Skyline honey locust trees

The term “locust” can apply to several different species of trees with legume-like seed pods. Two of the most common kinds in North America are the honey locust and black locust.

Honey Locust Trees

Among landscaping trees, honey locust has become very common, and with good reason. The honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) is a fast-growing tree. It grows as much as 20 feet in the first 10 years and can eventually grow 70 feet high. Unlike many fast-growing trees, though, the honey locust does not have invasive roots or weak wood. It is a long-lived tree that tolerates wind storms and ice. It also tolerates salt, foot traffic, pollution and compacted soils.

The tree has attractive gray-brown bark and an open, graceful canopy with tiny, oval leaves. Unlike large-leaved trees, the lacey leaves of honey locust allow sunlight to filter to the ground below so grass and plants can grow. The fruit of the honey locust is a pod, which has edible pulp on the inside.

In the fall, the leaves turn yellow. Because of their size, honey locust leaves are difficult to rake up, but they tend to dry up and blow away on their own eventually, although they can get tracked into the house if the tree is planted near an entryway.

Varieties and Types of Locust Trees

Native honey locust trees have long thorns and an awkward, upright growth pattern. These trees also produce brown seed pods. Look for hybridized honey locust trees that are thornless and podless.

‘Sunburst’ has yellow leaves that emerge in the spring and turn green as they mature.

‘Shademaster’ has dark green foliage and open, ascending branches.


In some areas, cankers and root collar rot are serious problems for honey locust trees. Cankers first appear as flattened or discolored surfaces on the branches and trunk of the tree. Over time, cankers can spread and completely girdle the tree, causing tree death. Cankers also cause slow growth, yellowing leaves or sparse leaves. Root collar rot is a similar disorder that appears at the base of the tree as a yellow or white area.

To prevent canker and root collar rot, keep trees vigorous and healthy. Water during dry periods, especially if the tree isn’t in an irrigated lawn. Be careful when mowing around the tree not to injure the trunk because injuries provide an entry point for these diseases. Prune out infected branches, cutting limbs at least 12 inches below the infected area. Disinfect pruning tools between cuts with a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.

Black Locust Trees

Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is found throughout the United States in woodland areas and along stream banks. Like the honey locust, the black locust is a fast-growing, tough tree that tolerates drought, salt, pollution and poor soil. It grows best in full sun with moderate moisture.

Black locust trees grow 70 feet tall, although most trees range between 30 and 50 feet tall. The trees have small, blue-green leaves with a compound, alternate form like honey locust trees. In the spring, the tree is covered with showy, fragrant blossoms that attract millions of bees. Unlike honey locust trees, the seed pods of the black locust are not edible. In the fall, leaves turn dull yellow before dropping.

Black locust trees are known for their strong wood. Pioneers were said to have used the wood to make nails for building ships. Black locust wood makes a long burning firewood, as well, although the wood is difficult to cut. The wood is rot-resistant and makes excellent fence posts or raised beds.

The trees are used infrequently as landscape trees for a few reasons. First, although the wood is strong, branches are brittle and prone to breakage in high winds. The trees also have thorns. Black locust trees are very susceptible to attacks by the locust borer, which often prove fatal. The trees are more often used to control soil erosion or as a timber tree.

Growing Locust Trees

Plant locust trees in full sun, spaced at least 30 feet from other trees. Water trees frequently the first year as the roots become established. Older trees rarely need additional irrigation or fertilizing, especially if they are in an irrigated, fertilized lawn.

How to Plant and Take Care of Your Honey Locust Tree from Utah State University Extension

Black Locust: A Multi-Purpose Tree Species for Temperate Climates from Purdue University

This YouTube video teaches more about the black locust tree.

When she’s not writing about gardening, food and canning, Julie Christensen enjoys spending time in her gardens, which include perennials, vegetables and fruit trees. She’s written hundreds of gardening articles for the Gardening Channel, Garden Guides and San Francisco Gate, as well as several e-books.

Types of Locust Trees Listed and Explained With Pictures

Natives to North America, locust trees are well-known for their strong wood and fall foliage. This article provides a brief overview about the common types of locusts that are also popular as landscape trees.

Locust wood is so hard and durable that it is used for making rails and fence posts. As a young man, President Abraham Lincoln used to split rails from locust trees. Thus he earned the nickname Rail Splitter.

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). Both are deciduous, and are grown as landscape trees. You may also come across different locust cultivars.

