Common Name(s): Osage Orange, Horse Apple, Hedge Apple, Bois d’arc

Scientific Name: Maclura pomifera

Distribution: South-central United States

Tree Size: 50-60 ft (15-18 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 54 lbs/ft3 (855 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .76, .86

Janka Hardness: 2,620 lbf (11,640 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 18,650 lbf/in2 (128.6 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,689,000 lbf/in2 (11.64 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 9,380 lbf/in2 (64.7 MPa)*

*Estimated crushing strength from data of green wood at: 5,810 lbf/in2 (40.1 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 3.8%, Tangential: 5.6%, Volumetric: 9.2%, T/R Ratio: 1.5


Color/Appearance: Heartwood is golden to bright yellow, which inevitably ages to a darker medium brown with time: primarily due to exposure to ultraviolet light. See the article Preventing Color Changes in Exotic Woods for more details.

Grain/Texture: Grain is straight, with a fine to medium texture. High natural luster.

Endgrain: Ring-porous; large to very large earlywood pores 2-3 pores wide, small latewood pores in clusters and tangential bands; tyloses extremely abundant; growth rings distinct; narrow to medium rays visible without lens, spacing normal; parenchyma vasicentric, lozenge, and confluent.

Rot Resistance: Osage Orange is extremely durable and is considered to be one of the most decay resistant woods in North America.

Workability: Working this Osage Orange can be difficult due to its hardness and density, though it is reported to have little dulling effect on cutting edges. It turns well, and also takes stains, glues and finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Sap has been reported to cause dermatitis. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Having typically small, crooked, and knotty trunks, Osage Orange isn’t usually harvested for lumber, but can occasionally be found for sale in either board or small turning block form. Due to its domesticity and adequate supply, the price should be moderate, though likely to be higher than most other native lumbers on account of its “specialty” status.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Fence posts, dye, archery bows, musical instruments, turnings, and other small specialty wood items.

2 products