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. It's also very rot resistant and commonly used for fence posts and exterior construction on farms. Black locust is a nitrogen-fixing tree that prefers disturbed habitat, old fields, thickets and degraded woods. The following comments where collected from a national wood products discussion forum. Since then it has made its way into gardens in Africa, Asia and Australia. Growing locust trees is easy and they adapt well to lawn and street conditions. Our trees are available for wholesale and retail purchase. About Purple Robe Trees. Black Locust: Black locust trees (Robinia pseudoacacia), also known locally as “Chicago blues,” is a fast-growing tree that does not get quite as tall as the honey locust. I sawed a couple hundred board feet the other day to use as a floor for a kiln, due to the moisture resistance. [17] The wood, considered the most durable wood in North America, has been very desirable and motivated people to move the tree to areas where it is not native so the wood can be farmed and used. Native to eastern and southern parts of the United States. While splitting the wood one can't help but notice a beautiful gold-green sheen to the heavy, straight veined splits. The Problem. The national champs: black locust i~100" DBH Looking for a faster return on investment? It tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, and spreads clonally as well as by seed. Root suckers are an important method of local reproduction of this tree. One is, it conserves water, requiring just half of an irrigated plantation. The wood was a bit boxy when ripped on the table saw and it planed up nice with my 15" Makita floor planer. Native geographic location and habitat. [10], Black locust is an interesting example of how one plant species can be considered invasive even on the continent to which it is native. The wood is extremely hard, being one of the hardest woods in Northern America. Most natural reproduction is vegetative by means of root suckering and stump sprouting. Black Locust trees are singularly planted in a mono-cropped one-spiral plantation. A deciduous tree with short, irregular branches and feathery leaves, the black locust grows fast but is short-lived. 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. If you haven't seen it, picture the grain of oak and color it with gold and add a glow that shifts in the light. 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. Louisiana Plant ID is an online resource for images and descrptions of Louisiana plants and ecosystems. Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is found throughout the United States in woodland areas and along stream banks. [6] Jesuit missionaries apparently fancied that this was the tree that supported St. John in the wilderness, but it is native only to North America. [8], In traditional medicine of India, different parts of R. pseudoacacia are used as laxative, antispasmodic, and diuretic.[28]. And so far, we have had less attack by insects and fungus compared to oak, walnut, persimmon, and pine. They are incredibly hard-lived trees that have the great ability to tolerate compacted soils, wind storms, ice, salt, pollution, and foot traffic. For example, within the western United States, New England region, northern California, and in the Midwest, black locust is considered an invasive species. This tree can sucker to the point of forming colonies. 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 (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. As a child I marveled at the coarse bark and the tall, lanky stature of these wonderful trees. These soil nitrates are usable by other plants. Black locust trees grow to between 40 and 100 ft. (12 – 30 m) with exceptional varieties reaching heights of 171 ft. (52 m). In this sense, black locust can often grow as a weed tree. Woodpeckers may also nest in the trunk since older trees are often infected by heart rot. Grow Food And Trees Together . Hard to work? Figure 17.—Black locust trees grow rapidly and mature at earlier ages than most forest trees. Honey locust trees grow long, twisted pods. [27] For best results, it should be seasoned like any other hardwood, but black locust is also popular because of its ability to burn even when wet. It's hard to find a good straight black locust. [20], Black locust is a major honey plant in the eastern US, and has been planted in European countries. It can tolerate drought and poor-quality soil and can be found growing natively in … The green and yellow hues were beautiful. R. pseudoacacia is considered an excellent plant for growing in highly disturbed areas as an erosion control plant. [19] Whaddaya expect when it's practically the most durable and stable wood available? Often forms dense stands where established and can choke out other vegetation. The suckers allow black locust to grow into colonies which often exclude other species. Call Cold Stream Farm in Michigan to order Black Locust Trees. (Wesley Greene - garden historian for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation). The Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) ranks among the 40 worst invasive tree species in the world. In Romania the flowers are sometimes used to produce a sweet and perfumed jam. 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). Black locust is a shade-intolerant species[9] and therefore is typical of young woodlands and disturbed areas where sunlight is plentiful and the soil is dry. Black locust is a part of the Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests. The fact that old growth forests where logged long ago combined with the push to use this wood instead of endangered tropical wood has created a shortage of this valuable tree worldwide. [10] In South Africa, it is regarded as a weed because of its suckering habit.