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Even the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua) and the African locust bean tree (Parkia biglobosa) are called locust trees. They too belong to the family Fabaceae. Though there are more than 20 species of locust trees, two species are very popular. They are black locust and honey locust trees. Here is a brief overview about some of the characteristic features of these trees.

Black Locust

The Tree

Otherwise known as false acacia, the black locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia), is fast growing and hardy. It can grow to a height of around 25 meters and a diameter of around one meter. You may come across some of the very old black locust trees that have a height of around 50 meters and a diameter of 1.5 meters.


The black locust tree produces white flowers that are intensely fragrant; and are arranged on axillary, pendulous racemes. You may also come across some black locusts with pink or purple flowers. The flowers are produced in hanging clusters that can be four to ten inches long. Each flower is around an inch in length. Black locust flowers are consumed in some regions.

Leaves and Seed Pods

The leaves are pinnately compound, with a length of around 25 centimeters. Each leaf has nine to nineteen leaflets, that are roughly oval. The leaflets resemble our thumbprints, in size and shape. Each leaf has a single leaflet at the tip. The leaves turn yellowish during autumn. The legume fruit contains seeds. As compared to some other locust species, the seed pods of the black locust are small and light.

Bark and Thorns

A mature black locust tree produces numerous branches, and has a dark and deeply furrowed bark. One of the characteristic features of this tree is the short, prickly thorns that are located at the base of the leaves. The thorns of black locust trees are short, when compared to that of honey locusts. They do not have the branched thorns that are seen on the trunk of honey locust trees.

Though they are mainly grown for ornamental purposes, black locusts are much valued for their hard and durable wood. In some regions, the black locust is cultivated as a honey plant. In other words, the blooms of black locust is a source of nectar for honey bees in that area. Apart from the flowers, the bark, seed pods and every other part of this tree are considered toxic; but it is also said that the toxicity can be nullified through cooking. It has also been contended that the tender seed pods as well as the seeds can be boiled and consumed.

Honey Locust

The honey locust tree (Gleditsia triacanthos) is otherwise known as sweet bean, sweet locust, and honey shuck. It is a fast-growing tree that grows to a height of around 30 meters and a diameter of around one meter. The honey locust is grown for ornamental purposes, as it has an attractive fall foliage. Some varieties of honey locusts, like Gleditsia triacanthos inermis, do not have thorns and seed pods. The image below depicts a sunburst honey locust tree that has no thorns and seed pods. You may also come across honey locust cultivars that are very popular as landscape trees.


The bright green leaves are pinnately compound, but you may also find compound pinnate leaves in honey locust trees. Unlike black locusts, most of the leaves of honey locusts have no leaflet at the tip. The bright green leaves turn yellow during early autumn. Both black and honey locust trees produce new leaves during late spring. However, honey locusts develop new leaves, slightly earlier than the black ones.


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Honey locusts carry thorns on their branches, and at the base of leaves. These thorns are longer (around 3 to 10 cm); and are seen in dense clusters. The young and tender thorns are green and soft. As they age, the thorns turn harder and reddish brown. Fully mature thorns are brittle, and are usually ash gray in color. The tree is also known as thorny locust.

The strong-scented, creamy-green flowers are very small; and develop in clusters. Flowers of honey locusts are often found as inconspicuous spikes that develop from the base of leaf axils. While the male and female flowers are produced in different trees, some of them have both types in the same tree. The male flowers are found as dense clusters, whereas the female flowers are loosely arranged on the rachis.

Seed Pods

The female honey locust trees produce long, flat and twisted fruits (or seed pods). The pale green seed pods turn reddish-brown and black, when they mature. As they ripen, the seed pods produce a strong smell. The sticky pulp inside the pods are edible. These seed pods fall off the tree during winter.

Unlike black locusts, honey locust trees are not honey plants. The name may be derived from the sweetness of the pulp that is also used for making beer. Its timber is highly valued for making furniture, as it is hard and durable. The seeds pods are used as fodder for livestock. Like black locust, different parts of the honey locust tree are also used for medicinal purposes.

These are some of the interesting facts about locust trees. A basic understanding about their characteristic features may prove helpful for locust tree identification. In order to identify a locust tree; check the size of the tree, the color and texture of its bark, shape and arrangement of leaflets, flower color and structure, and nature of seed pods and thorns.

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Locusts are part of the pea family, Fabaceae, and can take the form of both trees and shrubs. They are all native to regions across North America, where they have since been cultivated for multiple reasons, including for use as hedging or erosion control.

