Maclura pomifera

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Maclura pomifera

Post  JimLewis on Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:59 pm

I've finally gotten my Osage orange to where the base can be fully displayed. The tree is sprouting early this year (last year it was very late -- May -- and had me worried). I repotted.

Since this has never indicated a need to bloom in the 11 years I've had it in a pot, for me the "orange" in its name comes from the bark, not the fruit.



The base:


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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  Jesse on Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:58 pm

I love the gentle flow of the strong, solid trunk. The bark is very unique and beautiful with a great nebari. Simply put, I like this tree a lot. How long have you had it?

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  coh on Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:04 pm

"gentle flow" is a good description...beautiful base, beautiful taper...I like this tree a lot. Please post an image when it is in full leaf. Also, what is the total height?

Wonder why it doesn't bloom - as I recall, these have very fragrant flowers, right?

Chris

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  sunip on Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:43 pm

Hi Jim,
This nerbari is really worth to be shown,
eleven years are coming to fruit.
Very special character.
Is it typical for this tree the way the branches spreading?
regards, Sunip Wink

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  JimLewis on Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:52 pm

I dug this tree as a (probably) 10-year-old plant from my Tallahassee driveway in 1999. It went into a bonsai pot in 2000.

They're typically a small tree, with an unruly spreading crown. This is much "neater" that it would have been if it had been left in the ground. It stands 21 inches tall and the base is about 7 inches wide. The flowers aren't much to look at and I don't know about the smell, but this is NOT a Citrus, so they don't smell like orange blossoms.

The fruit is about grapefruit size, and greenish, but since it has never bloomed, I've never had to worry about one of those big globes hanging on my little tree.

I actually like the tree better without leaves. If you search here for "Osage orange" or "Maclura pomifera" you should find a pic of it with leaves from year before last.

They are native to the Midwest, but have been planted everywhere. I just got 5 bare-root seedlings from Musser Forests, and will plant 4 of them out in the yard, and make another bonsai out of the other one.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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maclura pomifera

Post  moyogijohn on Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:48 pm

JIM,,Very nice tree ,,Love the bark and the base on this one...will they be ok planted out in the winter?? real nice take care john

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  Guest on Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:54 pm

Jim,
Nice tree.
do you have an old photo with fruits on it?. I''m very curious on how it will look like with fruits and bare leaves.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  Todd Ellis on Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:42 pm

I like this tree Jim. Particularly the base and the color of the bark. There is a farm close by me which has groves of Osage Oranges in their cow pastures. I hope one day to ask for permission to hunt and dig a few. I am hoping that cows like to browse on there leaves.
Best,
Todd

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  Pola on Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:28 am

Looks very natural,i love it! Great work Jim!l thumbs up

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  DreadyKGB on Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:18 am

Jim,
This tree is looking great. I am planning to attempt airlayering a branch from a large tree this year. We shall see how it goes. With age the bark on these becomes really furrowed and gnarly. I was intending to PM you about some care tips as you seem to have one of the very few in bonsai culture but I haven't reached the care stage. If all goes well with the layer I will post up some images.

Todd


Last edited by DreadyKGB on Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:53 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  Ravi Kiran on Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:37 am

Great Tree Jim. Love it. Good you mentioned the height of the tree. In the pic it actually looks about half that size. I like the styling.... what I'd call a natural tree style. The beauty of this tree is in its simplicity. Great work...

Ravi

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  JimLewis on Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:02 pm

moyogijohn wrote:JIM,,Very nice tree ,,Love the bark and the base on this one...will they be ok planted out in the winter?? real nice take care john

Yes. they're native to th Kansas/Oklahoma plains -- much colder than here.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  JimLewis on Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:05 pm

Todd Ellis wrote:I like this tree Jim. Particularly the base and the color of the bark. There is a farm close by me which has groves of Osage Oranges in their cow pastures. I hope one day to ask for permission to hunt and dig a few. I am hoping that cows like to browse on there leaves.
Best,
Todd

Cows do NOT graze on them. They are covered with spines. Plus, the milky sap would probably taste awful. In the midwest and elsewhere, they are used as fence rows in lieu of barbed wire.

Wiring these is a REAL pain. Probably why they're not seen as bonsai very often.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  coh on Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:51 pm

JimLewis wrote:...It stands 21 inches tall and the base is about 7 inches wide. The flowers aren't much to look at and I don't know about the smell, but this is NOT a Citrus, so they don't smell like orange blossoms.
...
I actually like the tree better without leaves. If you search here for "Osage orange" or "Maclura pomifera" you should find a pic of it with leaves from year before last.


Thanks Jim, I did find it. As for the fragrance...I may have been thinking of Poncirus trifoliata, also known as hardy or trifoliate orange.

Chris

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  gregb on Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:33 pm

It's the heartwood that gives it its common name. I've made tool handles out of it; very hard and pretty when finished with oil.

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  JimLewis on Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:51 am

gregb wrote:It's the heartwood that gives it its common name. I've made tool handles out of it; very hard and pretty when finished with oil.

Yeah. Jackie is/was a sculptor and did some nice work way back when with a couple of large logs. She had to continuously sharpen her chisels.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  Guest on Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:41 am

Osage orange is very good wood for longbows as well.

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  JimLewis on Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:26 pm

Yes. The Osage Indians, the Amerind tribe that lived in its natural range used the wood for bows. Their bows were some shorter than "longbows," however. I find it difficult to imagine an Osage orange with even a semi-straight length of wood sufficient for an English longbow.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Maclura pomifera

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:18 pm

Live & learn. Maclura belongs to the mulberry family, along with figs.
Iris

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  JimLewis on Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:55 pm

Ergo, the white sap.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  JimLewis on Wed May 04, 2011 7:16 pm

Someone -- I forget who -- asked me to post a picture when it was fully in leaf. It has leafed out prolifically this year (which means I have a gazillion sharp thorns to cut off this fall!).



Note to "Man on the Mountain": I do have something other than tiny trees -- but not many. This one stands something over 22 inches from the pot rim.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  JimLewis on Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:15 pm

Just for the record, I'll resurrect this old post. I've shown this tree here several times, so no more for now.

But in late 2010, I ordered several Osage orange whips from Musser Forests (www.musserforests.com). They were delivered in mid April, 2011, bare root. Here they were (see the spines!) -- about 9 inches above the soil and thinner than a chopstick:





They all survived. Here are a couple of them exactly one year later. I have trimmed the tops a couple of times, and rough wired bends in the trunks, but these are about 22 inches tall. Musser said they were a fast-growing tree, but this is faster than I imagined.


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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Update

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:20 pm

I've let it get a bit shaggy this year. It needed major surgery over the winter, and I've been growing on and bending via heavy guy wires to fill in the gaps.



Its bushiness means one has to be very careful when moving it or even turning it on the table. The spines are all unclipped and they'll reach out a grab you without warning.

This tree is just about at my limit for carrying around now. I see it going to the NC Arboretum in a very few more years.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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little late to the party

Post  austinh on Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:30 am

Jim, I am very impressed by this tree- Osage Orange isn't something you often run across in tree form (at least not where I have ever been) or in lumber and especially not in Bonsai- to boot it is a fabulous little tree. Well done. In my humble opinion the best I have seen out of you yet.

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Re: Maclura pomifera

Post  leatherback on Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:51 am

Wow,
That is just one year of development? That is amazing! I don't think I have ever come across a species thickening up that quickly! Is it a tropical or temperate species?

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Re: Maclura pomifera

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