Way off topic - Hedge apples are ripe

James Waddick jwaddick@kc.rr.com
Thu, 16 Oct 2008 08:01:30 PDT
Dear Friends,
	Gardeners on both coasts may not be aware of our mid-western 
'Hedge Apples' (Maclura pomifera).

	Today's local paper, the Kansas City Star, had a lovely 
picture of a lawn littered with green bowling ball size fruit. This 
tree is native to a fairly small area in the center of the US, but 
uncommon more widely. Also known as Osage Orange and Bois D'arc. This 
is a large tree, normally pretty anonymous to most people. This time 
of year the large chartreuse green soft-ball size fruits are highly 
visible on the trees (to 50 ft and more tall) and the fallen fruits 
litter the ground.
	They are very attractive; see:


	but essentially useless.  These fruit litter sidewalks and 
road sides. They are very dense, solid and difficult to cut. They 
ooze a sticky latex like sap and can literally cause damage to 
vehicles parked under them.

	The wood is strong, dense and very useful particularly for 
fence posts and at one time bows (thus the Bois d'arc name) . The 
trees are densely branched and bear many evil sharp thorns, but are 
impervious to most insects and disease. Thus modern cultivars have 
been developed as street trees from thornless, fruitless strains.

	The fruits are abundant now and very beautiful from afar. You 
just don't want to get too close or handle them much.

	More info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osage-orange/

		Just FYI.		Best Jim W.

(We have a first un - forecast light frost last night. Enough 
procrastinating !)
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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