The Louisiana orange tree, also known as Naranjo de los Osages or Espino de los Osages, whose scientific name is Maclura Pomifera, is a typical tree in the southern United States where it is appreciated for its characteristic fruits and hard wood.

Originally, this species was only found in southern states like Oklahoma, Texas or Louisiana. However, during the past century, it was spreading to the north of the country. There it is known as Osage Orange. This name is due, on the one hand, to the American Indian tribe that populated the area, the Osage, and who used it to make bows and arrows. And, on the other hand, its fruit, similar to orange or grapefruit, although it is not edible by man.

Features of Louisiana orange wood

Color: Its color ranges from golden yellow to reddish brown over time. It is considered a beautiful wood, and is sometimes used as a prominent wood in joinery works. High natural shine.

Fiber: In a straight line.

Grain: Good.

Density: Heavy wood, about 855 kg / m3 at 12% humidity.

Toughness: Semi-hard wood, with 4.8 according to the Monnin test. It is a wood with considerable hardness and resistance. This has favored its use for the manufacture of cars and carriages, wheels, telephone poles or railroads.

Durability: Good resistance to rot.

Dimensional stability:

  • Volumetric contraction coefficient: –

Mechanical properties:

  • Compressive strength: 660 kg / cmtwo
  • Static flexural strength: 118,500 kg / cmtwo
  • Modulus of elasticity: 1,300 kg / cmtwo

Workability: It can be complex due to its hardness and the wear it causes on tools.

  • Sawn. No more problems than those derived from its hardness.
  • Drying.
  • Brushed. No more problems than those derived from its hardness.
  • Glued.
  • Nailed and screwed.
  • Finish.

Uses of naranjo de los osages wood

louisiana orange wood

As for the uses of this wood, we find a strong contradiction. On the other hand, it is a shiny wood, which provides an exceptional finish and contrast, and can be used perfectly for quality joinery work. However, its hardness made its main uses work, those where what is sought is its resistance and not its appearance. For example electric poles, fences, cars, wooden wheels …

Other uses other than the Louisiana orange tree are obtaining yellow dyes using only hot water and as a species for reforestation in areas where erosion must be avoided.