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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
has anyone ever seen deer eating monkey balls, i never knew this but i have seen it with my own eyes, they were on the road and have been ran over by cars, on my way to where i hunt i have seen deer there before and after i hunt they are in the middle of the road eating these smashed monkey balls. never cut one open to really see whats inside..go figure
 

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Monkey balls come from The Osage Tree which oddly enough is a popular wood used by Native Americans and modern day bow makers to make bows. This fruit is a favorite of many animals from Raccoons to squirrels and yes even deer will eat them.

Timber
 

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Who the heck came up with the name monkey balls? Really... Someone who bats for the other team obviously or at least a switch hitter. Osage Orange fruit is much better sounding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i have learned somthing today..osage orange i now no the correct name, you wouldnt believe how many people i know that hunt no what a monkey ball is but never heard of a osage orange guess we alz is a bunch of ignert hillbilliez
 

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yes they eat them, but usually not until after a good hard freeze softens them up. One of my best bowhunting spots is in the middle of a public gamelands, in a swamp, with 1 huge osage tree. That tree really draws them in, especially later in the season, after they're pressured in the fields and the acorns are gone.
 

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We used to put the fruit in a jar and use it for brains on the dummys we made for halloween.We called the fruit from sycamore trees Monkey Balls,I geuss it depends on where you grew up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
how well do these trees reseed thereselves, maybe throw a few big green seeds in my woods to grow my own little food plot,cheaper than planting apple or pear trees
 

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We have tons of them here in Wash. Co. I'm a wood cutter, and the Osage Orange is one of the densest, hot-burning wood known to man. In my parts, 10 % of the folks would know what you were talking about if you said "Osage Orange Fruit". Nearly 100% would know if you said "Monkey Ball".
 

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While an undergraduate at the Munich Polytechnic Institute (High Form), I took a double-major and earned a B.S. degree in the disciplines of identification of trees and primates. It's the derivative of the Latin scientific name: (genus) Ballomous (family) Monkusomus i.e. Monkey Balls in English.
 

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A few years back, I was taken my six year nephew for a hike in the woods. He asked "what are those things on the ground"? I replied "MONKEY BALLS". He said "I didn't know there were monkeys around here" I just chuckled and kept walking. Pretty Funny!!
 

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i know what they are really called but growing up in beaver county, you called them monkey balls! knew what the thread was about before i even opened it. LOL
 

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It's thorny as all get out. I've thought of planting a few...
I believe you are thinking of another type. Possibly a Honey Locust, Hawthorne, Crabapple. Osage is not thorny as all get out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
they must eat them alot (deer) because as many lay on the ground they dont transplant very good. do you haved to let the seed dry out ? has anyone ever tried plaqnt them?
 

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steelheadpie said:
i have learned somthing today..osage orange i now no the correct name, you wouldnt believe how many people i know that hunt no what a monkey ball is but never heard of a osage orange guess we alz is a bunch of ignert hillbilliez
Just until a couple years ago when I decided to learn about making a bow did I know what they were. Since I was a kid it was a monkey ball. So it's not just you hillbilliez us city folk are ignert as well
 

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steelheadpie said:
they must eat them alot (deer) because as many lay on the ground they dont transplant very good. do you haved to let the seed dry out ? has anyone ever tried plaqnt them?
The seeds needs to be scarified to sprout and should be kept in a freezer for a few weeks. You can buy seedling on-line for just a couple bucks. Easiest way to do it!
 

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Never heard them called that. They are hedge apples here.

Growing and Planting
Planting Hedge Trees - Old Timers told our friend Clark Knapp that they started Hedge Rows by dumping the Hedgeapples in a barrel, letting them sit over the winter allowing them to freeze and thaw until spring when they were soft. They then mashed them, added water and poured the slurry into a plowed furrow and cover about a inch or two. They kept the hedgeapples moist during the winter by drilling holes and letting about 2 inches of water stand in the bottom (if all the fruit is left submerged for extended length of time, they will not sprout). Mr Knapp is only 86 years old, and claims he is a few days away from being an Old Timer himself. I assume this method would be a good technique if one would want the hedge row to act as a fence. Mr. Knapp knows his business. Picture at right was taken on his farm. I tried this planting technique last spring and it works (over 300 seedlings in a 8 ft hedgerow). Complete description of Hedgeapple seed experiment.
Small Osage orange trees can also be snatched from pastures. Identifying the tree can be tricky, hedgeapple trees have leaves very similar to Mulberry trees. You definitely do not want a wild Mulberry tree attracting flies to your front yard.
 

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Osage orange is an interesting tree, we always called them hedge apples where I grew up in southern York County. I fired my first shot with a shotgun at a hedge apple when I was 8 years old. My Dad handed me his 12 ga. Parker double, rolled one down a hill and said "shoot the rabbit". Almost ripped my arm off but more importantly I managed to put a few #6 shot in the "rabbit".

They are more of a southern species, never seen may where I live now in central Pa. much above Snyder County. An old York County farmer told me that the Union Civil War soldiers brought seeds back from the South and planted them for living cattle fences.

My father-in-law swore by using hedge apples for spider deterrent. Each fall he would place some in the rafters of his basement, not sure that it worked but I never saw any spiders in his house either. Beautiful wood, I seen a muzzleloader long rifle stock carved out of osage orange. I wouldn't want to have to carry it around, very heavy, but it sure was pretty.

I checked a book I have on how to grow different tree species from seed. It says the seeds exhibit a slight dormancy that can be overcome by stratification for 30 days at 41 degrees F (fridge) or soaking in water for 48 hours. No need to freeze.
 
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