one of my favorite trees

tenacre(Z5 SW MI)July 17, 2014

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This gorgeous tree lives at the end of the center trail through our "young" woods, about a thousand feet from our house. Beyond him in the background is our "old growth" woods: 1500 feet of mostly Black Cherry, Oak, Hickory, Walnut, and Linden. One Black cherry has a girth of roughly 15 feet.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

what is the tree ... i cant ID it from this distance...

more pix of the old growth please ...

ken

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 4:56PM
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tenacre(Z5 SW MI)

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>> what is the tree ... i cant ID it from this distance...

Here's a close-up of the foliage:

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 7:21PM
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tenacre(Z5 SW MI)

Here's a close-up of the mature bark (from an older tree closer to the house). Dead give away?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 7:23PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Nice!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 7:28PM
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tenacre(Z5 SW MI)

Here's one I planted from seed, at the transition of our back yard (lawn) and the "young" woods. This Fall I plan to trim the lower branches.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 7:31PM
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sam_md

Osage Orange

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 7:47PM
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tenacre(Z5 SW MI)

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>> more pix of the old growth please ...

I'll see if I can dig up some pix from past years off my backup disks.

The "young growth" woods is 13 years old this summer. When I bought the property 13 years ago it was former farmland and was shoulder-high in weeds. I hired a guy to brush-hog it down to 3" so I could see the lay of the land, then I let it grow back, all the while keeping walking paths mowed. As trees sprouted, I decided which ones to keep and which ones to cut down, and trimmed branches with bypass loppers and a pruning saw to keep the trails open as the canopy formed. I waged a 7-year battle with poison ivy and finally declared victory about 6 years ago when I couldn't find a single specimen within sight of my trails. There are some trees there now over 40 ft tall.

After 12 years of painstaking maintenance, last year I didn't groom the trails. This year I have cleared them almost to the old growth, but not quite.

The "old growth" won't be accessible for hiking until Fall or Winter. I don't have well-established trails back there, and there is a lot of thorny underbrush and some remaining poison ivy (I cut down countless hairy vines the thickness of a landscape timber).

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 7:54PM
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tenacre(Z5 SW MI)

>>Posted by sam_md z7 MD Thu, Jul 17, 14 at 19:47

>>Osage Orange

Indeed! Brilliant glossy green leaves; insects, bacteria, and fungus leave it alone; and the wood is like iron. Even the deer and rabbits don't mess with it.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:03PM
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sam_md

High winds take their toll with OO. This is a common sight here with larger trees. Apparently the top gets so heavy that the roots cannot support it when windy.
Now, someone tell me what feeds on the fruits produced by the female trees. I've never known anything to eat the fruit.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:26PM
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tenacre(Z5 SW MI)

Hmm. I've got a fence row of OOs. I'm told they used to be used before barbed wire became widely available. I've no idea how old they are, but they're all still standing. We get mighty high winds here. I have video of our London Planetree coming down. Heartbreaking. Four years later, I still miss it.

This post was edited by tenacre on Thu, Jul 17, 14 at 21:11

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:05PM
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tenacre(Z5 SW MI)

>>I'll see if I can dig up some pix from past years off my backup disks.

This is all I was able to come up with so far. Pic was taken in mid-May of 2010. The trail goes down into a shallow valley and into the old woods.

So what you see in the background is the beginning of the old woods.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:06PM
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tenacre(Z5 SW MI)

It was my daughter's favorite climbing tree.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:14PM
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greenthumbzdude

I read that the fruits were eaten by ground sloths hence hte reason for their size...but of course they are now extinct

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:31PM
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sam_md

Interesting article linked here about OO from a highly respected naturalist. He gives some suggestions about what USED to eat OO fruit.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mike Slater's article

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 7:55AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Hello, would you show a pic of that ~15'c cherry, please?

The IL state champion is 13.08'c with an 86' height and 62' spread. Which state are you located?

Thank you!

Dax

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:17AM
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beng(z6 western MD)

I think squirrels sometimes pick thru the fruit of OOs to eat the seeds. But they'll try almost anything.

One of my thornless male OOs, 'White Shield' (~20' tall), got flattened to the ground by a fallen Siberian elm. I cut off many of the limbs while on the ground to lighten it, righted it & staked it. It has recovered remarkably, tho still supported.

