In my ongoing quest to find decent hiking here on the Eastern Shore, I visited a state wildlife sanctuary called Wye Island. Comprised primarily of pastures, fields, and woods I arrived on the first day of shotgun deer hunting at the sanctuary. That pretty much ruled out hiking!!
I was able to take one short hike along a path that lead to the Wye River area. All around and over me were these tree/shrubs that I came to learn are called Osage Orange Trees.
With a little research I learned that the wood of these trees is extremely hard and used in things like tool handles. As I suspected, although they are called “orange” trees they are not in the citrus family at all, but the same family as the mulberry. The path was strewn with the “fruits” from these trees which were sticky to the touch and when opened yielded a very sticky, white milky substance. They are not edible (thanks to wikapedia I didn’t have to try). The fruits were about the size of softballs.
Although not native to this area, the Osage Orange was brought to this area to be used as hedgerows and to create perimeters around livestock fields. The thorny branches discouraged escape.