Good find. Those used to be quite common around where I live. They were brought in primarily for hedgerows, as they were through out most farming regions. Only a few left around here, and they are now considered an invasive species. Very hard wood. Being "invasive," they can grow fast when there is enough rain. So usually not quite as dense as tropical hard woods, but one of the few trees in No. Am. that can compete. Beautiful color. I have a few sticks I bought from a vendor who was clearing them in southern Illinois. Long pieces such are used for bow staves are worth $$.
I cut open one of the fruits yesterday - the sap is extremely sticky, I had to clean my knife with solvent! I think I will wait until winter to cut some. I have been looking at pictures on-line since discovering it, it is a very pretty wood - can't wait!
Thanks for posting the pictures Norson, I'm looking forward to collecting some. I haven't had time to explore the area where I found the Osage, but the two trees closest to the road are pretty scrubby. The best I will be able to collect from them will be limbs. I'm hoping there are larger trees farther back where I may be able to cut some heartwood.
Native Americans prized them as bow-making material. Country boys like me used them as hard and durable fence posts. I have a small stash that I bought from a Missouri kiln, staves split from larger branches and kiln dried. The rejects so far as bow making are far less expensive.
It might be a fun adventure to travel there and inspect his stock. I no longer have a pickup, but my Exterra could carry some sticks. Although, the fence posts that I recall were completely cured, gray, and cracked due to shrinkage. But hard as a rock, hard to drive a steeple into when building fence.
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