? If so, they are not that great.

The other house I lived in had a row of hedge apples. These useful trees used to be planted by farmers as a natural fence and to delineate property lines. Osage Orange are one of my very favorite trees, so I was very disappointed to leave them behind when I moved. However, I took some of the fruit, removed the seeds and successfully started them. I have about a dozen foot high trees in pots now.

They are very easy to start from seed. Take the ripe fruit, lots of them, put them in a 5 gallon bucket and soak them in water until they become soft. This may take several days, but don't wait too long or the concoction will start to stink and turn moldy. When they are soft, agitate with a stick or plumber's helper until you are able to break the fruit into itty bitty pieces. Decant the water off the top and add clean water, agitate some more and decant again. Keep doing that a few times until the water is fairly clear.

Then spread the contents over an old screen. Let drain and air dry. You can then pick through and get the seeds out. This is very messy and smelly, but you will get lots of seeds even from one fruit.

You can then plant these seeds in pots to start them. They sprout fairly easily and you can get lots of trees. Allowed to grow wild they become very dense and bushy. Kept trim they can be manageable.

You either hate or love the hedge apple tree, but you always respect it. It has killer thorns all over it, but the wood is beautiful and very useful.

I have a friend that has lots of hedge apple trees and I usually pick mine up there. How many do you want? Of course, it won't be for a while yet until they are ready.

Thank you for letting me talk about one of my favorite trees.

-- R. (, September 03, 2000.

Some people slice them and dry them for craft usage.

I don't have any,but I often see them on the edge of the road around here.Perhaps you could drive around after a frost and look for them. I'm sure most anyone would let you take all that you wanted for free. Just a thought,

Hope you get some,Blessings,~~~Tracy~~~

If you can't find any and noone else offers theirs,send me an email and I'll keep my eyes open for some for you.

-- Tracy Jo Neff (, September 03, 2000.

Mom always swears that the fruit keep away mice and insects. She keeps them under her sinks all year, and replaces them in the fall with fresh. I know that bow makers use the wood for making strong, flexible bow, and the saw dust is useful for dying fabrics. It makes a greenish yellow, when used with a mordent. It was pretty lightfast, and could be used in combo with other natural dyes to make other colors. They sell the sawdust at a lot of fiber fairs and catalogs that sell things for natural dying, for just such a purpose.

-- Leann Banta (, September 04, 2000.

I've got a friend who is terrified of spiders. She'll buy boxes full of hedge apples even though they cost a buck apiece here. Can't say that is seems to help. Some neighbors visit friends south of here. The motel where they stay has a row of the shrubs. The owners are happy to let the neighbors pick up all they want (which they bring back here and sell) so the owners don't have to pick them up and pitch them out before mowing. Helps pay for the gas. Gerbil

-- Gerbil (, September 04, 2000.

Michael, Kansas is Osage Orange country! I have quite a few of the trees in my west pasture. I have never noticed large thorns on them as one person commented about. I am not sure of the crop this year as it has been very hot and dry. but, if you want some I can sure go pick up some for you. the do have the reputation as an insect repellent and I have used them for that too. Now I wonder if they would work on mice? I have a terrific mouse problem, even with lots of cats. Anyway if you want me to send you some this fall I will be happy to do so. karen

-- Karen Mauk (, September 04, 2000.

I live in Kansas (in Osage County)and saw that I have an Osage Orange tree out by the pond. We just bougth the place in March of this last year. The Osage Orange does not have thorns on it. I did not know it helps keep spiders away. I do know it is one of the best trees for fence posts. If you want some e-mail me and will see what we can do.

-- Tom Shepard (, September 08, 2000.

We have a farm in Kansas with plenty of Hedge, Osage Orange or what ever you want to call them. These trees sprout up every where, and yes they have lots of thorns. If you need the hedge apples we always have plenty. They are easy to grow. Just plow a straight furrow fill with hedge apples and you will have a fence in a short time. They are very hard to kill. You can cut a tree for post and it won't be long before you can cut again. I would love to sell some.

-- Carl Maxson (, May 31, 2001.

I live in NE and my grandparents always had them in their house for bugs. I have loads of them.

-- Liz parde (, October 27, 2001.

I was raised in Minnesota, and never heard of a "hedge" tree (although we had a very hard tree called "ironwood" in the northland. I have MANY "hedge apples" on the farm I recently bought. Cattle deer and squirrils love hedge is rather funny to see an oak tree in the fall (after the leaves are shed) with hedge apples wedged in the crooks of branches. Squirrils will pack them up trees by turning their hind legs almost inside out to scale the tree upside down and hold onto a hedge apple with their front is quite a sight to see a squirrl back up a tree packing a hedge apple! My horses love a hedge apple treat...I do need to check with the vet and make sure that equines can safely eat hedge apples. Deer and cows are cud-chewers (horses are not) and have more digestive capabliltes than horses do. If you need hedge apples yet, I can find alot. Shipping however seems expensive due to the weight of the "apples.".....the ones we have are big and heavy. Donna

-- donna vonheffner (, November 03, 2001.

We have an endless source of hedge apples on our farm. It is now winter and all have been frozen. This fall I would be happy to supply you with some.

-- Ellen Gibbons (, February 03, 2002.

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