Propagating Che (Maclura tricuspidata)

Is anyone familiar with propagating Che? Is it easy or difficult? What’s the process?


I thought about getting one a while back, but the threads on here give them bad reviews.

In case your not talking about grafting. One of the things they said is if they are not grafted they basically turn into a giant clump of thorns that keeps spreading from roots.

1 Like

I got 2, darrow and norris, they are grafted in osange orange, i heard if you propagate by cuttings/airlayer on their own roots they turn into a beast and grow everywhere. I might try one day ahah

1 Like

I have grafted several on Osage orange .
I collect Osage orange fruit , hedge apples , in the fall .
Making sure they have seeds in them , it seems some have no seeds , others do.
Put the whole fruit in a ~ 3 gal. Pot ,no soil , let sit above ground all winter , freezing , thaw .etc.
By spring the fruit have rotted ,float off pulp in a bucket with water hose. Seeds will be in the bottom.
Plant those in individual pots , grow for a year.
Graft the next spring with Che scions , I cut a ring around the stem to let the latex bleed out a few days before grafting.
Chip budding , whip and tongue , works well .
Wood is Very hard , .make your cuts very carefully !
I don’t like Osage orange in the nursery, Very nasty thorns !
Good luck .


Do you need Osage Orange seeds for Grating Che onto?
I have a ton growing (and few left over seeds already stratified )

(I hit reply under your post to be seen but it never works for me on first posts)

I should have more seeds to share with others as well
(will only mail small amounts in envelope )

1 Like

If this was desirable (e.g., for a fenceline hedge planting), does anyone know if they readily root from cuttings, or do you need to start seeds? After @TNHunter recently joined the che-is-good camp in the other thread, I’ve decided this is one I’m going to try. The main spot I’d plant them is along my alley fenceline where I’m wanting to replace a rotten old wooden fence with some kind of hedge. I was thinking trifoliate, but maybe I could alternate che and trifoliate instead.


@swincher … my CHE looks like this late season year 3.

I prune it for height and shape early spring… and summer prune it in July normally… again mostly to control height and make sure my guy that mows… can do that without fighting the CHE limbs.

It does grow enough each year to really need pruning twice to keep it at the size I want (all fruit in easy reach)… so far so good on that.

My CHE is grafted to osage orange … per Cliff at Englands Orchard. It is his seedless CHE California Dreaming.

Note… here in southern TN it has budded and set small leaves and got frosted (2 of 3 springs so far)… but a few weeks later it budded and leafed out and did fine.

PS… mine has no thorns at all.


Well let me know if you ever might be willing to throw some of those cuttings in the mail when you prune!

I gather the thorns only appear on shoots from the roots, which is only when it’s on che roots rather than osage orange roots. For a thick hedgerow, I think I’d want those thorny branches coming up to fill the gaps.

1 Like

@swincher … i will collect some CHE scionwood this winter… i normally do that mid to late January. I will be glad to send you some… perhaps we can work out a trade.

My CHE from Cliff… was grafted to a quite small osage orange rootstock… 1/4 inch or so. It was a tiny thing… but it has grown well.

I have a note of this on my trade list… but it would not hurt to remind me about that time.