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[nafex] Osage orange

Gianni wrote:
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 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).

Lucky Pittman
USDA Zone 6
Hopkinsville, KY
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