Also known as Horse Apple, Hedge-Apple, Bois D’Ark, or Bodark. The heavy, close-grained yellow-orange wood is very dense and is prized for tool handles, fence posts, and other applications requiring a strong dimensionally stable wood that withstands rot. Straight-grained osage timber (most is knotty and twisted) made very good bows for the Indians. In Arkansas, in the early 19th century, a good Osage bow was worth a horse and a blanket. Early French settlers named it Bois D’Ark, which means “bow wood”. When dried, the wood has the highest BTU content of any wood, and burns long and hot. Recent research suggests that elemol, a component extractable from the fruit, shows promise as a mosquito repellent with similar activity to DEET in contact and residual repellency. It was one of the primary trees used in President Roosevelt’s “Great Plains Shelterbelt” WPA project, which was launched in 1934 as an ambitious plan to modify weather and prevent soil erosion in the Great Plains states, and by 1942 resulted in the planting of 30,233 shelterbelts containing 220 million trees that stretched for 18,600 miles.

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