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Should You Own A Bodock Tree? Pros & Cons + Growing Guide

The Bodock tree (Maclura pomifera) is a member of the mulberry family, highly admired for its multipurpose hard and dense wood.

Generally, the wood of the Bodock tree is durable and used in fencing, musical instruments, and bows and arrows. Similarly, furnish them with full sunlight, regular watering, and 10-10-10 balanced fertilizers for prolific growth.

Go through the entire article to learn about uses, cons, and some care tips about the Bodock tree.

Overview Of Bodock Tree

The Bodock tree, also known as the Hedge apple, Osage orange, or Horse apple, is a deciduous tree native to the Southcentral United States.

The Bodock tree with a fruit
The Bodock tree is a host plant for a butterfly, Spicebush swallowtail.

Here is a table indicating the critical features of the tree.

Scientific Name Maclura pomifera
Common NameOsage orange, Horse apple
Height 20-40 feet
Spread20-30 feet
LeavesAlternate, simple, oval-shaped, & 2-4 inches long
FlowersSmall, greenish-yellow, & borne in clusters
FruitLarge, round, 2-3 inches in diameter
UsesFurniture, musical instruments, & insect repellent

What Is Bodock Tree Good For?

The wood of Osage Orange is durable and resistant to rots and insect damage. Besides, Bodock tree serves various purposes, including the following.

  • Fencing: Bodock wood is often used for fences because of its hard and durable wood, which can withstand elements.
  • Musical instruments: The stiff and dense nature of Bodock wood makes it ideal for making musical instruments, such as violin bows and guitars.
  • Bows and arrows: The wood of Bodock trees is used by Native Americans to make bows and arrows.
  • Ornamental objects: Bodock wood is also used to make ornamental objects like bowls and vases.
  • Medicinal properties: This plant’s bark, leaves, and fruits are medicinally important. Additionally, compounds from fruits are important sources of anti-aging cosmetic products.

What Are The Cons Of The Bodock Tree?

Osage orange has some cons you should consider before planting it. Some of these cons are below!

  • The fruit is non-edible and can be messy: The tree’s fruit is large, round, and covered in sharp spines. Similarly, the fruit is non-edible for humans and can be a nuisance if it falls on your property.
bodock tree with fruit
The fruit of Bodock tree is non-edible for humans, but some animals like deer and rabbits eat it.
  • The plant can be invasive: The tree is a fast grower and can spread rapidly if not controlled. Moreover, it can disturb the growth of other plants by consuming excessive nutrients by itself.
  • The plant is difficult to transplant: The Bodock tree has a long taproot, which makes it difficult to transplant.
  • The plant can be filthy when it blooms: The tree blooms in Spring, and the flowers produce a sticky sap that can be filthy.
  • Pests and disease susceptibility: This tree is highly susceptible to some pests and diseases, such as the Osage orange borer and the Osage orange rust.

How To Grow & Care For Bodock Tree?

The Bodock trees are an easy-to-grow hardy. Here are some tips on how to grow and care for these trees.

  • Sunlight: This plant prefers the full sun but tolerates partial shade. Similarly, it also prefers well-drained soil.
  • Planting: Plant the tree in the Spring or Fall. Make a hole that is twice as deep as the root ball. Fill the hole with soil and water.
  • Watering: Regularly water this plant, especially during the first year after planting. Once the plant has been established, it can tolerate some drought.
  • Fertilizer: Fertilize the Bodock tree in the Spring with 10-10-10 balanced fertilizers.
  • Pruning: Frequent pruning is not necessary for this tree. However, you can prune the dead and damaged plant parts and clean them with neem oil annually.

From Editorial Team

Conclusion: To Own Or Not To Own

The Osage orange is a hardy and multifaceted plant with many uses. 

It is a good choice for furniture and woody materials, as it bears strong and durable wood.

Furthermore, Bodock is an easy-to-grow plant that can provide you with many years of enjoyment.