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Hedge apples

November 5, 2014

Our pasture fenceline is full of hedge apples. Is that what you call them? Other names are Osage oranges, horse apples, monkey brains/balls, and more.

I always put a few in the basement as an insect repellent. Bob uses the wood from the trees, cured a year or more, as fence posts.

You can read about the facts and myths about hedge apples here: http://lancaster.unl.edu/enviro/pest/nebline/hedgeapple.htm A few highlights:

1. The trees were named for the Osage Indians and widely planted in the Midwest as a living fence.

2. The wood is extremely hard, heavy, and durable. It shrinks less than most other wood.

3. Iowa State University toxicologists extracted and concentrated compounds from hedge apples and they were found to repel insects. However, the natural concentration in the fruit was too low to be an effective repellent.

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