Hedge & Hedge Apple Uses
The wood of the Osage-orange is golden yellow or bright orange when first cut, but turns brown on exposure. The wood is extremely hard, heavy, tough, and durable. It also shrinks or swells very little compared to the wood of other trees. The wood is used for fence posts, insulator pins, treenails, furniture, and archery bows. In fact, many archers consider the wood of the Osage-orange to be the world's finest wood for bows. (The name bodark is from the French bois d'arc mean "bow wood.") Also, a bright yellow dye can be extracted from the wood.
Dried hedge is the highest in BTU's when used as firewood so in the Midwest it is the most desired type of wood for firewood. Green hedge will put out lots of sparks as it burns so it's not practical or safe to burn it in an open fireplace.
It is the fruit of the Osage-orange that most individuals find intriguing. In the hands of a child, the fruit can become dangerous weapons. They are a nuisance in the home landscape. The "hedge apples" are not an important source of food for wildlife as most birds and animals find the fruit unpalatable. However, the thorny trees do provide nesting and cover for wildlife and the squirrels like to eat the hedge apples.
The use of the hedge apples for insect control is one of the most enduring pest management home remedies. Placement of hedge apples around the foundation or inside the basement or in the corners of each room will provide relief from cockroaches, spiders, boxelder bugs, crickets and other pests. They are a safe pest control alternative to chemicals.
Hedge apples can be used for fall decorations. There are several ways to display them as table center pieces or outside arrangements as harvest decorations.