Questions not deserving of a whole thread


I would dry it again. Make sure there is good air circulation. 1/4 inch screening is good for that.


Hi all! I’m new to the forum.

I just have a quick identification question that someone knowledgeable might be able to answer in a flash. I was driving in central New South Wales (Australia) this morning and came across a few large trees next to the road that had lots of fruit lying underneath them. See the images. The trees look like they were purposefully planted there a very long time ago. I have never seen this type of fruit before but I’m super curious to know whether they are edible. Can anyone help please?


Hedge apples, aka Osage orange. Not palatable fruit for humans, although not poisonous either. Squirrels eat the fruit here, as will cattle and deer (although sometimes cattle choke and die eating the fruit.

Trees are very tough. Wood is very dense and weather resistant. Makes good fence posts.


Wow, I didn’t expect anyone to respond that quickly! Thank you. Very interesting!


Osage orange is a compatible rootstock for Che fruit. In Kansas where Olpea and I are at the Osage Orange is a very common tree.


Bois d’ arc, is another name for it. Used by the Native American’s to make bows. From what I have read its native range was probably larger here in the United States during the Pleistocene epoch with large land mammals to move its seed around. By the time of European settlement its range was much more restricted to the Red River and Arkansas River region. However, it was extensively planted by Europeans as a living hedge (being thorny, and somewhat low growing). Around here (Iowa) it is much less common now than even when I was a kid. However, I think it is coming back as a tree. I think there are some newer cultivars without thorns I have seen planted as landscaping trees.

Interesting to see the Columbian Exchange go the other way… with an American plant on another continent. But I gather Australia has been plagued by Eurasian plant and animal pests just like North America.


If you are into longbow making Osage Orange has no equal!




That would be me second choice followed by hickory in 3rd.


Can they be felled? Or do they need to be removed in pieces, roped or pitched down? As fruitnut says, you won’t see the effect of girldling very rapidly, and deep girdling will make a climber uneasy. (Speaking as a climber) If a bucket can be used he shouldn’t much care, but I can’t see what kind of access you have.
Also please don’t “top” the tree, or as you say, cut the other tree in half. If it survives, it will through out many epicormic sprouts that will be weakly attached and be more of a problem long term. It will make an arborist cringe, and any arborist who has a conscience will not do it. He’ll also try to talk you out of it and explain why it’s a bad idea. A yard tree can have the crown reduced, but that appears to be a woods tree without enough laterals to reduce its height by very much.
If all you want is to get it on the ground it shouldn’t cost much. Cleanup and hauling the wood is much more time consuming which adds to the removal cost.


Welcome to the forum, nice to hear from folks Down Under.

I concur with @Levers101, its a Bois d’Arc, or horse apple, as some folks would call them back home in Oklahoma. I’ve even heard it pronounced “Bo-dark”. Not fit for human consumption.


My static recurve made from osage billets. Sinew backed under rattlesnake skin. River cane arrow.

Speed - 10
Accuracy - 0

Fun to play with though.


Accuracy is likely the result of the shooter!:slight_smile:


You mean that I can’t blame the bowyer! Would not do me any good anyway because I am the bowyer.:grinning:

Seriously, I would love to put this bow in a shooting machine to check its consistency. Static recurves are known to be notoriously unstable. The slightest imperfect release causes the arrow to go awry. Its a very unforgiving bow. But the arrow does fly fast. Its just that it flies fast missing the target too much compared to other bows. I can practice until the cows come home without getting any better with it. :confounded:


I will stick with my compound for now. I would eventually like to get a stick bow at some point when I have enough time to devote to getting proficient with it.


Have fun with it. I will have fun until I accidentally shoot one of my pecan trees. Could happen. :relaxed:


I would love to hear more detail about why topping the tree is terrible. I’ve already reduced the laterals and much of the crown and it responded with vigorous growth that I’m training into a new lower crown. It’s a yellow popular, which responds very well to coppicing; I would love someone to explain why heading back to branches just above the natural fork and selectively trimming to select a new leader wouldn’t work. This tree has had about a third of its mass reduced over the last three years and has responded with vigorous lower growth exactly where I anticipated. I would love more detail on what would be different if I continue on this course. I don’t need the tree to be perfect without maintenance for 90 years. I just need it to not die immediately in the next decade.


Heading back branches to a fork, reducing the crown, is not the same as topping or coppicing. The size of the branch this can be done to depends on the type of tree. Not all trees compartmentalize equally, and some can’t seal the wound before rot makes its way into the branch. The branch also needs to be cut at the branch collar to allow the tree to seal properly, not at some indiscriminate height, aka-topping. When a tree is topped and not cut to a “fork” with enough green left to feed that branch it will respond by emerging dormant buds, aka water sprouts, epicormic sprouts. Often many of these will be close to the wound and in great abundance. These new sprouts are weakly attached to the stem at terrible angles and often referred to as witches brooms with a rot hole in the center. Liriodendren tulipifera- yellow poplar, tulip poplar does not compartmentalize well and cuts should be kept in the 3-5" range if possible.
Coppicing done on an annual basis doesn’t present the same problems as “topping”. Coppicing, cutting all the new growth every year at a certain height keeps the wounds small in a big knotty ball and can be a eye pleasing form. However most people don’t do this on an annual basis and don’t start when the branch is small.
Cutting a tree in half rings of topping to me and makes me cringe when someone does it. To me it looks terrible and it is terrible for the health of the tree. It makes me cringe even more so when someone calls me to prune their tree that they had topped 5-10 years ago and want all the dead and broken “witches brooms” cleaned up. Climbing up through them is a nightmare. Many people think they are making the tree safe by doing this, but in the long run they are making it much more unsafe because the new growth is much more likely to catastrophically fail.
Just an fyi, the best time of year to do major crown reduction is not now. It’s when the tree is dormant.
Ok, rant over. :slight_smile:


Beautiful bow!!! Something I would love to do is try to make a bow. So many hobbies with not enough time.


Thanks, that’s far more useful. I can avoid those problems, mostly, and some is just poor description on my part. Based on what you’re saying, I think I can do exactly what I want to do, I just need to do it a little bit higher in the tree.

If it eases your mind any, the shed I built is so ugly there’s no way I can sell the house without having it bulldozed and carted off. If I hadn’t attached the shed to the tree, I would take it down completely. I think with your advice I can keep it looking decent enough for the life of the shed.

The water spouts process already began when I took off the lower branches to make room for the shed. I am going to select a few of those to keep the tree alive and clean up the rest to prevent the broom problem. Then, if I get the healing I would like, I will alternate harvesting those branches on a three year cycle.

Or if it doesn’t work I tear it all down, and triple my garden footprint and make my wife happy. So win win!