All photographs and text ©2013 by Will Cook unless otherwise noted. Black locust has been spread and used as a plant for erosion control as it is fast growing and generally a tough tree. Robinia pseudoacacia, commonly known in its native territory as black locust, is a medium-sized hardwood deciduous tree, belonging to the tribe Robinieae.  The locust borer Megacyllene robiniae larvae carve tunnels into the trunk of the tree and make it more prone to being knocked down by the wind. I'd make everything out of it. Black Locust native growing areas are concentrated in the Eastern United States, with the highest concentration in the state of Ohio. The honey locust, Gleditsia triacanthos, can reach a height of 20â30 m (66â98 ft).They exhibit fast growth, but live a medium-long life span of about 120 years. Carroll Co., VA 4/11/10. They are incredibly hard-lived trees that have the great ability to tolerate compacted soils, wind storms, ice, salt, pollution, and foot traffic. Most natural reproduction is vegetative by means of root suckering and stump sprouting. Black Locust wood contains natural organic compounds that resist rot for 100 years or more, which makes these trees an extremely valuable and environmentally friendly tree. Black locust trees (Robinia pseudoacacia, USDA zones 4 through 8) are at their best in late spring, when trailing clusters of 5-inch, fragrant flowers bloom at the tips on new branches.The flowers attract honeybees, which use the nectar to make excellent honey. It is considered an environmental weed there. It grows very quickly, in a variety of conditions. It is the perfect wood for fence and deck posts. A deciduous tree with short, irregular branches and feathery leaves, the black locust grows fast but is short-lived. Cultivars may also be grafted as this ensures the parent and daughter plant will be genetically identical. The black locust tree is one of the most popular types of locust trees, probably because it has so many uses and is so easy to grow.  This makes removal of black locust difficult as the suckers need to be continually removed from both the trunk and roots or the tree will regrow. Black Locust can be a really fast growing tree.  Black locust has been listed as invasive in Connecticut and Wisconsin, and prohibited in Massachusetts. Attractive white spring flowers.  These ecosystems have been decreasing in size, and black locust is contributing to this reduction; when black locust invades an area, it will convert the grassland ecosystem into a forested ecosystem where the grasses are displaced. He dragged it to his sawmill across the road in the spring and sawed some dimensional lumber from it and placed the lumber in his basement. Black locust is still in use in some rustic handrail systems. It is also a fast growing pioneer tree here in the northeast - meaning it's one of the first species to appear in fields left fallow. It has white flowers and compound leaves, and the saplings and smaller branches of mature trees have thorns. [circular reference], The bark, leaves, and wood are toxic to both humans and livestock. At least it used to before the beetle borers showed up. The black locust is native from Pennsylvania to northern Georgia and westward as far as Arkansas and Oklahoma, but has been widely spread in other areas of the world. Black locust trees are quite drought-tolerant once established and will grow in a wide variety of well-draining soil types.  Due to the small nature of the seeds, shelling them efficiently can prove tedious and difficult. Old trees are commonly infected with the borer and some fungus diseases. It crowds out native vegetation of prairies, oak savannas and upland forests, forming single species stands.  The shallow, aggressive roots help hold onto the soil; the tree grows quickly and on poor soils due to its ability to fix nitrogen. Black locust reaches a typical height of 40â100 feet (12â30 m) with a diameter of 2â4 feet (0.61â1.22 m). In the early summer black locust flowers; the flowers are large and appear in large, intensely fragrant clusters reminiscent of orange blossoms. Black locust trees can reach heights of 70 to 80 feet but are more often 30 to 50 feet tall. It is endemic to a few small areas of the United States, but it has been widely planted and naturalized elsewhere in temperate North America, Europe, Southern Africa and Asia and is considered an invasive species in some areas. Partner with us and build a Black Locust Tree Plantation on your land, our land or anywhere in the world. , Black locust is an interesting example of how one plant species can be considered invasive even on the continent to which it is native. Item # L1048 Shipping Size: 2-4 Feet - GROWING ZONES: 4-9 / SUN EXPOSURE: Full to partial Sun Black locust is shade intolerant and does very well in disturbed areas. Like the honey locust, the black locust is a fast-growing, tough tree that tolerates drought, salt, pollution and poor soil. The colors that came out in that wood after a semi-gloss varathane was applied were amazing. Black locust Robinia pseudoacacia Black locust is native to the southern Appalachians and the Ozarks, where it occurs on slopes and forest edges. Our trees are available for wholesale and retail purchase. I live in (West) Vancouver BC , and in a huge windstorm in 2006, this tree was blown down.  