Girdling of Osage Orange

indiancreeker(z5 IL)October 22, 2005

Does anyone have any experience with girdling Osage Orange trees? The wooded common area of my subdivision has a lot of very large osage orange and I was wondering if girdling would be an effective way of controlling them, rather than trying to cut them down. We are trying to do some oak restoration in the area, and the non-native Osage Orange would be top candidates for removal if only they weren't so big and so hard on chain saws.

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ahughes798(z5 IL)

Use a chainsaw to expose the cambium. Paint wound with garlon. Or, just use the chainsaw to girdle. But I think Osage Orange, if girdled, might send up suckers.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 10:03PM
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No question at all it will send up suckers. This was one of the ways to insure haveing fence posts.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 12:16AM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

If you chemical girdle you will have less suckers than a straight cut. But suckers can be controlled if you keep on them.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2005 at 10:11PM
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Non native? Maclura pomifera is native, if we are talking about North America.
They are not hard on chainsaws. Chainsaws are made to cut through wood of all densities - the difficulty in working with these trees are the thorns everywhere and heaviness of the wood in general.
Girdling and treating with Garlon will have a significant effect on the tree(s), but I am not sure if it will kill them outright. Remember, too, that root grafts between like trees can have ramifications on a larger scale due to herbicide uptake. Maybe this will be of benefit given your description.
I do know that if you sucessfully kill them, they eventually will decay and leads will begin to fall out on who knows what under them. Would dead, falling limbs be a safety issue in your situation?


    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 9:22PM
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indiancreeker(z5 IL)

I only meant that they were non-native to Illinois. We would probably only girdle trees that were some distance away from the walking trails, so falling limbs wouldn't be much of a concern - at least no more so than all of the dead elms that we already have. What do you mean by "like" trees in the statement "root grafts between like trees can have ramifications on a larger scale due to herbicide uptake"? I assume that would apply whether we girdled or cut them down outright since in either case, we would apply herbicide to prevent resprouts.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 9:08PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

Non native to IL?? Hope this link works and takes you straight to the USDA site on osage orange. You can see it IS native to IL. If it doesn't automatically bring up for osage orange, just type that into the search and change from scientific name to common name.

Here is a link that might be useful: Database USDA

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 7:05PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

I tried the link and it doesn't take you to the info, follow the link and click go.......

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 7:09PM
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indiancreeker(z5 IL)

This site just shows the current distribution. Osage Orange was introduced in Illinois, and much of the rest of the country. Do a google search on 'Maclura pomifera illinois native' and you'll find several sites that show the true native range.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 9:21PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

Well thank you! I didn't realize it was introduced. Lots of differing info out there when searching. I was always told it was native....sorry about that :)

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 6:20PM
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Hedge is not considered to be invasive, and was widely used by Native Americans for making bows. It was planted by pioneers for fencing and windbreaks and played an important role in early agriculture. It is still available from commercial nurseries. Hedge has an interesting history. Mr Guy Sternberg documents this history in his book "Native Trees for North American Landscapes. "The fossil record shows hedge has been native to this area and north to Minnesota and Ontario back to the Sangamon interglacial period of 100,000 years ago. Apparently hedge did not get re-established after the glacial period because its vectors, the gomphotheres were hunted to extinction.
Hedge was "discovered" by Lewis and Clark and sent back to President Jefferson. He was so pleased with this tree that he gave it to former president George Washington in about 1804, and hedge still grows on Washingon's river farm,
which is now the American Horticultural Society headquarters. So, hedge is a native and has played an important role in American history.
Hedge is also valuable for wildlife in general and is the specific host for the Hagen sphinx moth.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2005 at 3:56AM
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terryr(z5a IL)

Sue, I hope you come back and read this...I meant native to IL, I know it's native to N America, just not to IL. You don't seem to have a "my page", so I can't see where you're from. I do thank you though, for the very interesting information on the osage orange. I'm going to pass it on to my parents who have osage orange in their woodland!


    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 8:04PM
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i take sue's script to read that mr. sternberg is saying that it is/was native to illinois (where he lives) when he writes "this area and north to minnesota and onatario...".

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 5:49PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

Hi Jeff, call me confused. From what I've been reading, it was introduced. In William Cullina's book "Native Trees, Shrubs & Vines", he says it's origianlly native to a strip running thru east central Texas, north into Southeastern Oklahoma and southwestern Arkansas, now naturalized from Conneticut to IMinnesota south to New Mexico and Florida. And the link I provided says it was introduced also.

Here is a link that might be useful: IL woody plants

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 7:38PM
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Native to specific point in time. 500 or more years ago it was Oklahoma/Texas... . Native Americans used fire to shape the plains for buffulo herds. Fires reduced the area it was in. 100,000 years ago really isn't a long time ago to consider something non-native. I'm guessing that the poster's trees are, acting invasive and not letting anything else exist, by reducing biodiversity. I've never heard of pure stands but this is what it sounds like.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 9:30PM
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Roundup Pro, 50/50 with water on cut stump ends in fall should do something too, though the Garlon is def. the big gun here. I agree with Spiros that it sounds like you've got a thicket of this stuff, and if so, to meet your goals of oak restoration, I'd def. use these tools.........+oM

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 2:50AM
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I wish you lived near me (Texas). I cut Bois D' Arc all the time. I own a sawmill and love the wood. Not hard on chainsaws. Keep your chains sharp and you'll power right through it provided you have a saw with power.
We are building a timber framed house and using Bois D' Arc for the braces.
I don't know how many sawlogs that could be gotten from your grove(?) but if it was enough I'd load up and come get them and relieve you of your problem. So when you say "...a lot of very large..." could you be more specific?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 7:13AM
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I am hoping to help some students (i am a science teacher) make some bag pipes. We need Osage trunks/branches. straight. 4" to 2' diameter. 6-12' is optimal. 1-6' long (2' is optimal). If anyone wants to get rid of some let me know. dry or wet. I will be traveling from Fort Collins CO to Byron, IL Dec 20is of 2008 and home on Jan 4ish. I found one kind person but i don't want to pick his stock clean.
Pete Cadmus

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 10:19PM
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ladyslppr(z6 PA)

Osage Orange is among the best firewoods - very dense wood with tons of BTUs. One way to get your trees cleared might be to find someone who burns wood for heat who would be willing to cut the trees and remove the wood. THere would still be lots of brush left afterwards, but you'd enlist the help of somebody who is experienced with chainsaws and the wood would go to a useful purpose. After cutting, there would be lots of sprouts, but they start small and can be controlled by repeated cutting or herbicides.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 9:18AM
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