2016

 
 

Osage orange is a wonderful and unique tree native to some of the harshest areas of North America, areas noted for cold winters, dry hot summers and frequent spring floods. Additionally the soils in which it thrives are some of the least-fertile and lowest in organic matter there are.

This member of the mulberry family with its glossy-green, deciduous leaves typically grows 20 to 40 feet though it can reach 60 feet high and a 40 foot spread. It has an open, spreading habit with thorny limbs and orange brown bark. The pretty foliage, typical of the mulberry family, along with great tolerance for challenging conditions, makes Osage Orange a worthy tree to consider for urban planting, especially in autumn when the foliage turns a bright and cheery yellow.

If several trees are planted together then it's likely there will be a male pollinator for the female trees and the attractive, but inedible, fruits will be produced. These large fruits, coupled with its lethal thorny branches, have limited the use of Osage orange; however, there are cultivars that are fruitless as well thornless.

Some of these are:

'Park' has more upright form and particularly attractive foliage

'White Shield' has shiny dark green leaves and rapid growth- to five feet a year.

‘Wichita’ with thick, bright-green foliage a clear yellow fall color.


If a rapid-growing, pretty tree, that can grow almost anywhere, is what you're looking for, then an Osage Orange would be a good choice though it’s usually hard to locate.

Osage-orange

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