The Osage orange (Maclura pomifera) is often called the Hedge apple and is not a member of the citrus family. Instead, it belongs to the mulberry plant family. It is native to a relatively small area of southern Oklahoma and northern Texas, although trees have been found as far away as Virginia. The wood of the osage orange is often used for archery bows and fence posts, and it also burns hot and bright, giving off sparks similar to fireworks. Research conducted at the Department of Entomology at Iowa State University found that chemicals in this plant repel cockroaches.
Retrieve fallen fruits from the ground in the fall after frost has made them mushy. Cut open the fruit and remove the seeds. Soak the seeds in water for one week, keeping the soaking container in a warm spot. Change the water every other day to prevent fermentation.
Fill small pots that have a drainage hole with sandy potting soil and water thoroughly. Plant one seed in each pot about ½ inch deep. Alternatively, fill a flat with the same potting soil and plant the seeds about 3 inches apart. Water the pots well and keep them in a sunny location.
Plant the seeds directly in the ground if you prefer. Dig one gallon of well-rotted manure, composted leaves and other plant parts or purchased organic compost into a sunny planting area and plant each seed ½ inch deep.
Plant the young trees 5 feet apart to create a hedge if you desire. As they grow, you might need to remove some of the trees: they will spread quickly. Within 10 years, the osage orange will grow into a nice shade tree.