Species Specifics: Osage Orange

Fruit from an osage orange tree

Get tips on how to identify and treat this tree once used as a fence.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Osage orange (Maclura pomifera), also known as bois d’arc or hedge, is a small- to medium-size tree in the mulberry family with furrowed bark and thorny branches that reach 36 to 65 feet tall. The trunk is short and often divides into several limbs with upward arching branches. Leaves are deciduous and cluster at the end of short spurs, and range from 2 to 5 inches long and 1 to 2.5 inches wide. The tree produces fruit in September; the yellow-green fruit are approximately 3 to 5 inches in diameter.

WHERE IT IS FOUND

Osage orange is mainly found in the Great Plains and northern United States and tends to grow on pasture and range land that is overgrazed. It may become invasive in some habitats and can displace desirable vegetation if not properly managed.

Osage orange was commonly used as a windbreak or “living fence” in prairie states. It was used heavily in the early 1900s to prevent soil erosion and to deter cattle from roaming, which has contributed to it becoming a more invasive plant in recent decades.

HOW TO TREAT IT

Controlling Osage orange is crucial for the productivity of pastures and rangeland. If left alone, its invasive nature will displace desirable vegetation. Osage orange is highly rot resistant, because its vascular system becomes blocked with built-up dead cells, making water filtration difficult. Since it’s highly resistant to decay, hedge is more durable to weather, insects and diseases that would eliminate other species.

To clear dense, established brush, make broadcast herbicide applications; make foliar treatments of 12 fluid oz. of DuraCor herbicide tank-mixed with 16 fluid oz. of Remedy® Ultra herbicide when Osage orange has fully leafed out in early Summer with applications being made as late as early fall (6 weeks prior to leaves changing colors).   For smaller infestations, make individual foliar plant treatments of 0.5% Remedy Ultra with 0.25% nonionic surfactant. Also, low-volume basal applications of 25% Remedy Ultra with 75% basal oil can be made anytime, as long as snow or standing water don’t prevent proper application.

 

 

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Label precautions apply to forage treated with DuraCor and to manure from animals that have consumed treated forage within the last three days. Consult the label for full details.

™ ® Trademarks of Dow AgroSciences, DuPont or Pioneer, and their affiliated companies or their respective owners. DuraCor is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. State restrictions on the sale and use of Remedy Ultra apply. Consult the label before purchase or use for full details. Always read and follow label directions.