There are several different varieties of locust tree that are commonly cultivated for ornamental purposes, as locusts have many positive attributes, both aesthetically and from a practical point of view. Read on to find out about the most popular types of locust trees available and their care needs.

Black Locust – Robinia pseudoacacia

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. It grows very quickly, in a variety of conditions. It can tolerate drought and poor-quality soil and can be found growing natively in woodland and along the banks of rivers.

Black locust trees are native to North America, and some examples can be found growing to heights of over 80 feet, though they typically grow to somewhere between 40 and 60 feet, with a large canopy spreading 30 feet across. Their branches grow in a non-uniform pattern leaving gaps amongst them that make for an excellent light shade of plants growing below (Royal Horticultural Society).

To grow a black locust tree, all you will need is a large space that benefits from full sun. These trees grow easily, even becoming mildly invasive in some regions. To prevent this problem, you will need to keep on top of the suckers. Otherwise, black locust trees may soon dominate your space.

The tree should also have good drainage as it prefers not to sit in soggy soil. However, it can adapt to growing in moist soil, just try to ensure it isn’t waterlogged. The tree is very tolerant of many other conditions, which some trees find less than ideal. It will cope well with drought, poor soil quality, high salt levels, and air pollution. The black locust tree is actually said to be able to improve the quality of the soil it is growing in, removing nitrogen from the air and releasing it into the soil. The tree is hardy through USDA growing zones 4 to 8.

The black locust tree typically flowers heavily, and this is one of the things that makes the tree so popular as an ornamental tree. The flowers grow in clusters that dangle from the tree and can measure anywhere between 4 and 10 inches in length. They are highly fragrant and are usually white, though some cultivars of the black locust tree can produce flowers in shades of pink and purple.

The leaves of the tree are oval and typically a blue-green color, though this does vary between cultivars. The base of the leaves of the black locust tree has short and sharp thorns, unlike the honey locust tree, which has thorns all over it. These thorns are said to be so sharp that they were once used as nails in the building.

Black Locust Tree Uses


Black locust trees are a hardwood tree, and they make excellent high-quality timber that is durable and strong. The wood of this tree is commonly used in manufacturing fences. The fact that the tree grows so quickly is also an advantage because it means high-quality wood can be produced in a short space of time. This is one of the main reasons that black locust trees are cultivated.


The black locust tree flowers profusely, with large clusters of beautiful blooms. These flowers are attractive to bees and provide a good source of nectar. Therefore, black locust trees are planted in regions where honeybees are operating to help them with their honey production.


Because black locust trees are so hard, the wood can be quite challenging to cut. However, it makes a brilliant source of firewood because its high density means it takes a long time to burn. This makes it much more efficient firewood than many others.

Black Locust Tree Cultivars

Frisia Black Locust – Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’

This variety of black locust trees is commonly cultivated for its ornamental quality. It produces vibrant yellow leaves that sometimes turn a shade of lime green, bringing stunning and unusual foliage colors to any garden. It is slightly smaller in stature than the black locust tree, growing to a height of 40 feet with a spread of 25 feet.

Purple Robe Black Locust – Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Purple Robe’

This stunning variety of black locust trees is also highly ornamental with interesting aesthetics. When leaves are young, they are tinged with touches of purple, and as the foliage matures, it develops to a deep bronze color. The flowers of this tree contrast the foliage nicely, in rich shades of pink and purple.

Twisty Baby Black Locust – Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Lace Lady’

This black locust can be grown as a shrub or a tree. In the ground, it will grow to a compact 20 feet in height with a similar-sized spread, or if grown in a pot, it will reach heights of around 5 feet. Its name comes from the way its limbs twist and contort, giving it a very unusual look. Pruning back the plant in winter each year will encourage more twisting. It features dark green leaves that offer a contrasting background to the fragrant white summer blooms.

Honey Locust – Gleditsia triacanthos

The honey locust tree is popular in landscaping due to its large size, which is achieved in a short space of time because the tree is fast-growing.

Reaching heights of 100 feet in the wild, this tree will typically grow to between 40 and 70 feet when cultivated. It has a wide spread that provides useful shade in park grounds. It also has small leaves that don’t require collecting when they drop in the fall. This is because they are too small to pick up, but also small enough that they won’t cause any blockages or problems for drains and sewage systems. This is particularly useful for municipalities as it means less clean up and less cost to keep an area looking tidy in the colder months. All of these attributes have led to the honey locust tree being widely cultivated for use in city landscaping.

