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Audubon® Osage Orange
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When house-hunting, many birds find the Osage Orange Tree to be just what they’re looking for. Its strong, twiggy, thorny branches are perfect for cradling a nest. The plucky little Loggerhead Shrike is one of the tree’s most common residents, for a fascinating reason: it has a habit of bringing its meals back home (grasshoppers, frogs, etc.) and impaling them on the thorns! Female trees provide another benefit to birds—their grapefruit-sized fruits contain tasty seeds. Squirrels will open the tough “hedgeapples” with their sharp teeth, and birds like bobwhites, finches, crossbills, and grosbeaks will then help themselves to any seeds the squirrels overlook.
May Benefit & Attract: Finches, bobwhites, crossbills, and grosbeaks
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
Size AA (2-3' tall) container grown
- Hardiness Zone: 4-9
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Recommended by Our Growers
Although Osage Orange is native to only a small area, encompassing parts of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, it has naturalized well outside of that range. This thorny tree was once prized as a living fence. Before the days of barbed wire or electric fence, a farmer could plant a row of Osage Orange and soon have a fence that was “horse-high, bull-strong, and pig-tight,” as the old-timers would say. Osage Orange’s wood is extremely rot-resistant, so it makes for long-lasting fence posts when cut, too. This tree has been a friend to ranchers and farmers over the years.
Looking for a fast-growing tree? Osage Orange is the tree for you. It gets right to work making a beautiful canopy of glossy, deep green leaves. And unlike some other fast-growing trees, its rapid rate of growth doesn’t come at the expense of weak branches. Osage Orange’s wood is among the hardest of all hardwood trees. As a result, it almost never breaks up in storms.
How to Grow
Osage Orange is the kind of tree you can depend on if you have very poor planting conditions or if you won’t be able to give the tree much maintenance. Like all trees, it will need regular irrigation during the establishment period (we recommend the Elements™ Watering System). After that, it should be able to get by solely on what falls from the sky. This tree needs to be sited in full sun. Otherwise, Osage Orange makes few demands and is remarkably easy to please. It’s perfect for first-time tree owners—but handsome enough for experienced gardeners to want one, too!
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