All Of The Animals And Bugs In The American Prairies How the Mutant Orange Won the Wild West

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How the Mutant Orange Won the Wild West

I don’t know why the Osage orange is sometimes referred to as a hedge apple. It is true that this hedge plant, being a thorny tree, has often been used as a fence to prevent the horses from jumping over it, the pigs from passing under it, or the bulls from breaking through. But when you look at the fruit, it looks much more like a mutated orange than some kind of apple.

When you first see the fruit, you may wonder if it’s edible. It’s not. I look like a bumpy grapefruit. What is true is that before the advent of barbed wire, the trees were used as a kind of prairie fence.

Some say there is something that can choke a horse – an Osage Orange. You will sometimes hear that farm animals get the fruit down their throats. Nevertheless, squirrels will sometimes snatch the pulp to get to the seeds.

Hedge apples produce whole trees that are either male or female. Only the females produce fruit.

The wood is prized as bow wood by the archery crowd. They also make good fence posts that resist rot and burn well in the fireplace.

The Osage Orange has been shown to have some insect repellent properties. It contains a chemical that has a similar effect to the mosquito repellent Deet. In the past, some people have placed the fruit in their homes in an attempt to deter insects from entering.

The wood of the tree was named Bodark because the French noticed that the Osage Indians used it to make bows and arrows famous. So bois d’arc became bodarc or bodark. English-speaking people often referred to trees as archwood.

Like many of the world’s most curious objects, the Osage Orange goes by many names. The scientists named it Maclura pomifera. Other names include Osage apple, fake orange, hedge apple, horse apple, and hedge ball. Some slang terms for the fruit are monkey ball, monkey orange, and brain fruit.

Back in the wild west, hedge apple trees were planted close together to form a living fence. Hedges formed from these trees are said to be “horse high, bull strong and hog tight”. The trees also served as windbreaks and shelter belts, and they slowed down soil erosion.

The trees can grow 30 feet tall. They belong to the same family as the mulberry tree (Moraceae).

Another name for the tree is yellowwood. A yellow or orange dye can be made from part of the wood.

The wood of the tree can be a difficult building material because it warps as it dries and is difficult to glue. However, it does make for excellent and high-quality bows.

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