Here in the Midwest, this tree has multiple uses. It is best suited for the making of fence posts that, once in the ground, are good for many decades. It also has another use, which is that Osage Orange is an excellent wood to make Osage Bows from. The next few pages will cover the Osage Orange Bow and Osage Orange History.
Making the Osage Bow is a fun task, and please read all you can before you begin. I have made my video to help all newcomers learn how it is done, and we filmed for 50 hours, and then it was edited to 1.75 hours to fit the DVDs. A good book is Bows and Arrows by James Duff, and this book will give you tremendous information about Osage Bow making by a man who may have made more Osage Bows than anyone in modern times.
I really cannot tell you enough how important it is to read all you can. I wore out a few books as I started making Bows, and I broke a lot of Bows also, but there was no one to teach me, so I had to learn on my own.
Please be ready to build your Bow before you purchase a Stave from anyone, as you will probably ruin your first Osage Stave if you have neglected your homework. I receive many calls each week, and my answer is always the same as mentioned, but as the saying goes, "I can lead you to water but cannot make you drink." Call me any time before you buy that Stave or make that first Bow. Selling something is not as important as getting you off to a good start. Thank you, James Easter.
From several points of view, the Osage Orange is a tree of extraordinary interest. The historian will tell you that long before the settlement of America by the whites, the Indians used the wood for warclubs and bows—a custom that gave rise to one of its common names: "Bow Wood." Its other common name is due to the fact that it was introduced into cultivation among the earliest settlers in St. Louis by specimens procured from the Osage Indians. Also, during the development of the great prairie region beyond the Mississippi, the species served an important purpose as a hedge plant, thousands of farmers utilizing it for fencing their fields. The new growth hedge was interwoven to make a tight fence.
The introduction of barbed wire greatly reduced the importance of these hedge fences. These remaining Hedge Rows now are an excellent source for Hedge Posts.
Osage Orange is of interest from root to fruit. The bark of the roots is of a bright orange color and furnishes a yellow dye; the ridged and scaly bark of the trunk furnishes tannin for making leather; the branches have attractive leaves with thorns at their bases; the pollen-bearing and seed-bearing flowers are borne upon separate trees.
These round heads mature into one of the strangest fruits known to science: the so-called "Hedgeapple" is a greenish compound fruit made up of a large number of seed-bearing fruits grown together on their edges.
The Osage Orange can be propagated very easily and makes good hedges and also a bushy tree that, when loaded with fruit, attracts much attention. The wood is also relatively immune from insect and fungus attacks.
The Osage Orange has been recorded to heights of over 60 feet and trunk diameters of 4 to 7 feet. Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas are its sites of original growth.
Here is a nice Osage Orange log showing you good ones are there. This log weighs about 350 pounds, is 12 feet long, and 11 inches in diameter. These are hard to find. We may have several like these this year.
New DVD: Making the Osage Bow with Jamie Easter
My new DVD, Making the Osage Bow with Jamie Easter, is now for sale on eBay. This is almost two hours of Primitive Bow making for you. The Bow in the picture above was made filming the DVD. This is perfect for the Beginning Bowyer or any Bowyer wanting to see other methods of making the Bow and was several years in the planning. This DVD has proven to be a great help to Bowyers. Professionally filmed and replicated to give you a clear movie and narrations of Bow making as it is done.
Please click on the picture to go to www.osagebow.net for more information. I am the only distributor of my products; they are not sold elsewhere.
The price is $24.95.
You may order by calling or emailing. We accept PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, or check.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also mail $24.95 (shipping included) with your return address to:
James Easter, Bowyer2603 148th AveDonnellson, IA 52625
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