Starting in summer 2022 I will being building and offering wooden longbows. The Osage orange I am gathering to carve bows is harvested in conjunction with oak-hickory and prairie restoration efforts. Osage orange is only native to a small region of Tex-Arkana; throughout the rest of the country, it was introduced as a fence-row or windbreak tree. Outside of its native range, Osage grows quickly, outcompeting and shading native plants and tree seedlings. In removing the trees where I am working (private landowners, thank you Helen), we are providing light and space for native plants and trees to grow.
A ground cover of mayapple plants respond vigorously to the opening of the forest canopy with the removal of Osage trees. (photograph by Helen Steussy)