Honey locust trees are native to eastern parts of the United States. They are not as tolerant of inhospitable growing conditions as the black locust tree and prefer rich, moist soil to thrive. They will grow in less than ideal conditions, but high soil pH, high salt levels, and a lack of moisture will make the tree more susceptible to pests and disease.

Planting a honey locust tree is easy as they don’t mind being disturbed; just ensure you have a large space in a full sun spot and a big, oversized hole for the root ball as these tend to be much bigger than you would expect for the size of the tree.

The honey locust tree has attractive leaves that start out bright green and develop into yellow in the fall. After the leaves wall off in the winter, the tree will grow new leaves in the spring, typically a few weeks earlier than the black locust tree.

This tree has thorns on both the base of the leaves and long their branches. Starting out green, the thorns develop into dark brown as they age and become hard and brittle. They are very sharp and can measure anywhere up to 4 inches in length. This attribute has led to the honey locust tree also being known as the thorny locust tree, although thornless varieties are available.

The flowers of the honey locust tree are petite and pale green. In male trees, the flowers form in dense clusters, while female flowers are more loosely arranged. They have a very strong scent.

Honey Locust Tree Uses


The seed pods of this tree contain a sweet pulp that is edible, unlike the pods of the black locust tree, which are toxic and should not be consumed. The pulp was used as traditional medicine and food by Native Americans and is still used to make tea and in the production of beer. The seed pods are also used as food for wildlife and livestock.

Honey locust trees, like black locust trees, produce wood that is strong, durable, and high-quality. The tree has not been widely cultivated for the wood, but it is popular in niche markets for use in furniture.


The honey locust tree is most commonly used in city landscaping, as it has so many benefits. Unfortunately, over-cultivation has led to an increase in pests and diseases that affect the tree. In some areas, the tree has also become invasive to the point of being considered a weed. In farmland, it grows so quick that crops and grasses are poor competition against it. It also prevents animals from reaching natural waterways by creating barriers along rivers.

Not Honey!

In spite of its name, the honey locust tree is not used to support the production of honey. The name is thought to be a reference to the sweet-tasting pulp contained in the trees seed pods.

Honey Locust Cultivars

Imperial Honey Locust – Gleditsia triacanthos inermis ‘Impcole’

This honey locust variety has a delicate feathery looking foliage that resembles a fern, starting out green through spring and summer, then changing to yellow in the fall before dropping in winter. It produces yellow-green flowers and grows to an average height of 35 feet. It is heat and drought-resistant and enjoys full sun.

Skyline Honey Locust – Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Skycole’

This tree takes the shape of a pyramid and has elegant fern-like foliage, both of which give the tree a very refined look. This variety is thornless, and it also does not bear fruit. This makes it a much easier tree to keep as the clean-up of the fruit from honey locust trees can be quite a messy job. Like many other locust trees, the skyline honey locust is adaptable to both moist and dry soil, and this variety, in particular, will grow happily in any soil pH. It typically grows to around 45 feet tall, with a spread of around 35 feet.

Shademaster Honey Locust – Gleditsia triacanthos var. Inermis ‘Shademaster’

This variety of honey locust grows even more quickly than most other locust trees, making it an exceptional grower. It is thornless and produces a very straight trunk. It can grow to between 50 and 70 feet tall with a spread of a similar measurement. The leaves of this tree are green, turning copper and yellow in fall. The shademaster also does not produce fruit, making it extra low maintenance. The yellow flowers bloom from this tree have a pleasant fragrance and are small and delicate (University of Florida Extension).

Bristly Locust – Robinia hispida

This locust is a shrub that is commonly known as ‘moss shrub.’ It grows to around 8 feet tall and produces attractive bright green leaves and showy pink flowers with an intense fragrance. The bristly locust needs to be grown in well-draining soils to thrive and has a low tolerance of poor growing conditions. In spite of this, the plant spreads easily via suckers and has become invasive in some parts of the US, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. The plant does have its uses and provides excellent erosion control on slopes and mountainsides that are affected by this problem.

New Mexico Locust – Robinia neomexicana

In spite of its name, this locust is actually primarily found across the southwestern United States. It can be grown as a tree or a shrub, growing to around 10 feet in height. It features deep purple branches from which stunning floral displays are produced in early spring and summer. Its blooms are pale pink and appear in large, showy clusters, making this a popular ornamental plant. To grow this plant, you should position it in partial sun and water it moderately. It prefers dry sandy soil that is able to drain well.

