How to germinate osage orange

chammond(7)February 13, 2008

Does anyone know how to sprout those little guys? I tried planting a section with the seed in it and I have tried seperating the tiny seed from a section (I consider a section one triangular piece you can strip away from the ball). I am very new at this so please put everything either in layman's terms or explain what things are.

Thanks for the help.


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georgez5il(z5 IL)

Store the seed at 40F for 30 days then soak seed in water for 2 day's.... then lightly cover the seed soil temp 60-70F

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 5:24PM
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Thanks, Georgez5il. They have been stored in my garage which has dropped well below 40F for more than two months but maybe I'll have some luck anyways.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 11:57AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Where I grew up old farmers used Osage orange for a functional hedge. They would dig a furrow, fill it with Osage orange fruit and let it set there all winter. It would freeze and thaw in that area several times over the winter. In spring they would fill the furrow with dirt and wait. It worked but I was too young then and too old now to remember how efficient it was. did they get 1% germination or 90% germination? I probably never knew.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 12:57PM
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I have a bucket of hedgeapples sitting outside that hopefully I can plant in the spring. They were picked for me by my dad on a trip to Kansas. He said he got them off of the tree so I don't know if they were ripe enough. Here's some info that might help. B

Here is a link that might be useful: hedge apples

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 11:31AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Chris!
I've been growing them for two years, and I've had great luck. I collect the fruit September - November: I choose big, healthy-looking fruit that has fallen from the tree. Then I leave it on my deck in a plastic tray or box, letting the freeze-thaw cycles do the work for me.

Eventually, the fruit becomes soft enough to be separated easily. Pull good seeds from the middle of the fruit.

I planted my seeds about a half-inch under the soil in various containers. All of them came up. However, I remember that I planted them early, and they didn't sprout for what I thought was a long time. I also planted far too many seeds - which meant that I had to select the best seedlings and scrap or transplant the rest. I tried separating, but my transplanted seedlings all wilted.

My best plants, interestingly, came from a chunk of fruit that I tossed into a pot of old soil and oak leaves (the pot had a chainfern in it originally). Anyhow, two really vigorous volunteers sprouted up late, grew about a foot and a half, and held their leaves well into fall. One plant has thorns, one doesn't. This winter, I carefully separated the plants (one for my sister, one for me), unbound their bright orange roots, and re-potted them. Now, they are both putting out new leaves! I have an experimental runt osage, too, that is sprouting. If it stays compact, it'll become a bonsai.

So, my advice: give them plenty of room to grow (one gallon or better), and watch them for sunburn. You should have a lot of success.

I'll check back with photos of mine in a few days. I want the leaves to open further.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 3:05PM
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I had some osage oranges in my car that I got off the side of the road with all intents and purposes of putting them in our crawl space and the barn. They are great for keeping you spider and mouse free. I have tons of spiders in the crawl space and every so often a mouse finds its way into the barn. Well, I left them a little too long in the car (over the winter) and DH found them and threw them out. Will have to find out where he threw them and keep an eye out for them to sprout. I'd like to have some on my own property. Wonder if they'd repel snakes, too.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 5:08PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

They'll repel snakes if you drop the fruit on their heads ;)

If your DH threw them in one place, you're going to have one hell of a hedge-stand come up!


    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 12:45PM
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I asked this same question a couple years ago on the "trees" forum.
The answer was, chill them, then soak them. Just like the answer here.
The results of my test:

1/2 of them I did the chill, soak, plant method
1/2 of them I just stuck in the starting mix.

I got the same germination rates with both methods.
These were fresh seeds so were not exposed to any prior conditions.

So there it is. Should you chill, soak? It's up to you.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 1:09PM
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I disected my fruit, washed the sticky sap and fibers from the seeds (this took a couple of hours) dried the seeds at room temperature and then stored them for the winter inside of a coffee filter (folded and taped) Sometime in february or march I seeded 2-3 seeds per small peat pods with regular potting soil and kept watering. They all seemed to sprout.

One thing to keep in mind is the source of the fruit. These are male/femle trees (female with thorns and fruits, male no thorns) I think the female bares fruit with sterile seeds if there was no male in the vacinity. I got my fruit from an old mature windbreak with a mix of sexes.

Indoor osage orange tree

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 12:09AM
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I love your planter lol.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 12:54PM
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Read on the Internet, fill a bucket (or container)full of fallen Osage Oranges, and some water, and leave them set out all winter (Ohio). In the spring they'll be brown and squashy. Mix them up into a slurry, dig a furrow about 1-1 1/2 deep, and pour in the slurry, cover with about a 1/2" of dirt. Tried this last year 2009-2010 and had plenty of germination. Furrow was about 8' long and probably had 100 seedlings, and this is in hard clay.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 2:13PM
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