[13]. Black locust is resistant to black walnut toxicity. I agree with others that Black Locust should really be promoted for all its potential uses. I have about 20 cords of Locust logs from a land-clearing job we did last summer. Heart rot is the only significant disease affecting black locust. Although it is not particularly closely related to the acacia which belongs to a subfamily of the mimosa family (Mimosoideae), both species are similar in the form of their feathered leaves and thorns but the flower shapes are very different. Robinia pseudoacacia, commonly known in its native territory as black locust,[2] is a medium-sized hardwood deciduous tree, belonging to the tribe Robinieae. Different to honey locust trees, the sharp spikes are short and don’t grow in long branches around the tree. Black locust is shade intolerant and does very well in disturbed areas. It was introduced into Britain in 1636. Were it not for these insects, it would be one of the most valuable timber trees that could be planted in the northern and middle states. The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs. I only wish there was a supply of this lumber in my area. Wet, newly cut planks have an offensive odor which disappears with seasoning. Symptoms usually occur about 1 hour following consumption, and immediate veterinary attention is required. These trees have more deeply furrowed bark, branches that grow in zig zag patterns, … Black locust is highly valued as firewood for wood-burning stoves; it burns slowly, with little visible flame or smoke, and has a higher heat content than any other species that grows widely in the Eastern United States, comparable to the heat content of anthracite. All photographs and text ©2013 by Will Cook unless otherwise noted. In 1601 its first seeds were sent from the Americas to France. In France, Italy and Romania, R. pseudoacacia flowers are eaten as beignets after being coated in batter and fried in oil;[30] they are also eaten in Japan, largely as tempura. [9] It specializes in colonizing disturbed areas and edges of woodlots before it is eventually replaced with taller or more shade-tolerant species. It is found in old fields, open areas, streamsides, woods, and along roadsides and fencerows. [17] Within its native range it will often grow on soils of Inceptisols, Ultisols, and Alfisols groups. It is a very upright tree with a straight trunk and narrow crown that grows scraggly with age. The black locust is native to the eastern United States, but the exact native range is not accurately known[9] as the tree has been cultivated and is currently found across the continent, in all the lower 48 states, eastern Canada, and British Columbia. In the prairie and savanna regions of the Midwest black locust can dominate and shade open habitats. 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. Well, it's not balsa. These trees feed pollinators, store carbon, replace pressure treated lumber, and support other hardwood species. Flowering starts after 140 growing degree days. The black locust bears toxic pods that hang from its branches, but it also has white, fragrant flowers that bloom in late spring. It grows very quickly, in a variety of conditions. Several cultivars exist but 'Frisia' seems to be one of the most planted ones. I was fascinated by your blog on this tree, which I’m in love with. Black locust is not a particularly valuable plant for wildlife[citation needed], but does provide valuable cover when planted on previously open areas. The tree was identified in 1607 at Jamestown by British colonists, who used the timber to build houses. After a bad ice storm toppled a few, my father cut all but one for firewood (the rest cracked and split as they came down). An average 200 trees per acre is common. In fact, old telegraph lines still have their original poles sticking out of the ground 150 years later. The leaves are pinnately compound on older trees but bipinnately compound on vigorous young trees. Growing black locust trees is easy, but they can become weedy if you aren’t diligent about removing suckers. Exceptionally, it may grow up to 52 metres (171 ft) tall and 1.6 metres (5.2 ft) diameter in very old trees. On average, the thinned trees will increase two times diameter compared to a plantation without thinning. Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) 5 Flowers: Fragrant clusters of 10 to 25 pea-like, white flowers hang from branches in late spring. Locusts are fast-growing, hardy trees that belong to the pea family Fabaceae or Leguminosae.Most of the locust species are classified into two genera – Gleditsia and Robinia.While the genus Gleditsia has 12 species, there are around ten species in the genus Robinia.The most popular among them are Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust) and Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust). 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. Locust can also be used for fence posts. In many European countries, it is the source of the renowned acacia honey. (wikipedia.org). The wood is weak and brittle, subject to storm damage. Calculate The Value Of A Black Locust Tree, Calculate The Number Of Black Locust Trees Per Acre And Spacing Between Each Tree. Horses that consume the plant show signs of anorexia, depression, incontinence, colic, weakness, and cardiac arrhythmia. [14] 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. [14] On sandy soils black locust may also often replace other vegetation which cannot fix nitrogen.