How to Grow Hedge Apples


Hedge apples are also known as the Osage orange. They are deciduous trees native to the U.S., usually found growing in Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. They can reach heights of 40 feet tall with a 40 feet spread, and they are hardy between USDA climate zones 5A through 9B. While the fruit of the hedge apple is not edible, the seeds are. Also, the wood is very hard. Growing hedge apples is easy as long as you have the space on your land for them.

Step 1

Plant the hedge apple tree in full sun. They can tolerate a lot of soil conditions from clay, sand, and loam to either acidic or alkaline.

Step 2

Dig a hole for the hedge apple tree, about as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Place the tree in the hole and cover it with soil.

Step 3

Water the hedge apple tree sparingly, only once every month if there is no natural rainfall. Once established, they are very drought tolerant.

Step 4

Prune hedge apple trees every fall or spring. Cut back any overreaching, dead or damaged branches. Trim the hedge apple into the desired shape.

Step 5

Harvest the hedge apples in the fall as they become ripe or let them drop to the ground.

Tips and Warnings

  • Hedge apple trees have sharp thorns. Wear gloves when dealing with them.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel


  • University of Georgia: OSAGE-ORANGE (Maclura pomifera): An American Traveler
  • University of Florida: Maclura pomifera: Osage-Orange
  • Desert Tropicals: Osage Orange

Who Can Help

  • Post Gazette: Gardening: The fruit of the Osage orange tree has many odd reputed uses
  • USDA: Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: growing hedge apples, hedge apples, osage orange

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.