Skyline Honey Locust Care: Learn How To Grow A Skyline Locust Tree

The honey locust ‘Skyline’ (Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis ‘Skyline’) is native to Pennsylvania into Iowa and south to Georgia and Texas. The form inermis is Latin for ‘unarmed,’ in reference to the fact that this tree, unlike other honey locust varieties, is thornless. These thornless honey locusts are great additions to the landscape as a shade tree. Interested in growing Skyline honey locusts? Read on to find out how to grow a Skyline locust tree.

What is a Skyline Thornless Honey Locust?

Honey locust ‘Skyline’ can be grown in USDA zones 3-9. They are rapidly growing shade trees lacking the up to foot-long thorns and, in most cases, the large seed pods that adorn other honey locust trees.

They are rapidly growing trees that can grow up to 24 inches (61 cm.) per year and attain a height and spread of about 30-70 feet (9-21 m.). The tree features a rounded canopy and pinnate to bi-pinnate dark green leaves that turn an attractive yellow in the fall.

Although the lack of thorns is a boon to the gardener, an interesting side note is that the thorned varieties were once called Confederate pin trees since the thorns were used to pin Civil War uniforms together.

How to Grow a Skyline Locust

Skyline locusts prefer rich, moist, well-draining soil in full sun, at least 6 full hours of direct sun. They are tolerant of not only a wide array of soil types but also of wind, heat, drought and salinity. Because of this adaptability, Skyline locusts are often selected for median strip planting, highway plantings, and sidewalk cutouts.

There is little to no need for special Skyline honey locust care. The tree is so adaptable and tolerant and easy to grow once established that it basically maintains itself. In fact, areas suffering from urban air pollution, poor drainage, compact soil and/or drought are actually perfect areas for growing Skyline honey locusts within USDA zones 3-9.

Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis

  • Attributes: Genus: Gleditsia Species: triacanthos Family: Fabaceae Play Value: Attracts Pollinators Edible fruit Fragrance Pieces Used in Games Shade Wildlife Cover/Habitat Wildlife Food Source Wind Shimmer Dimensions: Height: 60 ft. 0 in. – 100 ft. 0 in. Width: 35 ft. 0 in. – 50 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits: Plant Type: Tree Leaf Characteristics: Deciduous Habit/Form: Rounded Spreading Growth Rate: Rapid Texture: Fine
  • Fruit: Fruit Color: Brown/Copper Fruit Value To Gardener: Edible Display/Harvest Time: Fall Fruit Type: Legume Fruit Length: > 3 inches Fruit Description: Seed is in the form of a bean-like pod. 7-8″ long pod but can be longer, reddish brown to blackish, about 1″ wide, margin of pod contracts causing coiling; pod contains shiny, hard, dark brown, oval shaped seeds.
  • Flowers: Flower Color: Gold/Yellow Green Flower Value To Gardener: Fragrant Flower Bloom Time: Spring Summer Flower Description: Greenish yellow fragrant flowers in summer; 7-8 in
  • Leaves: Leaf Characteristics: Deciduous Leaf Color: Green Leaf Feel: Glossy Deciduous Leaf Fall Color: Gold/Yellow Leaf Type: Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately) Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Shape: Lanceolate Oblong Leaf Margin: Serrate Hairs Present: No Leaf Length: 1-3 inches Leaf Width: < 1 inch Leaf Description: 6-8 in. alternate, pinnately or bipinnately compound leaves; bright green summer foliage; yellow to yellow-green fall color, glossy. Juvenile leaves are bipinnately compound; adults are pinnately compound; 20-30 oblong-lanceolate leaflets per leaf, each 1/3 – 1 ½” long and half as wide, slightly serrated; pubescent on midrib underneath.
  • Bark: Bark Color: Dark Brown Dark Gray Surface/Attachment: Ridges Bark Description: Attractive, gray-brown, develops elongated, plate-like patches with furrows in between.
  • Stem: Stem Is Aromatic: No
  • Landscape: Landscape Location: Recreational Play Area Landscape Theme: Children’s Garden Edible Garden Pollinator Garden Design Feature: Shade Tree Attracts: Pollinators Small Mammals Songbirds Resistance To Challenges: Deer Drought

