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Discussion Board - Osage orange

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Brad Buchanan

02-13-2013 09:28:17




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Hey folks!

I have been looking for a plant to use for a natural fence. Looking for a type to block view and be a barrier for critters both four and two legged.

I have been doing some reading and I am considering Osage orange.

I am going to need several hundred feet of this and I would like to get the plants as inexpensively as possible also.

My questions are:

#1 Will this tree thrive in zone 4 and in the sandy loam in my area?

#2 Will I need to buy whips or can these trees be grown from seed? (I have a small greenhouse to start seeds).

#3 How would I space these trees to use as a hedge?

Thanks in advance,

Brad

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northvale - PA

02-23-2013 11:13:31




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 Re: Osage orange in reply to Brad Buchanan, 02-13-2013 09:28:17  
in Harford county, MD, as kids we called the seed pods monkey balls. Green, about the size of a softball. Made great summer time battles. Of course, they are basically tree litter and I wouldn"t want them all over my lawn or fields.



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Brad Buchanan

02-15-2013 13:11:23




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 Re: Osage orange in reply to Brad Buchanan, 02-13-2013 09:28:17  
Thanks, all for the response. It never ceases to amaze me the depth and width of the knowlege available here.

Brad



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hayray

02-14-2013 08:55:03




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 Re: Osage orange in reply to Brad Buchanan, 02-13-2013 09:28:17  
I am in Southern Michigan, not sure if that is zone 4? We have some old osage orange hedge rows but the trees must not re-seed this far north as I have never seen a seedling of one anywhere. They must have been planted over a 100 years ago so apparently they are long lived trees.



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Randysouthmississippi

02-13-2013 15:00:34




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 Re: Osage orange in reply to Brad Buchanan, 02-13-2013 09:28:17  
We have privet hedge here. If you plant that stuff you will regret it the rest of your great great grandkids days. Birds disperse the seeds and any area that isnt tilled or mowed regularly will be a thicket in two years time.



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D beatty

02-13-2013 15:22:15




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 Re: Osage orange in reply to Randysouthmississippi, 02-13-2013 15:00:34  
We have had privet hedge around our yard for 32 years and it doesn't spread. It will grow to about 15 feet tall but I have kept it cut to about 6 feet tall. I plant one called Hardy Privet it blooms but never puts on any seed.



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Randysouthmississippi

02-13-2013 17:30:09




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 Re: Osage orange in reply to D beatty, 02-13-2013 15:22:15  
The Hardy privet may work then. We have (i think) chinese privet and it spreads like kudzu.



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D beatty

02-13-2013 17:52:22




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 Re: Osage orange in reply to Randysouthmississippi, 02-13-2013 17:30:09  
We originality planted the privet around the north and west side of our yard to stop the snow. About 5 years after we planted it we put a row of Colorado blue spruce which are now 26 feet tall and I have taken out all but 60 feet of the hedge which I left for Song Sparrows.



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D beatty

02-13-2013 11:58:22




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 Re: Osage orange in reply to Brad Buchanan, 02-13-2013 09:28:17  
Have you ever thought of planting an Arborvitae it grows fast to 15 to 20 feet tall or a Hardy Privet hedge that will grow to 10 to 15 feet tall. If you ever want to take them out they aren't that hard to remove and they don't spread all over the place.



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Erik Ks farmer

02-13-2013 11:05:04




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 Re: Osage orange in reply to Brad Buchanan, 02-13-2013 09:28:17  
Here is my humble opinion.....DON'T DO IT! I have spent half of my life battling hedge, honey locus, and cedars. Once you get them established they are next to impossible to get rid of. If you want a fence, build a fence. These trees will produce a sort of natural barrier but it takes 15-20 years and intense maintenance to get the sort of result you desire. The old timers called it "chopping hedge", never seen it done, but the somehow chopped the trees in a manner to cause them to grow straight up and form a dense hedge from tree to tree. This has been abandoned around here and the result is a tangled, stickery mess.

