Hedge trees, part 1

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I love this line of trees beside the house. When we moved out here, we took out quite a few dead hedge trees (aka Osage orange trees). During the Dust Bowl years, they were planted around fields as windbreaks. It turns out they are very much dependent on each other. The canopy is quite dense, and when you remove a tree (or two, or five), the others start to lean and fall down. 
Cousin Phillip made this wheel from a piece of an Osage Orange tree from Grandma Copt's farm in Osage City, Kansas. The sun light steaming through the front window today drew my eye right here. That must have been a humongous tree! We burn this kind of wood, known as hedge, in the sauna stove. It is a brilliant yellow when split. This warm color reflects the warmth of the sun, and the wood burns hot and slow. Also, this is the tree that produces hedge apples. I use them as bug repellent in my basement. I have only seen squirrels eat them and only occasionally. Otherwise those hedge apples are sometimes used as bowling balls when sister Lois and children come to visit, and once I tried cutting them into discs and drying them in the oven for holiday decor. That didn't work very well for me. Oh, and this wood makes excellent fence posts.