[17]. Root suckers arise spontaneously from the extensive root system of trees … It grows best in full sun with moderate moisture. It doesn’t last near as long as Black Locust wood in the ground but it is environmentally safe. Certain specimens have grown up to 1.6 m or 5.2 feet in diameter and 52 m or 171 feet tall. First, is fast growth, outgrowing in dry clay almost all other species. If anyone has any of these trees, keep them standing; take deadwood or storm knockdowns. Black Locust trees have a narrow crown that tends to become bushy as the tree ages. There is an apartment complex near where I live with a huge grove of Black Locust trees. In late May/early June the perfume is amazing. In year 10, every second tree is sold or converted into high BTU wood pellets. It is very resistant to rot, and durable, making it prized for furniture, flooring, paneling, fence posts, and small watercraft. I have gotten it for only slightly more than the price of oak. This is considered an asexual form of reproduction. Black locust Robinia pseudoacacia Black locust is native to the southern Appalachians and the Ozarks, where it occurs on slopes and forest edges. This page was last edited on 2 December 2020, at 15:37. Ample sunshine is essential to maximize growth and yield. Black locust is a prolific seed producer, but seedlings are not common; few seeds germinate because of the impermeable seed coat. [7], Robinia is a native North American genus, but traces of it are found in the Eocene and Miocene rocks of Europe.[8]. [7] Young trees are often spiny, but mature trees often lack spines. Black Locust can be a really fast growing tree. There is a widespread habit of allowing black locust trees to grow beyond their age of maturity, which is often 20 to 30 years. I'd make everything out of it. These colonies may form dense thickets which shade out competition. It is considered an environmental weed there. Black Locust native growing areas are concentrated in the Eastern United States, with the highest concentration in the state of Ohio. (231) 464-5809 info@coldstreamfarm.net The pods turn a deep brown in fall and are full of oval, brown seeds. They are mostly clear grained (branchless along most of its truck) with well developed root systems that dramatically increase survivability after transplant. The extreme resistance to rotting is perhaps the black locust's best-known attribute, and it was on poles of black locust that the first buildings were erected. The toxins leached from the pressure treated lumber in use over the past 50 years have done immeasurable damage to the environment. 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. Ones that grow in competition, however, grow reasonably straight. Black Ebony is a much-branched, many-stemmed, spiny, deciduous tree losing its foliage in the dry season, or shrub of dry woodland and … Like the honey locust, the black locust is a fast-growing, tough tree that tolerates drought, salt, pollution and poor soil. In the days of a changing world, we need allies like black locust. [4] Another common name is false acacia,[5] a literal translation of the specific name (pseudo meaning fake or false and acacia referring to the genus of plants with the same name). As a bandmill sawyer, last year I started sawing the wood, and what a surprise, it saws just as easy as cherry, and the grain and color is out of this world. In late May/early June the perfume is amazing. "Purple Robe" black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia "Purple Robe") can grow in some of the most difficult conditions and on a variety of sites. Black Locust can be a really fast growing tree. Most legumes have pea-like flowers with distinctive seed pods. Black Locust Tree Plantations. At least it used to before the beetle borers showed up. Haywood Co., NC 5/10/08. [23] (see coppicing). [14] Exceptionally, it may grow up to 52 metres (171 ft) tall[15] and 1.6 metres (5.2 ft) diameter in very old trees. Biology. Some of the older ones were cut down by N.Y. State in its infinite wisdom, and I was able to take out about a cord and a half as firewood. [12] Black locust has been listed as invasive in Connecticut and Wisconsin, and prohibited in Massachusetts. [18] The seedlings grow rapidly but they have a thick seed coat which means that not all seeds will germinate. Black locust reproduces both sexually via flowers, and asexually via root suckers. [33] Important constituents of the plant are the toxalbumin robin, which loses its toxicity when heated, and robinin, a nontoxic glucoside.[34]. It has white flowers and compound leaves, and the saplings and smaller branches of mature trees have thorns. Robinia pseudoacacia 'Allegheny' - Grows To 50', Upright tree, will develop thickets. 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. Fourth, the root provides a degree of allelopathy, thereby suppressing other competing weed trees like Eleagnus and red cedar. It lasts longer than pressure treated wood, and it does not leak harmful chemicals into the soil as pressure treated wood does, such as arsenic, which can be absorbed by the plant and therefore into the fruit. Locust leaf miner Odontota dorsalis attacks the tree in spring and turns the leaves brown by mid summer, it slows the growth of the tree but not seriously. [11] 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. Attractive white spring flowers. In the early summer black locust flowers; the flowers are large and appear in large, intensely fragrant clusters reminiscent of orange blossoms. The leaflets fold together in wet weather and at night (nyctinasty), as some change of position at night is a habit of the entire leguminous family. The key mechanism here is to make sure it is properly stacked and dried; this will keep spitting during burning to a low level. Black locust is a typical early successional plant, a pioneer species, and it grows best in bright sunlight and does not handle shade well. When Black Locust posts, timber and poles became less plentiful, farmers would burn the lower end of each post, timber or pole over an open fire to seal the wood to prevent water