Bois D'Arc- Fence posts that last a long, long time! : LUSENET : ACountryPlace : One Thread

Around here a lot of the old farms still have their Bois D'Arc(horse apple, Osage Orange) posts. Some of these posts are probably more than eighty years old. I wonder why this tree isn't produced commercially, instead of giving us treated wood for posts and garden timbers.

Little Bit Farm

-- Little Bit Farm (, July 10, 2003


This is a very interesting site about making your own BOW out of Bois D'Arc. This wood is truly cool!

Little Bit Farm

-- Little Bit Farm (, July 10, 2003.

These really are an amazing tree. Here is a really fine article on their history and use. ?term=%22hedge+apple%22

This article says that they were even used as a substitute for mulberries in raising silkworms. Simply amazing. It also says to wear gloves when handling fruit to get out the seeds as the juice of the fruit can be irritating.

Little Bit Farm

-- Little Bit Farm (, July 11, 2003.

Well I would agree Walter that they are definitely not a Douglas Fir. However, they do get quite large around here. The interesting thing about the fence posts here, is that they are very rarely straight. You can always tell the Bois d'Arc from new stuff.

Little Bit Farm

-- Little Bit Farm (, November 14, 2003.

There are still a lot of tree lines around here of osage orange. The wood really is the best for posts. If a person had the room and wasn't in a hurry, a planting of these would set you up for fence posts and save you a lot of money.

-- John in S. IN (, July 11, 2003.

Does anyone know where you can get starts for these trees?? I had someone who was going to send me seed pods for black locust once also, from the old CS site, but never got them.

-- diane (, July 11, 2003.

Seems I remember seeing both Black Locust and Osage Orange trees in the Mellingers catalogue. I can gather up some hedge apples when they fall in a month or so for you. I'd have to figure out the best way to get the seeds out so they'd be viable as shipping the whole thing would be expensive. I'm not sure where to get any black locust pods anymore.

I did a quick check at Mellingers - command=search&db=catalog.txt&eqakudatarq=18785&cart=105794206738200& slave_to=18785&bob=18785&akusort=1&akusdir=as&slave_totype=num&akutyp e=num&bobtype=num

That's a long addy there... wonder if that works? Anyway, they have seeds for both of the trees. Cheap too. I remember they had seedlings if your interested too.

-- John in S. IN (, July 11, 2003.

John, unless things have changed, you can get black locust from Jasper-Pulaski State tree nursery in the spring. There's another state tree nursery, too, but I can't remember where. The county agent or soil and water conservation people would have info on both of them. We all know those people don't do anything else very valuable but the tree nurseries in Indiana are pretty neat.

-- dee in IN (, July 11, 2003.

Your right about the nursery trees from the state Dee. They do have a great program. I had a great place to get all the Locust I wanted till last year. The place was sold and logged off. I don't have enough room here to really get a planting going - But there is a 2-3 acre area behind me that is empty and kindy swampy that the owner isn't using...........hmmm there's a thought.

-- John in S. IN (, July 11, 2003.

Hey thanks John!!! Mellingers should work, we used to get their catalog.....just didn't remember seeing them in there. We used to have the black locust on our property when I was a kid and it sure was a good fence post. I never realized that the osage orange was such a good fence post. I suppose in my life time I won't see the result, but perhaps the next generation.

Nice to see so many folks from the "old days"!!!

-- diane (, July 11, 2003.

I have dozens of 2-4 foot bois d'arc trees that started in the yard this past spring that I'd like to send some to family and friends. Does anyone have any experience or opinion as to whether they can be dug and shipped dry-root in the winter?

-- Gerre (, October 27, 2003.

I wish I could send "mass" over the net like pictures or words. Hedge and locust are abundant here in west-central Missouri. The "hedge apples" are almost covering the ground under the parent. Locust pods are vexing people who mow. I imagine everyone has heard the jokes about hedge fence posts: "They'll last longer tnan the hole." "Them's the same posts my great grandpappy put in. I had to replace the holes last spring."

Bois D'Arc. I grew up with them, not knowing that they had such an elegant name.

Locust is also excellent for posts and tools and fuel but their horrific thorns suggest to me that they would rather not be bothered.

That's all. Hope I haven't intruded.

-- Zen Clown (, October 30, 2003.

The heartwood is bright yellow, and is used in dying. When the heartwood is exposed to air and light, it can turn a golden brown in about 6 months. A friend made a fingerboard and bridge for a guitar out of Bois D'Arc. Why isn't it grown commercially for lumber? I think it is because it usually grows as an overgrown shrub, not as a single-trunk tree. and because as lumber trees go, it is rather small and slow-growing. This will sound funny to those who have seen it grow up from the roots of a tree tht has been cut down. But compared to poplar, it does not have a fast growth rate. But it doesn't need as good soil, either. It was cut for charcaol for a while near Douglas Kansas, 25 or 30 years ago. But the price for the wood wasn't enough to get people to planting it. Walter

-- Walter Pickett (, November 13, 2003.

wow you guys treat osage as a weed like pine, being a bowyer any piece of osage i come across is very valuable. Strait bow quality osage can go for 70-100+ dollars a piece! If you want quick cash and have osage, find some of the stuff that is strait and split into quarters about 2 in wide and you will be surprised at how many people bid.

-- (, November 17, 2003.

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