How to Propagate Osage Orange

Overview

The Osage orange tree has been used as a hedgerow tree to break up large fields into grids to reduce wind damage. It grows quickly and provides pretty yellow fall foliage as well as weather-resistant lumber for fence posts. It's plentiful fruits are 5 to 7 inches wide and not eaten by animals, except for the occasional squirrel or horse looking for the seeds. You can propagate the tree by seeds, branch cuttings or root cuttings, but the use of seeds is the easiest and most widely used method.

Step 1

Collect the seeds from one of the large bumpy fruits that drop every fall. The fruits are plentiful. Check that the fruits are actually seed-bearing, as sometimes the female tree will produce seedless fruit when there are no male trees around for pollination.

Step 2

Break the dormancy period of the seeds by removing them from the fruits and placing them in a bag of damp peat moss. Close the bag and place it in the refrigerator for about a month. This process of stratifying will break the dormancy period.

Step 3

Remove the seeds from the refrigerator and plant them in a pot about a quarter of an inch down under the soil and press the soil over it. Water the planted seed lightly so you don't wash the soil off the seeds and place the pot in a sunny area.

Step 4

Keep the soil moist and warm until you see the sprouts emerge. Transfer the seedlings outside when the weather is above freezing at night and they are about 6 inches tall. They should grow quickly in full sun and in just about any soil type as long as it is not compacted clay.

Things You'll Need

  • Osage orange tree seeds
  • Peat moss
  • Plastic bag
  • Plant pot
  • Potting soil

References

  • USDA Forest Service: Osage orange
  • Warnell School of Forest Resources: Osage orange information
Keywords: propagating osage orange, planting osage orange, osage orange tree

About this Author

Based in Maryland, Heidi Braley, currently writes for local and online media outlets. Some of Braley's articles from the last 10 years are in the "Oley Newsletter," "Connections Magazine," GardenGuides and eHow.com. Braley's college life included Penn State University and Villanova University with her passions centered in nutrition and botany.