penetration. Although similar in general appearance to the honey locust, the black locust lacks that tree's characteristic long branched thorns on the trunk, having instead the pairs of short prickles at the base of each leaf; the leaflets are also much broader than honey locust. It prefers dry to moist limestone soils but will grow on most soils as long as they are not wet or poorly drained. [citation needed] If the black locust is cut, split, and cured while relatively young (within 10 years), thus minimizing beetle damage, "spitting" problems are minimal[citation needed]. The tree was named for its resemblance to Ceratonia siliqua, known as the "Old World Locust". [22] In fireplaces, it can be less satisfactory because knots and beetle damage make the wood prone to "spitting" coals for distances of up to several feet. I have taken a few sprigs from the ground (they seem to spread like weeds!) The colors that came out in that wood after a semi-gloss varathane was applied were amazing. However, its blooming period is short (about 10 days) and it does not consistently produce a honey crop year after year. 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). The black locust is a plant from the subfamily of Faboideae in the family of legumes (Fabaceae) and is a relative of the pea and bean. With fertilizer prices rising, the importance of black locust as a nitrogen-fixing species is also important. [2] 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. Weather conditions can have quite an effect on the amount of nectar collected, as well; in Ohio for example, good locust honey flow happens in one of five years.[21]. Plus it smells good in the Spring. It may also resemble Styphnolobium japonicum, which has smaller flower spikes and lacks spines. I live on Long Island near the abandoned Kings Park Psychiatric Hospital. 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). 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. 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. A deciduous tree, black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) was brought here from the Appalachian and Ozark Mountains for erosion control and durable wood. Great for the environment - great for the grapes. Old trees are commonly infected with the borer and some fungus diseases. Black locust has been found to have either 2n=20 or 2n=22 chromosomes. Locust is incredibly crooked in its “natural” form, and so seed selection, and sometimes pruning, is a critical factor for success. Black Locust Trees are plants in the subfamily Faboideae of the pea family Fabaceae. Now all of that growth is on the ground in the form of millions of tiny lentil-like seeds. [17] 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. Fast growing! We need trees that can grow without alot of fuss. 'Purple robe' has dark rose-pink flowers and bronze red new growth. Excellent for reclamation or shelterbelt purposes. Black locust trees will continue to produce seeds until they reach age 60. I am a wood-flooring contractor and have installed a couple Black Locust floors. I gather it is also called false acacia. 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. Partner with us and build a Black Locust Tree Plantation on your land, our land or anywhere in the world. It's a wonderful species for firewood – it burns hot and long if properly seasoned. 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. Dry sandy soilno problem. Although the EPA has restricted the use of these chemicals for residential use, CCA is still used heavily by the industrial and agricultural sectors. The honey locust, Gleditsia triacanthos, can reach a height of 20–30 m (66–98 ft).They exhibit fast growth, but live a medium-long life span of about 120 years. The sharp spines on black locusts are usually present on immature trees and grow at the base of each leaf. Cultivars may also be grafted as this ensures the parent and daughter plant will be genetically identical. Haywood Co., NC 5/10/08. The physical construction of the flower separates the male and female parts so that self-pollination will not typically occur. The only soil that limits black locust growth is soil that is always wet. [7][17] The seeds are produced in good crops every year or every other year. It crowds out native vegetation of prairies, oak savannas and upland forests, forming single species stands. 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. It is the perfect wood for fence and deck posts. Young trees grow quickly and vigorously for a number of years, but soon become stunted and diseased, and rarely live long enough to attain any commercial value. We build turnkey Crop Circle Tree Plantation projects that reclaim land, combat climate change, create carbon credits, initiate habitat renewal, build legacy forests and stable long-term timber investment. Posts made of this wood are good for grapevine supports in vineyards. It can be easily propagated from roots, softwood, or hardwood[7][17] and this allows for easy reproduction of the plant. Its seeds are also eaten by bobwhite quail and other game birds and squirrels. It is a very upright tree with a straight trunk and narrow crown that grows scraggly with age. The flowers are pollinated by insects, primarily by Hymenopteran insects. This is a huge opportunity for tree farmers living in temperate climatic zones. Over time, the chemicals have a tendency to leach into their surrounding environment including ground water, which has been shown to cause cancer. [2], In Australia black locust has become naturalized within Victoria, New South Wales, South, and Western Australia. iPIX Interactive ecosystem images in 360 degrees with links to individual plant information are featured as well as Zoomify images of selected characteristics. 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