This tree grows in the small space between the Peabody Library service drive and the main drive west of the library.
This is a typical example of Osage orange. Notice how the branches
arch out and downward. The inner bark
has a distinctive orangish brown color. Close examination of the twig
will reveal small, sharp spines. This tree is a male and does not produce the wierd lumpy green fruits
that you may have seen elsewhere in the arboretum.
If it is true that this tree was dispersed by extinct mammals, it may have been saved from extinction by Native Americans who favored its wood for use in bows. Later, European settlers spread it throughout the central U.S. when they planted it as thick hedges to keep in livestock - hence one of its common names: hedge apple.