Growth Facts

White Shield Osage Orange

Maclura pomifera 'White Shield'
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Got a challenging site? White Shield Osage Orange handles clay soil, intense heat, wind, salt, and drought with ease. In fact, it doesn’t just tolerate tough conditions, but thrives in them! Whether given lots of attention in a suburban yard or made to tough it out as an urban street tree, White Shield gives 100 percent. This medium-sized tree offers clean, dark green foliage that’s so shiny, it looks like it’s been shellacked. In fall, the leaves turn a magnificent golden-yellow. And don’t worry—White Shield produces none of the thorns or big, messy fruits that Osage Oranges are known for!

Growth Facts

The Story

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 say. The huge “oranges” or “hedge apples” produced by female plants are eaten by cattle and are broken open and enjoyed by squirrels as well, which spread the seed. White Shield is a superior thornless and fruitless clone that was discovered near White Shield Creek in Oklahoma.

The Details

Looking for a fast-growing tree? White Shield 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

White Shield 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 nearly 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, White Shield 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!

Size Guide

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