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No doubt, Osage orange trees are a popular tree species known for their hardy nature & unique fruit. In the central and southern United States, osage orange trees are often grown for their ornamental or practical value. If you are also looking to plant one, how fast do osage orange trees grow’.
Well, many different factors can affect the growth rate of osage oranges. Therefore, in this article, we will tell you ‘how fast Osage Orange trees grow,’ the factors affecting their growth & what you can do about it.
We will take a quick look at the average growth rate of seedlings of young trees & mature ones of osage oranges. Lastly, I will share some tips for faster growth but let’s first begin with learning factors that can affect the growth rate of osage orange.
5 Factors Affecting Growth Rate
Several factors can affect the growth rate of osage orange trees; here, I’ll share the five most common ones.
Osage orange trees prefer well-draining soils that are rich in nutrients. If you don’t fertilize your soil properly at the right time, Osage Orange can quickly develop nutrient deficiency affecting its leaf growth. To know more about the Osage orange leaf, read this. Even though they can tolerate a wide range of soil types, you must provide them with slightly acidic soils to neutral in pH. A significant factor that can severely affect the growth rate of your tree is the poor soil qualities. A tree grown in poor soil quality will be susceptible to disease and insect infestations.
Osage orange trees are adapted to a wide range of climates but prefer areas with hot summers and mild winters. Therefore, if you live in an area that experiences Harsh winters, you must provide them proper protection from cold drafts, freeze & snow.
In addition, if your area experiences a dry season, you may need to Water Your plant frequently. Naturally, osage orange trees are hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9, which can tolerate temperatures as low as -10°F.
Osage orange trees are grown in areas with harsh winters or hot, dry summers and often grow slowly. Therefore you should provide extra care to make them thrive in this particular area.
Moisture is a lifeline of all plants and trees. Therefore, you should provide regular watering to your Osage Orange tree during its first year of growth. As I told you earlier, they prefer moist soil.
After the first year of growth, you should avoid watering your tree if the topmost layer of soil feels moist because osage orange trees are also known to tolerate periods of drought once established.
Also, note that Overwatering can lead to root rot & other problems, so it’s always best to carefully monitor soil moisture levels around your tree by sticking your index finger a few inches deep into the soil.
Generally, Osage orange trees prefer full sun. However, it doesn’t mean that it can’t tolerate partial shade. If you grow Osage Orange trees in shady areas, their growth rate will be affected. You will likely notice less fruit on trees grown in shady areas than in full sun.
Also Check: Are Osage Oranges Edible?
You should know that osage orange trees respond well to nitrogen-rich. Therefore, consider providing them regular fertilizer, especially during the growing season, to maintain healthy growth.
Since they like nitrogen-rich fertilizers, you can go with 20-10-10 or 25-15-15 NPK. However, avoid over-fertilization, which may also lead to nutrient imbalances and other issues. It’s always best to stick with the manufacturer’s guidelines or consult a professional.
How Fast Do Osage Orange Trees Grow?
Since they can adapt to different soil types, Osage Orange trees are relatively slow growers. You can expect it to grow up to 1-2 feet per year in ideal growing conditions (average). Also, Young trees will grow more quickly than older ones. However, trees in poor soil or shady areas may grow more slowly.
Please provide nitrogen which fertilizes and well-draining soil to your Osage Orange tree. Also, ensure they get full sun during the daytime and proper protection against cold drafts or breezes.
As said, The average growth rate of osage orange trees can vary depending on various factors, including the age of your tree, its growing conditions, and the care you provide.
Therefore, we should look at the breakdown of the average growth rates for osage orange trees at different stages of development.
Osage orange trees typically begin as seedlings, which can take several weeks to germinate. Once the seedling has sprouted, you’ll have to wait several years for it to reach a height of one to two feet.
Young osage orange trees are known to grow relatively quickly compared to seedlings, with an average annual growth rate of 1 to 2 feet per year. Therefore you should always consider buying Young osage oranges from the nursery to plant in your yard because young ones can reach a height of 10 to 15 feet within just a few years.
As your orange tree reaches its maturity, you will notice its growth rate slowing down, which is natural. Some trees that reach maturity can grow as slow as a couple of inches per year. However, in general, Mature trees will grow only 6 to 12 inches per year, depending on their growing conditions.
5 Tips for Faster Growth
If you want to encourage faster growth in your osage orange tree, there are several things you can do to help it thrive. Here are a few tips:
As I told you earlier, Osage orange trees require regular watering, especially during their first few years of growth. Therefore, you must ensure your tree receives at least 1 inch of water per week, either from rainfall or irrigation.
It would help if you considered offering a balanced fertilizer to your tree at the right time and proportion. As I told you earlier, fertilizing your Osage Orange tree with nitrogen-rich fertilizer can help it grow faster and stronger.
In addition, make sure only to fertilize your tree in the early spring and then again in mid-summer if required. This is the best time to fertilize them and benefit most from it.
I prune my trees to size & shape them to promote healthy growth. It would help if you also considered your tree during the dormant season, especially before growing months, to remove any dead or damaged branches.
It would help if you also thinned out any crowded area that can encourage better air circulation. All these will help your tree focus on growing high rather than repairing its damage.
Additionally, clean away the fallen leaves, branches & other parts of your trees after the pruning session because pests can quickly harbor debris, leading to an increased risk of infestation.
Managing Insects & Diseases
You should know that Insects & diseases are known to slow down the growth of your osage orange tree. Therefore, you should always monitor your tree for signs of infestation or infection. If any problem arises, you need to act promptly.
As I told you earlier, you should provide well-draining soil for your Osage Orange tree that doesn’t flood easily. You can also consider creating a slope to prevent water logging.
If you think your soil lacks nutrients, consider adding organic matter like compost or other organic amendments that may improve its quality. You should avoid using chemical fertilizers as they do not pose the risk of damaging surrounding plants but also kill insects that are beneficial for your tree for faster growth & to thrive.
This article has helped you understand how fast do osage Orange grows and what affects its growth rate. You must understand its factors and then decide whether you want to plant or maintain them.
You must provide optimal growing conditions & proper care to make your tree grow as quickly and healthily as possible. If done right, your tree will soon start to produce abundant fruit for years to come.
If you find this article helpful, then consider sharing it. Your share will help many people learn about the growth rate of osage orange trees, which is relatively slow. Do check our other helpful guide on osage orange plant care and management. See you in the next post. Till then, take care & goodbye.