Eric Hanson wrote:Nate,
Good job on picking Osage Orange!
So you can certainly plant the seeds. If you have a lot of those fruits, consider chopping or breaking them into pieces and planting the chunks.
You could just push them into the ground and see what happens. Alternatively you could dig little holes and fill them with manure or some other type of potting mix.
Also, consider planting something along with the Osage. Osage is a fast growing tree, but can take time to get established. Some other woody brush can get things stated before the Osage really takes off.
Among the possibilities for co-planting are:
Black locust grows fast, makes good firewood, and is rot resistant
Poplars grow very, very fast. Don’t burn especially fast but might be good for harvesting later for woodchips
Autumn olive is an invasive nuisance and not useful for much other than cutting down. However it grows like mad around me, birds like it and it does make a decent privacy barrier. Personally I think the best use for it is to trim back and chip up for woodchips from time to time.
Another option altogether is to plant and designate the row off limits altogether. Just allow whatever grows to grow. Sure, things aside from Osage will grow in the meantime, but before long you will have your hedge and Osage will grow in time.
Please keep us updated,
Eric Hanson wrote:Trace,
Ok, I will concede that I was a little harsh on the autumn olive. Around me it is terribly invasive and kinda takes over hill and dale it a few years if not checked by mowing, burning or regular trimming. I both mow and trim mine and on occasion I have gone well out of my way for a year or two to not mow it in order to get it to bulk up before I chip it. When I said it was not useful I was thinking that it does not make good dimensional lumber, nor does it make good firewood. It does burn of course, but more of the fast and furious type of fire. It is also not especially strong.
But I was being narrow minded. I grow it for chips. Living fencing, bird habitat and increasingly deer habitat. The original fence in the hedge has mostly been crushed to the ground, ravaged by time and deer. Now, the line where the fence was at is a hollow corridor used by deer!!
Glad that you agree that a good living fence needs multiple species. Osage will be amazing once established. It can have half it’s mass cut for firewood and grow back in a year or two. And the firewood is amazing. Slow, hot burning. We used to burn it in the fireplace growing up. We could only burn one log at a time or we could melt the grate! I doesn’t so much burn but smolder white hot. We’re it not for the fact that it sparks, I would call it the perfect firewood.
But Trace, your observations are dead on and I was short sighted.