The seeds are produced in good crops every year or every other year. There is a widespread habit of allowing black locust trees to grow beyond their age of maturity, which is often 20 to 30 years. The tree was identified in 1607 at Jamestown by British colonists, who used the timber to build houses. Black locust is a nitrogen-fixing tree that prefers disturbed habitat, old fields, thickets and degraded woods. This page was last edited on 2 December 2020, at 15:37. The green and yellow hues were beautiful. As the strongest timber in North America, these trees helped build early Colonial towns and hardened the navy (along with ironwood) that decided the War of 1812, yet today few Americans have heard of it. Wet, newly cut planks have an offensive odor which disappears with seasoning. A deciduous tree, black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) was brought here from the Appalachian and Ozark Mountains for erosion control and durable wood. It is found in old fields, open areas, streamsides, woods, and along roadsides and fencerows. They have a diameter of between 0.60 to 1.2 meters ( 2- 4 feet). The Problem. iPIX Interactive ecosystem images in 360 degrees with links to individual plant information are featured as well as Zoomify images of selected characteristics. 'Tortuosa', a small tree with curved and distorted branches. It's also very rot resistant and commonly used for fence posts and exterior construction on farms. Black locust leaves contain flavone glycosides characterised by spectroscopic and chemical methods as the 7-O-β-d-glucuronopyranosyl-(1 → 2)[α-l-rhamnopyranosyl-(1 → 6)]-β-d-glucopyranosides of acacetin (5,7-dihydroxy-4′-methoxyflavone), apigenin (5,7,4′-trihydroxyflavone), diosmetin (5,7,3′-trihydroxy-4′-methoxyflavone) and luteolin (5,7,3′,4′-tetrahydroxyflavone). The black locust bears toxic pods that hang from its branches, but it also has white, fragrant flowers that bloom in late spring. Fast growing! It doesn’t last near as long as Black Locust wood in the ground but it is environmentally safe. Black locust should be reported. In France, Italy and Romania, R. pseudoacacia flowers are eaten as beignets after being coated in batter and fried in oil; they are also eaten in Japan, largely as tempura. Often forms dense stands where established and can choke out other vegetation. There is no need to use a waterseal. Since then it has made its way into gardens in Africa, Asia and Australia. If the tree has room to grow, on a heavy watered site in full sun, it is possible to gain one full inch of radial growth in just 6 years. I am a wood-flooring contractor and have installed a couple Black Locust floors. Native to eastern and southern parts of the United States. Third, that root regeneration insures reforestation even after harvest, mechanical damage, or fire. The wood is tougher than hickory, which is tougher than hard maple, which is tougher than oak. The key mechanism here is to make sure it is properly stacked and dried; this will keep spitting during burning to a low level. 17). Native geographic location and habitat. Black locust does not do well on compacted, clayey or eroded soils. It can tolerate drought and poor-quality soil and can be found growing natively in â¦ Depending on market conditions, Black Locust tree plantations gross between $30,000 and $50,000 per acre in year 30 and double that in year 50. I agree with others that Black Locust should really be promoted for all its potential uses. Black Ebony is a much-branched, many-stemmed, spiny, deciduous tree losing its foliage in the dry season, or shrub of dry woodland and â¦ Technically, both the black and honey locust are considered medium sized trees...typically topping out ~2' DBH. It's a wonderful species for firewood – it burns hot and long if properly seasoned.  It specializes in colonizing disturbed areas and edges of woodlots before it is eventually replaced with taller or more shade-tolerant species. Disease, pests, and problem resistance.  Young trees are often spiny, but mature trees often lack spines. Exceptionally, it may grow up to 52 metres (171 ft) tall and 1.6 metres (5.2 ft) diameter in very old trees. Let me tell you what, once properly split and dried, that wood was among the best I have ever burned in my heatilator-equipped fireplace. In fact, old telegraph lines still have their original poles sticking out of the ground 150 years later. In 1900, the value of Robinia pseudoacacia was reported to be practically destroyed in nearly all parts of the United States beyond the mountain forests which are its home by locust borers which riddle the trunk and branches. There is an apartment complex near where I live with a huge grove of Black Locust trees. In this sense, black locust can often grow as a weed tree. My parents have several dozen large trees on their property. Figure 17.âBlack locust trees grow rapidly and mature at earlier ages than most forest trees. Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) 5 Flowers: Fragrant clusters of 10 to 25 pea-like, white flowers hang from branches in late spring.  Another common name is false acacia, a literal translation of the specific name (pseudo meaning fake or false and acacia referring to the genus of plants with the same name). Black locust is a legume with root nodes that, along with bacteria, "fixes" atmospheric nitrogen into the soil. The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs. Black Locust trees have a narrow crown that tends to become bushy as the tree ages. The flowers are pollinated by insects, primarily by Hymenopteran insects. Black locust trees will continue to produce seeds until they reach age 60. In year 10, every second tree is sold or converted into high BTU wood pellets. Grow Food And Trees Together . Woodpeckers may also nest in the trunk since older trees are often infected by heart rot. Black Locust plantations cost around $5,000 per acre (based on a $25 price for each 10 foot tall tree sapling) depending on how many acres are planted for any given project – the more acres the lower the cost. Horses that consume the plant show signs of anorexia, depression, incontinence, colic, weakness, and cardiac arrhythmia.  