'White Shield' has an unusual, elm-like upright form, not like the usual female form.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:17AM
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poaky1

There are several OO around my neighborhood, you know it's fall when those monkeyballs are along the road. There is a big one not far from me. I'll try to get a pic soon. It's growing up against an old tractor shelter.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 7:47PM
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tenacre(Z5 SW MI)

The largest Black Cherry on our property is at the extreme east end, deep in dense woods. The last time I was back there was about 4 years ago. I'll make a trek back there this winter.

Here is a different one. I cleared a path to it with the tractor. It measures about 11'c at the "waist".

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 9:50PM
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lucky_p

sam,
I've seen squirrels and various other small rodents eat the seeds.
Cattle will eat the fruits after they've 'bletted' - but sometimes they try to eat them before they're sufficiently rotten, and they can lodge in their esophagus, preventing them from eructating(belching off the gases produced by fermentation of plant materials in their rumen) - resulting potentially fatal bloat.
Paleobotanists have theorized that large now-extinct herbivores - like mammoths/mastodons - may have been consumers of the fruit and distributors of seed, in starter packets of organic fertilizer.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:52PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

You have some great trees.

Dax

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 8:10AM
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sam_md

The fruit underneath of a female tree is a common sight here. One can see why male clones are desirable. Apparently this tree was once sought out by archers for bow making, maybe still is?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2014 at 10:29AM
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lkz5ia

and female trees were sought out for catapult ammunition.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2014 at 3:28PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Missed this thread this summer, but it is an interesting read. Great pics. LOL on the "catapult ammunition".

    Bookmark   November 17, 2014 at 12:24PM
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beng(z6 western MD)

I highly recommend 'Whiteshield' osage orange that is male and thornless. It grows upright compared to sprawling female trees. The one below got crushed to the ground & partially uprooted by the falling Sib elm trunk you see to its right. I trimmed off much of the branches & righted it w/supports, and it soldiers on:

    Bookmark   November 17, 2014 at 12:48PM
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nuss1 pete

Hi Beng,

I see, that you have a nice tree of " Whiteshield ".
Here in Europe, Osage Orange grow on different places.
And I have some small plants, but I search to make a test
the Osage Orange " Whiteshield ".

It would be very great, I could get few scions from you.
The costs for handling and shipping, I will send you.

Beng, send an email to me. click on "My Page" above next to my nuss1 name.

Peter

    Bookmark   February 8, 2015 at 7:09AM
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beng(z6 western MD)

Hmm. Maybe some others from Europe can chime in -- there's often restrictions/bans on importing vegetation, tho I can't think of anything that lives on or affects osage orange.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2015 at 8:31AM
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nuss1 pete

Hi Beng
thank for your reply.
Some years ago, I got scions of " Che", Chinese melonberry from Oklahoma,
and I grafted the sprouts with success on Osage Orange understock.

I know no restrictions in transport for parts of plants from mulberry, because we no berries of these in our forest

    Bookmark   February 8, 2015 at 2:01PM
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nuss1 pete

Hi Beng
thank for your reply.
Some years ago, I got scions of " Che", Chinese melonberry from Oklahoma,
and I grafted the sprouts with success on Osage Orange understock.

I know no restrictions in transport for parts of plants from mulberry, because we no berries of these in our forest

    Bookmark   February 8, 2015 at 2:03PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

"I highly recommend 'Whiteshield' osage orange that is male and thornless. It grows upright compared to sprawling female trees."

Has anyone had experience with any of the other male thornless cultivars? There are at least a dozen others out there, but most seem fairly rare. There are also some choice female thornless cultivars. I don't think form (sprawling) is a result of the sex of a tree (but maybe that wasn't how Beng's post was supposed to be read). What about the numerous other selections out there?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2015 at 2:57PM
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beng(z6 western MD)

nuss, ok, I'll contact you & see what we can do. Plenty of little sprouts on the osage orange for scions.

Brandon, from what I've read and seen, there is often a dimorphism between male & female tree forms -- Whiteshield is particularly upright & even somewhat Amer elm-like in form.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2015 at 8:52AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Some of the female forms are reported as more narrow and upright...'Whiteshield' (or 'White Shield') is considered one of the more upright of even the males. If there is a difference (I don't know), you can't tell it from reading cultivar descriptions.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2015 at 5:55PM
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nuss1 pete

Hi Beng,

I want to write you a mail on your given address,

but the connection did not work.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2015 at 5:59AM
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beng12(z6 west Md)

Suggest you send the email thru your email service & not thru the stupid form on this forum.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2015 at 6:15AM
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