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Brendon-KS

02-13-2013 16:15:08




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 Re: Osage orange in reply to Erik Ks farmer, 02-13-2013 11:05:04  
I"d agree that you need to think long and hard about planting osage orange (everybody calls it "hedge" around here). A lot of hedgerows are getting dozed out because they kind of take over and consume a lot of farm ground around the field. Also, they suck moisture from a surprisingly large area; in drier years the eight or ten rows against the hedge are basically non-existent.

That said, it is great to have a lot of hedge around for firewood. I have never seen any kind of wood that burns hotter or longer.

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GordoSD

02-13-2013 11:05:11




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 Re: Osage orange in reply to Brad Buchanan, 02-13-2013 09:28:17  
I had some Holly bushes below my home windows in California. That was some BAD stuff.



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jackinok

02-13-2013 10:32:45




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 Re: Osage orange in reply to Brad Buchanan, 02-13-2013 09:28:17  
another thing,check with your local forest service,or soil conservation service. here at least they sell bare root seedlings cheap. the most important thing to remember is to plant them close together for a hedge row. they have to be crowded to grow in a bush shape.



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jackinok

02-13-2013 10:25:37




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 Re: Osage orange in reply to Brad Buchanan, 02-13-2013 09:28:17  
old way.. take a barrel filled with water, throw your seed pod (horse apples) into the water and let them set over the winter.( away from the house, they will sour first as they rot) very small seeds will fall to bottom of barrel. and the rest will float . to plant, use a plow and dig a fuurow 4-5 inches deep, spread the seed by hand in a row in furrow and cover lightly. Plant them thick! not all will grow and its hard to go back and replant when you fighting the thorns. keep watered well for the first two or three years. osage orange will grow either as a bush, or a tree. how you thin your plants decides this. for a actual hedge thin to no more than 18" or so since crowding makes it grow as a bush. as tree/hedge grows entertwine branches,to make your barrier.start right at ground level if you are attemting to hold very small animals or hogs and the like. two rows makes a fence even tighter. a little fact, osage orange was one of the highest paying crops grown in the US for very many years and its still extremly expensive to buy seed. its expensive to make a fence this way, since it requires a lot of upkeep to keep it under control so barbed wire replaced it almost everywhere. but a hedge made this way and properly maintained can last generations. hope this helps.

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glennster

02-13-2013 09:47:53




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 Re: Osage orange in reply to Brad Buchanan, 02-13-2013 09:28:17  
howdy brad!!! hows the forklift working out for ya? i have osage orange at the farm. dang stuff grows everywhere. it will grow fine up in yer neck of the woods. wood is like iron and has some dandy thorns on it. you could collect a bunch of the hedge apples and plant em in the ground. plant em 2 to 3 feet apart and once they grow, you wont be able to get thru em. here is a link if you want to buy some

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Brad Buchanan

02-13-2013 10:35:18




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 Re: Osage orange in reply to glennster, 02-13-2013 09:47:53  
Hey Glenn!

Hope you are doin' good after yer ticker episode. The forklift is really great and have really never used one that is so quiet.

I haven't done much with the battery situation and have jes been using a couple of group 24 batts bungee strapped on top of the battery compartment.

Thanks for the info on the hedge. Might see if I can find some hedge apples within motorcycle range!

Will give you some updates on the 'Automatic' when I get 'er spiffied up. By the way you mentioned the hyd fluid you used in it and I can't remember the name. Could yew jog my memory?

Good luck to you and yours,

Brad

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glennster

02-13-2013 11:29:58




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 Re: Osage orange in reply to Brad Buchanan, 02-13-2013 10:35:18  
brad, i just ran hy-tran in the forklift. you can get the generic hy-tran from farm and fleet. i'm sure the jd hy-guard will work also. ticker seems to be doing good, dang medication makes me tired all the time. start cardio therapy next week.



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