The native range is thought to be two separate populations, one centered about the Appalachian Mountains, from Pennsylvania to northern Georgia, and a second westward focused around the Ozark Plateau and Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. Call Cold Stream Farm in Michigan to order Black Locust Trees. The dark blue-green compound leaves with a contrasting lighter underside give this tree a beautiful appearance in the wind and contribute to its grace. In the Netherlands and some other parts of Europe, black locust is one of the most rot-resistant local trees, and projects have started to limit the use of tropical wood by promoting this tree and creating plantations. Black locust reaches a typical height of 40–100 feet (12–30 m) with a diameter of 2–4 feet (0.61–1.22 m). Although the EPA has restricted the use of these chemicals for residential use, CCA is still used heavily by the industrial and agricultural sectors. It is a commonly held belief that fast-growing trees have weak wood and invasive roots, however, honey locust trees do not fall in that category. The seed coat can be weakened via hot water, sulfuric acid, or be mechanically scarified, which will allow a greater quantity of the seeds to grow. Streamside and ravine planting spots are often too wet for black locust, but a rain garden, which dries from time to time, is a great planting area. Black Locust trees are singularly planted in a mono-cropped one-spiral plantation. The sharp spines on black locusts are usually present on immature trees and grow at the base of each leaf. Compacted soil in an urban areano problem. "Purple Robe" black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia "Purple Robe") can grow in some of the most difficult conditions and on a variety of sites. Its importance as a non-toxic chemical free wood cannot be understated given the present state of the environment and water quality across the country. The leaflets are 1.5â2.5 cm (0.6â1 in) (smaller on bipinnate leaves) and bright green. You might think that the name honey locust comes from the sweet nectar that bees use to make honey, but it actually refers to the sweet fruit that is a treat for many types of wildlife. Black locust is a part of the Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests. And so far, we have had less attack by insects and fungus compared to oak, walnut, persimmon, and pine.  On sandy soils black locust may also often replace other vegetation which cannot fix nitrogen.. Although this tree will grow in shade, it may take 3 to 4 times longer to mature into a sizeable sawlog. In the days of a changing world, we need allies like black locust. In many European countries, it is the source of the renowned acacia honey. Symptoms usually occur about 1 hour following consumption, and immediate veterinary attention is required. The Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) ranks among the 40 worst invasive tree species in the world. It was introduced into Britain in 1636. Transplants easily to any soil and climate even under the toughest conditions. We have found at least 5 advantages for the lazy grower like myself. Root suckers are an important method of local reproduction of this tree. According the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the main ingredient for pressure treated lumber is chromated copper arsenate (CCA), a type of arsenic, which is a carcinogenic. a medium-sized tree (up to 25 m or 80 ft tall) with long compound leaves belongs to the Pea family; like many other species in the Pea family, it has nitrogen-fixing bacteria in its roots enabling the tree to grow vigorously in poor soil This is considered an asexual form of reproduction. It can be easily propagated from roots, softwood, or hardwood and this allows for easy reproduction of the plant. Members of the pea family, locust trees produce large clusters of pea-like flowers that bloom in spring, followed by long pods. In late May/early June the perfume is amazing. Apparently acacia, as many call it, was planted along the Fraser River as fuel for the paddle wheelers in the 19th Century, and is occasionally milled around here. In the prairie and savanna regions of the Midwest black locust can dominate and shade open habitats. The mass application of fertilizers in agriculture and forestry is increasingly expensive; therefore nitrogen-fixing tree and shrub species are gaining importance in managed forestry. As a child I marveled at the coarse bark and the tall, lanky stature of these wonderful trees. Several cultivars exist but 'Frisia' seems to be one of the most planted ones. Black locust can grow under any extreme soil and weather events. Black locust is resistant to black walnut toxicity. This means manual harvesting of flowers, eliminating the seeds and boiling the petals with sugar, in certain proportions, to obtain a light sweet and delicate perfume jam.  This tree tolerates a soil pH range of 4.6 to 8.2. That was 15 years ago. Plus it smells good in the Spring. Locust borer is a serious pest of black locust. A few months ago I nabbed a few boards and made a picture frame with an 8x10 photo of his mill inside. It is a very upright tree with a straight trunk and narrow crown that grows scraggly with age. I’m a 75 year old (ouch) amateur cabinet maker and have just completed a desk using this wood, and before that a six foot long sideboard. Robinia pseudoacacia 'Allegheny' - Grows To 50', Upright tree, will develop thickets. Black locust has nitrogen-fixing bacteria on its root system, so it can grow on poor soils and is an early colonizer of disturbed areas. Black locust is known for its ability to grow in almost any type of soil. Biology. The wood is extremely hard, being one of the hardest woods in Northern America. While splitting the wood one can't help but notice a beautiful gold-green sheen to the heavy, straight veined splits. The main trunk also has the capability to grow sprouts and will do so after being cut down. Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is found throughout the United States in woodland areas and along stream banks. The tree will seed itself in these old pastures and grow in fairly dense stands that are very straight and tall (sometimes over 100 feet).  The seedlings grow rapidly but they have a thick seed coat which means that not all seeds will germinate.