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Author Topic: osage orange  (Read 4249 times)

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Offline c austin

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osage orange
« on: March 14, 2010, 09:06:40 AM »
Hi, I was told osage orange grows around the Texas area I'm in VA and was told there is a osage orange at a local church that needs to bee taken down. Here in VA we have a weed tree called a malberry tree I think people are confusing the two trees or are they the same thing, what is a easy adinafier of the tree thanks.

Offline LeeB

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2010, 09:40:22 AM »
Same fammily but not the same thing. Both trees grow across a wide cross section of the country. The wood from each is very similar in my experiance. Both are a bright yellow when first cut and turn a golden brown with time and very hard stuff with osage being a little harder. Can't help you with the easy identification.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2010, 09:57:00 AM »
If Osage: Soak some of the heartwood in some warm/hot water and yellow dye color will bleed out. Tyloses (blocked pores) in earlywood pores, seen on end grain but not well defined. Very heavy wood and hard, 20% denser that mulberry. Leaf is pointed at apex, dark green and shiny, twigs are armed with sharp spines. Mulbery leaves are serrated along the edge and has many forms, from entire to 3 lobed.
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Offline miking

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2010, 10:12:33 PM »
Short, stout thorns on the hedge (or osage orange) are an obvious difference as are the fruit. OO's have  green fleshy fruits fist sized or bigger while mulberries have small edible purple when ripe fruits.
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Offline tractorfarmer

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2011, 12:19:42 AM »
And the thorns on the osage orange are only on the younger branches. They won't be on the trunk. Be careful, they are about one inch long and go through shoes easily. The green baseball sized fruit should be on the trees now and falling.
The mulberry can have white or red fruit. Usually early summer. If its red, the fruit will stain.
The oasage orange has a light color bark. And the mulberry has a much darker bark.
Both are nice trees, but I love osage orange. The wood is very hard and one of the most rot resistant. It can take a good hacking without being killed. I think they were native to Texas or Oklahoma, but were used in PA by farmers as fences before barbed wire was invented.

Offline Ironwood

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2011, 09:40:08 PM »
During the post Dust Bowl years FDR's conservation plans included planting shelter belt Osage throughout much of the temperete US, they planted some 250 million trees, beyond it native range in the Texas /Oklahoma areas. We have it here in Western Pa. FOR SURE, thanks FDR

 Ironwood (I love Osage wood)
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Online Walnut Beast

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2022, 12:35:54 PM »
After the F5 tornado leveled much of downtown Joplin, Missouri, in 2011, the only thing left standing in the half-mile swath of destruction was a massive Osage-orange–a testimony to the tree’s resiliency and toughness.

Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2022, 07:28:57 AM »
I have lots of hedge trees on my farm, and the osage is a shallow rooted tree, and wind storms often tip them on their side partially up rooted.  They will continue to grow, sometimes causes some interesting bent pieces. Funny how the hedge rows are less susceptible to getting up rooted.
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Offline bluthum

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2022, 03:44:11 PM »
 A little more background, both are great woods for cabinetry and many other things. The name "boidarc" came from French explorers who noted how the native Americans they encountered loved the wood for bows. Ditto the Osage orange title [Osage Indians]. I think the French were talking about the Natives they first encountered like the Caddo and Osage in the Mississippi river valley.  

Both are also prone to not making great fine logs although sometimes mulberry will make a wonderful big clear straight bole . That's rare in osage orange. Both can be difficult to season when sawn but are stable when finally dried.

Osage orange is prized for making duck callers though it has a loud harsh sound compared to most other woods. I think mulberry may have some great tonal qualities itself, I've never had any luck trying to get a duck caller guy to try it. 

I can't imagine calling a fruit producing tree like a mulberry a weed tree, it has too many good qualities  to merit being dismissed  simply because people can't appreciate a tasty fruit enough to over look the fact wildlife loves it and will sometimes result in birds painting a car or two. 

I think the original range of osage orange is some what debated but it included Arkansas and
 most  likely Louisiana and maybe other states. Early  European settlers intentionally took it to places like Kansas and likely other states well before FDR. It's my supposition that native Americans had done the same thing long before the Euros care around.

I hope no one was bored but all the back ground but sometimes history just has to be told....

Offline doc henderson

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2022, 05:05:00 PM »
 


Mulberry end grain.  we milled a log and the owner did not know what it was.  he thought it was Osage Orange (Hedge). 

It is Mulberry

there is post where @WDH helped to ID and tell the wood from Osage.



