Osage Orange

Botanical Name

Maclura Pomifera

Other Common Names

Bowwood, Hedge Apple, Horse Apple, Mock Orange, Osage Apple-tree, Wild Orange, Yellow-wood


Native to Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, but since escaped and naturalized throughout the eastern and north western US

The Tree

Osage Orange is a medium size tree with thorns which grows in bottom lands. It attains a height of 60 feet and a diameter of 3 feet. The bark has an orange cast and was used in making kaki dye during W.W.I. It produces large spherical fruits the size of large grapefruits in the fall.


The sapwood of Osage Orange is narrow and light yellow, while the heartwood is golden to bright orange, which darkens upon exposure. The heartwood can also contain red streaks.


The wood is very hard, heavy, tough, resilient and takes a high luster. Osage Orange is considered one of the most durable woods in North America.

Working Properties

Osage Orange is difficult to work due to its hardness. It holds glue and screws well, but is difficult to nail.


Fence posts, dye, archery bows, musical instruments, turnings, and other small specialty wood items.


Having typically small, crooked, and knotty trunks, Osage Orange isn’t usually harvested for lumber, but can occasionally be found for sale in either board or small turning block form.