Locust Tree Stock Photos and Images

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  • Honey Locust tree foliage with young seed pods
  • Carob or Locust Tree – Ceratonia siliqua Flowers
  • Chinese honey locust tree (Gleditsia sinensis)
  • close up of a locust tree with its fruits
  • Black Locust Tree, Robinia pseudoacacia, Fabaceae, Insugherata Park, Rome, Lazio, Italy
  • Bark of Black Locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia)
  • Carob Tree, Locust Tree
  • Black Locust Tree on the Bank of the Hudson River
  • europe,italy,valle d’aosta,sarre,locust-tree
  • Locust Tree or Acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia) – blossom, Extremadura, Spain
  • Moss Locust tree or Robinia hispida
  • Blossoms on a black locust tree.
  • Clammy Locust Tree, Robinia viscosa, Fabaceae, South East USA, North America
  • Very ancient Locust tree, Robinia pseudacacia, in snow, Kew Gardens.
  • Locust tree branches in autumn, Wallowa Valley, Oregon.
  • Little girl standing by locust tree in bloom
  • Looking up into the canopy of a Honey Locust tree in Goodnestone Park Gardens, Kent
  • Black locust tree flowers isolated in a warm morning sun, with dense green foliage and light shadows in soft focus at the background.
  • Gleditsia Triacanthos ‘Sunburst’. Honey locust tree in autumn in London, England
  • Honey Locust tree foliage with young seed pods
  • Hand holding leaf of a common locust tree
  • A black locust tree (robinia pseudoacacia) in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, UK.
  • These are the pods of a locust tree covered in snow.
  • Autumn yellow foliage on a honey locust tree with dry brown seed pods hanging, located in Denver Colorado.
  • Locust tree or False Acacia (Robinia hybrid) variety Casque Rouge, branch with blossoms, Bergkamen, North Rhine-Westphalia
  • In a large garden on a drizzling winter day, a Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust tree) hovers over a wide path of fallen leaves
  • Honey locust tree.
  • honey locust tree thorns
  • Blossomed locust tree Robinia pseudacacia
  • Moss Locust tree or Robinia hispida
  • Locust Tree. Gordon memorial Gardens, Gravesend, Kent UK.
  • Clammy Locust Tree, Robinia viscosa, Fabaceae, South East USA, North America
  • Carob or Locust Tree – Ceratonia siliqua Flowers & Leaves
  • Locust tree branches in autumn, Wallowa Valley, Oregon.
  • Bean pods of Honey Locust tree
  • Small black locust tree growing against weathered green wall
  • Close up of large spines on Robinia pseudoacacia or Black Locust Tree in garden with bokeh background
  • Gleditsia Triacanthos ‘Sunburst’. Honey locust tree in autumn in London, England
  • Picturesque shot of a cluster of white flowers of a common locust tree (robinia pseudoacacia) showing many details
  • Black Locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia) on a foggy day in Bluffer’s Park in Toronto Ontario Canada.
  • Black locust tree flowers blooming in the springtime along side the shore of Monroe Lake, Indiana, USA
  • Honey Locust Tree (Gleditsia triacanthos) with seed pods
  • The white flowers of Black Locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia), a bee’s favourite honey plant. Location: Male Karpaty, Slovakia.
  • Y-shaped trunk of a mature Black Locust or False Acacia tree, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Carob tree or Ceratonia siliqua or Saint Johns bread or Locust bean or Locust tree or Carob bush flowering evergreen tree
  • Seedling of a Black Locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia) an invasive species in Europe, growing on a lawn
  • A honey locust tree and its thorns
  • bark, tree bark, robinia, locust tree,
  • Blossoms of a Black Locust tree
  • Winter bare thornless honey locust tree with dry pods still on branches
  • Wet Leaf of Black Locust Tree, Robinia pseudoacacia, Fabaceae. South East USA, North America.
  • Carob or Locust Tree – Ceratonia siliqua Flowers & Leaves
  • Carob Tree, also known as Locust Tree, Southern Italy.
  • Bean pods of Honey Locust tree
  • Robinia pseudoacadia, Purple Robe, Locust
  • Robinia pseudoacacia commonly known in the USA as Black Locust tree. In Australia, these trees are considered an environmental week.
  • Gleditsia Triacanthos ‘Sunburst’. Honey locust tree in autumn at RHS Wisley Gardens, Surrey, England
  • Black locust leaves
  • Robinia Pseuodoacacia Black Locust tree twisted branches against a blue sky in the spring in High Park Toronto Ontario Canada.
