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Thread: Osage Orange

  1. #1
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    Default Osage Orange

    My husband found this orange in the woods, at the bottom of a tree and bunch of squirrels were eating other ones that fell.

    He said apparently it's called Osage Orange.

    Should I give it to Buddy? As a whole or cut or not bother/risk?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Osage Orange

    They are not toxic. Osage orange also called Hedge apples is a fruit that has a fruity citric fragrance.
    Likely the reason it's supposedly inedible to humans but squirrels seem to love them.
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    Default Re: Osage Orange

    Thank you! Yes, my husband mentioned that the squirrels seem to love it!
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    Default Re: Osage Orange

    Osage oranges are listed as one of the wild sources that squirrels are know to consume. Contains high levels of isoflavones, a type of antioxidant similar to vitamin C and E and though not sweet, they still like them.
    With a bad spot on them like this one, I would discard them; otherwise wait till they fully ripen in the spring to feed them when they should be fine.

    In our region squirrels are rather spoiled when it comes to oranges, which are available in abundance. These are allot sweeter than the Osage orange; often they don't eat all of the ones they start on that aren't fully ripe. When the oranges reach their peak of ripeness, I find the orange lots of empties with a round hole just large enough for their heads into. I haven't as yet captured a photo of a squirrel with a miniature pumpkin-like orange head, but hope to one day.
    Last edited by TubeDriver; 12-01-2020 at 10:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Osage Orange

    Quote Originally Posted by Diggie's Friend View Post
    When the oranges reach their peak of ripeness, I find the orange lots of empties with a round hole just large enough for their heads into. I haven't as yet captured a photo of a squirrel with a miniature pumpkin-like orange head, but hope to one day.
    It's a great visual, in the meantime!
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    Default Re: Osage Orange

    Quote Originally Posted by Diggie's Friend View Post
    Osage oranges are listed as one of the wild sources that squirrels are know to consume. Contains high levels of isoflavones, a type of antioxidant similar to vitamin C and E and though not sweet, they still like them.
    With a bad spot on them like this one, I would discard them; otherwise wait till they fully ripen in the spring to feed them when they should be fine.

    In our region squirrels are rather spoiled when it comes to oranges, which are available in abundance. These are allot sweeter than the Osage orange; often they don't eat all of the ones they start on that aren't fully ripe. When the oranges reach their peak of ripeness, I find the orange lots of empties with a round hole just large enough for their heads into. I haven't as yet captured a photo of a squirrel with a miniature pumpkin-like orange head, but hope to one day.
    Thank you! Yes, I bet this is quiet a visual and I hope you can capture a photo and/or a video soon. And share it here with us!

    I cut the orange, cleaned the bad part and gave some to Buddy. He loved it. He kept eating for a full 5 min. I took it away, as I wasn't sure how his system would react. He was upset that I took it away.

    I gave some to the wild squirrels too, but they were not as much interested. They are not as adventurous as Buddy when it comes to eating veggies and fruit, but I suspect because it's winter coming and they are selective?

    Anyways, I shall throw the rest. My husband said that he sees these fruit a lot when he is out in the woods, so I'll ask him to get more in spring.

    Thank you!
    Last edited by TubeDriver; 12-01-2020 at 10:11 PM.
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    Default Re: Osage Orange

    Ripe the skin should be to yellow-green. Here's a photos of how they look when ripe.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maclura_pomifera https://globalhealing.com/natural-he...he-osage-tree/

    Osage oranges have a positive Calcium to Phosphorus ratio.

    Here's one commentator that says that squirrels only eat the seeds; apparently not.

    There is a milky substance that can irritate human skin. It is though as wrote listed as a food native to the North America that squirrels eat.

    I found this today: https://mdc.mo.gov/trees-plants/prob...orange-control

    Osage orange trees in some regions are seen as a nuisance; best to get fruits from a known source that hasn't been treated.
    Last edited by TubeDriver; 12-02-2020 at 03:06 PM.

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    Default Re: Osage Orange

    The Osage orange, native to the US. , apparently isn't a true orange. Squirrels seem to like it just as much as true oranges.

    Jack fruit has this same kind of milky latex substance; squirrels eat that too, yet mostly they go for the seeds in the jackfruit that they work hard to rip into the flesh of the fruit to get the seeds. Curious, did you find Buddy favored the seeds over the fruit itself? Was the milky stick substance primarily in the skin or in the fruit also?

    http://www.eattheweeds.com/maclura-p...le-inedible-2/

    Humans don't eat raw acorns either, yet squirrels do.

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    Default Re: Osage Orange

    A notation I found notes Osage orange ripens from Sept through October; I stand corrected.

    Good news, save what is left of the crop may be nearly gone, which explains the brown spot.

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    Default Re: Osage Orange

    Thanks for all the info! I saved what's left of what Buddy didn't eat to give him a bit more tomorrow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diggie's Friend View Post
    Curious, did you find Buddy favored the seeds over the fruit itself? Was the milky stick substance primarily in the skin or in the fruit also?
    Buddy was eating kind of all around, what looks like the seeds (the middle part). And I think the milky stick substance is both in the fruit and in the skin; however, in this particular instance of the fruit, it wasn't a lot.

    Also, corrected: The half of the fruit I gave to the backyard squirrels are all gone now (except a bit of the skin here and there). I guess they tried and loved it!
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    Default Re: Osage Orange

    There is a trail I mountain bike on that has a section littered with these things. I never knew what they were but I know that they can cause you to crash if you run over one in a corner at speed.
    See my wild squirrel adventures in the thread "Squirtle's yard!":
    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...quirtle-s-Yard!

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    Default Re: Osage Orange

    Yes, they have serious thorns! Our orange trees do also, really big ones!

    The seeds of the Osage orange are high in protein; I read they taste, kind of like sunflower seeds. You should give them a try!


    The sap of the tree and branches is noted to be toxic to rodents.

    I read that the fruit can be more easily removed when soaked in water; this may also help to remove some of the sticky latex compound also.

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    Default Re: Osage Orange

    Quote Originally Posted by TubeDriver View Post
    There is a trail I mountain bike on that has a section littered with these things. I never knew what they were but I know that they can cause you to crash if you run over one in a corner at speed.
    I can imagine, because the ones found by the Bronx River Parkway (!!) and brought to our nature center last year were ENORMOUS. Bigger than most grapefruit!
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