Maclura pomifera

 

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Family: Moraceae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Osage Orange

 

 

 

The genus Maclura contains about 12 species native to: North America [1], with the rest in tropical America and Africa. The genus name maclura is after William Maclure (1763-1840), and American geologist, while the species epithet pomifera means bearing pomes or apples, in allusion to the large, spherical fruits.

Maclura pomifera-Bodare Us, Bodark, Bodeck, Bodock, Bois d'arc, Bowwood, Geelhout, Hedge, Hedge Apple, Hedge-plant, Horse Apple, Maclura, Mock Orange, Naranjo Chino, Osage, Osage Apple-tree, Rootwood, Wild Orange, Yellow-wood.

 

Distribution

Native to Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, but since escaped and naturalized throughout the eastern and north western US.

The Tree

Osage Orange is a medium size tree with thorns which grows in bottom lands. It attains a height of 60 feet and a diameter of 3 feet. The bark has an orange cast and was used in making kaki dye during W.W.I. It produces large spherical fruits the size of large grapefruits in the fall.

 

The Wood

General

The sapwood of Osage Orange is narrow and light yellow, while the heartwood is golden to bright orange, which darkens upon exposure. The heartwood can also contain red streaks. It has no characteristic odor or taste. The wood is very hard, heavy, tough, resilient and takes a high luster. It is ring porous and commonly confused with black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia).

 

Mechanical Properties (2-inch standard)

 

 

 

 

Compression

 

 

 

 

Specific

gravity

MOE

x106 lbf/in2

MOR

lbf/in2

Parallel

lbf/in2

Perpendicular

lbf/in2

WMLa

in-lbf/in3

Hardness

lbf

Shear

lbf/in2

Green

0.76

1.33

13,700

5,810

2,260

37.9

2,040

Dry

0.85

aWML = Work to maximum load.

Reference (59).

 

 

 

 

Drying and Shrinkage

Type of shrinkage

Percentage of shrinkage
(green to final moisture content)

0% MC

6% MC

20% MC

Tangential

Radial

Volumetric

9.2

7.4

3.1

The wood of Osage Orange seasons well and thereafter, maintains dimensional stability well. ???

Reference: (90).

Kiln Drying Schedulesa

 

Stock

Condition

4/4, 5/4, 6/4

8/4

10/4

12/4

16/4

Standard

T6-A2

T3-A1

aReferences (6, 86).

Working Properties: Osage Orange is difficult to work due to its hardness. It holds glue and screws well, but is difficult to nail.

Durability: Osage Orange is considered one of the most durable woods in North America.

Preservation: No information available at this time.

Uses: : Fuel wood, fence posts, game calls, smoking pipes, artificial limbs, crutches, insulator pins, wheel rims & hubs of farm wagons, railroad ties, treenails, machinery parts, archery, bows (Native Americans), dye from roots, planted for windrows and hedges.

Toxicity: The sap can cause dermatitis (105)

 

Additional Reading and References Cited (in parentheses)

6. Boone, R.S., C.J. Kozlik, P.J. Bois & E.M. Wengert. 1988. Dry kiln schedules for commercial ?woods - temperate and tropical. USDA Forest Service, FPL General Technical Report ?FPL-GTR-57.

29. Elias, T.S. 1980. The complete trees of North America, field guide and natural history. Van ?Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 948 pp.

55. Little, Jr., E.L.1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). USDA ?Forest ?Service, Ag. Handbook No. 541, USGPO, Washington, DC.

59. Markwardt, L.J. and T.R.C. Wilson. 1935. Strength and related properties of woods grown ?in the United States. USDA Forest Service, Tech. Bull. No. 479. USGPO, Washington, ?DC.

68. Panshin, A.J. and C. de Zeeuw. 1980. Textbook of Wood Technology, 4th Ed., McGraw-Hill ?Book Co., New York, 722 pp.

74. Record, S.J. and R.W. Hess. 1943. Timbers of the new world. Yale University Press, New ?Haven, 640 pp.

86. Simpson, W.T. 1991. Dry kiln operator's manual. USDA Forest Service, FPL Ag. Handbook ?188.

90. Summitt, R. and A. Sliker. 1980. CRC handbook of materials science. Volume 4, wood. CRC ?Press, Inc., Boca Raton, FL. 459 pp.

105. Woods, B.; Calnan, C. D. 1976. Toxic Woods. British Journal of Dermatology 95(13):1-97 ?Published by Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, England OX2 ?OEL.