 

ooops.  a Mulberry board in a stack of sample boards showing how it darkens with uv exposure.  the lighter area had another boards on top.



 



above Mulberry with wet finish applied





above raw Mulberry seat





Hedge "apples" under a tree with no leaves that help ID in early winter Osage.





striker of Osage, call from spalted dead standing oak.




 

turkey call and striker made from Hedge.
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Online Walnut Beast

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2022, 05:27:05 PM »
It’s a good thing you said Hedge! I wouldn’t have known what you we’re talking about 😂. Actually you probably know most people in the Midwest probably wouldn’t know what you we’re talking about if you said Osage Orange but they would if you said Hedge row, tree and apple. Nice looking stuff!!! Hedge (Osage) also turns a really cool brown left in the sun. The striker Doc pictured looks like the natural brown it turns

Offline doc henderson

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2022, 05:31:41 PM »
went out and took a few Mulberry pics.  I do not have Osage in the yard.  many of the "windbreaks" had a mixture of Osage and ERC.  Mulberry is spread by birds and poss. why it is considered a weed.  
Mulberry is a favorite firewood here at about the same as oak, at 25 million BTUs per cord.  Surpassed by Osage Orange at 32 million BTUs per cord, but it tends to pop and spark, and is rumored to be so dense and hot, that a stove unattended may overfire easily.  often it is added at night and the stove air shut way down to last all night.



 

shade at my mill is a clump of Mulberry, ERC and Elm.



 

Mulberry bark.



 

MB leaves and early fruit.



 

 

 

leaves and fruit.



 

trees this close are good at slowing wind, and therefore erosion (remember the dust bowl).  this pic shows a limb of an ERC growing though the Elm trunk next to it.  some poison Ivy in the shade on the ground.  lots of these mile long Hedge rows are being taking out now that more no till farming is being done.  the piles of trees are sought after for heating wood.  
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Online Walnut Beast

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2022, 05:39:34 PM »
The bark is a dead giveaway to me on the identification between the two long strips of bark on Hedge

Offline WDH

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2022, 08:01:22 PM »
Interestingly Doc, your mulberry is not the native red mulberry but the white mulberry that was brought over from Southeast Asia for the silk trade as silk worms feed on them.  The way to distinguish the difference between the native red mulberry and the introduced white mulberry is rubbing the top of the leaf on your cheek.  The native red mulberry is scabrous, that is the upper leaf surface is rough like sandpaper.  The upper surface of the white mulberry is as smooth as a baby's bottom.  The fruits are pretty much identical.  The wood of mulberry is one of the most beautiful to me. 

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2022, 08:01:52 PM »
The Osage is producing some high dollar stuff 😂. From these guys in the sap wood.

  Very nice dark brown in the sun

 

 

  

Offline doc henderson

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2022, 11:08:07 PM »
Danny, is the darkening an enzymatic thing with UV?  
I am not comfortable rubbing a baby bottom on my cheek!  :D :D :D 
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Offline WDH

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2022, 07:38:09 AM »
I understand.  It is better not to know. 

I believe that the darkening is from oxidation.  Talking about wood, not babies.
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Online Old Greenhorn

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2022, 08:08:11 AM »
...
I am not comfortable rubbing a baby bottom on my cheek!  :D :D :D
This from a Doctor who ran a pediatric E/D for years? Trust the science Doc! :D
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I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, but almost.

Offline WDH

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2022, 11:59:11 AM »
Doc, the training for tree ID is rigorous :D
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Offline hedgerow

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Re: osage orange
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2022, 03:59:23 PM »
Hedge in my area is you have it or you don't. Not a lot in the area. One farm we have a dozen miles from my home place has it and a bunch of it. This farm had it planted on it during the WPA days and then no one every took care of it. Elm, cotton woods, cedars, mulberry, locust and hedge overtook this 160 so bad no one would rent it. We owned the rest of the section around it so about 15 years ago the guy that owned it died and we got a chance to buy it so we did. I don't want to think about the time money and energy that has been spent cleaning this farm up. We now farm 120 of it and forty is in pasture. We are down to just about only hedge is left and the big cotton woods. I have been burning about fifteen cord of hardwood a year out of there since 2009 in my Garn to heat my house and shop. I run the Garn year around to heat my domestic. There has been some huge trunk hedge trees but none straight and tall. Hedge is a bitch to deal with. I have never seen a mulberry with a rough leaf all smooth around hear. We have no hedge on any other land we own.   


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