The Osage orange, often referred to as hedge apple, bois d'arc, bodark, bodock, or bow-wood, thrives beside rivers. The trees are renowned for their thorns and big, green fruit, which have many applications although not all of them are effective.
According to the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, hedge apple trees are not indigenous to the Ozarks. Before the development of barbwire, settlers would relocate trees and use them as a live fence.
The Osage orange tree produces the yellow-green fruit known as "hedge apples." Fruit from female trees ripens between September and October, when it is 3 to 5 inches across and drops to the ground.
The mulberry and the fig are further Osage orange family relatives. It attracts a variety of bird species, squirrels, and deer. The wood was strong, making it ideal for making mine support timbers, wagon wheel rims, and other things.
According to representatives of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Native Americans revered the tree because it was used to make longbows and other types of war weapons.
The majority of people in the Mississippi Basin who used the wood to build bows were Osage. The Osage Longbow, which was made and used by the tribe and was frequently exchanged with other tribes, was well-known.
This old wives' tale appears to be folklore, despite the fact that it is currently common practice to use hedge apples to ward off insects and mice. Hedge apple effectiveness as an insect deterrent is not supported by scientific research.
Apple hedges won't keep bugs out of your house. According to Iowa State University, the study's main focus was on employing concentrated fruit oils to repel insects.
Insects were successfully repelled by the concentrated compounds, but the quantity within a fruit are too little to be useful at home.
Dogs and people cannot be harmed by hedge apples, although they do taste bad. The fruits are frequently not eaten by animals.