  • Small black locust tree growing against weathered green wall
  • Locust tree
  • The white flowers of Black Locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia), a bee’s favourite honey plant. Location: Male Karpaty, Slovakia.
  • Mature black locust or false acacia tree Robinia pseudoacacia trees in winter, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Carob tree or Ceratonia siliqua or Saint Johns bread or Locust bean or Locust tree or Carob bush flowering evergreen tree with single partially ripe
  • Seedling of a Black Locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia) an invasive species in Europe, growing on a lawn
  • A Locust Sawfly (Nematus tibialis) larva eats a black locust tree leaf.
  • Locust flowers on branch, close up, differential focus
  • Black Locust tree, among the oldest trees at Kew Gardens, London
  • A locust Tree lined road in the area of Neustrelitz, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
  • Wet Leaf of Black Locust Tree, Robinia pseudoacacia, Fabaceae. South East USA, North America.
  • Carob or Locust Tree – Ceratonia siliqua Green Seed Pods on Tree
  • Locust tree leaves floating in water
  • Bean pods of Honey Locust tree
  • Robinia pseudoacadia ‘Purple Robe’ Purple Robe Locust
  • False Acacia, or Black Locust, Robinia Pseudacacia, tree in May at Dorset
  • Gleditsia Triacanthos ‘Sunburst’. Honey locust tree in autumn at RHS Wisley Gardens, Surrey, England
  • The oldest tree in Paris, a locust tree planted in 1601
  • Robinia Pseuodoacacia Black Locust tree twisted branches against a blue sky in the spring in High Park Toronto Ontario Canada.
  • Small black locust tree growing against weathered green wall
  • inflorescence of Gleditsia triacanthos tree
  • The white flowers of Black Locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia), a bee’s favourite honey plant. Location: Male Karpaty, Slovakia.
  • Mature black locust or false acacia tree Robinia pseudoacacia trees in early fall, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Carob tree or Ceratonia siliqua or Saint Johns bread or Locust bean or Locust tree or Carob bush flowering evergreen trees planted in plastic flower
  • An abondaned bird nest on acacia tree after snowfall
  • A Locust Underwing Moth (Euparthenos nubilis) caterpillar (larva) on the side of a Black Locust tree.
  • Black Locust tree branches with rain drops on leaves, vertical
  • The blossom of the New Mexico Locust tree. Central Arizona. Tonto National Forest. USA
  • Robinia, Black Locust Tree, Common Acacia (Robinia pseudacacia Friesia) with autumn leaves
  • Clammy Locust Tree Flowers, Robinia viscosa, Fabaceae, South East USA, North America
  • Carob or Locust Tree – Ceratonia siliqua Green Seed Pods on Tree
  • Teal blue and pink birdhouse with hearts hanging on wooden fence next to honey locust tree
  • Bean pods of Honey Locust tree
  • Male flowers of Carob tree, Ceratonia siliqua, growing straight from wood.
  • False Acacia, or Black Locust, Robinia Pseudacacia tree in May at Dorset
  • Gleditsia Triacanthos ‘Sunburst’. Honey locust tree foliage in spring at RHS Wisley Gardens, Surrey, England
  • Bell’s Vireo in Locust Tree
  • Quadrilateral symmetry from photo of Black Locust tree in bloom in spring in Darlington Ontario Canada
  • Black Locust thorns.
  • inflorescence of Gleditsia triacanthos tree
  • The white flowers of Black Locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia), a bee’s favourite honey plant. Location: Male Karpaty, Slovakia.

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Thornless Honey Locust


Interesting Information About Plant:

Thornless Honey Locust plants are planted for erosion control, wind breaks and as shade and ornamental trees. They are fast growing and adapt well to many types of soil. They tolerate air pollution well and are often planted along city streets where there is a lot of pollution. The tree derives the name “Honey” from the sweet, honey-like substance found in its pods. The fruits are often eaten by cattle and hogs. Rabbits sometimes inflict harm on these trees if they gnaw on the bark. The Thornless Honey Locust forms large surface roots and is diesase resistant. The Cherokes in Tennessee made bows from the tree’s durable and strong wood. Also, in the fall the leaves shrivel up to nothing so they don’t have to be raked up!

Family Name (Scientific and Common): Leguminosae

Continent of Origin: Native to North America

Most Distinguishing Morphological Features of This Plant: The long, brown pods it has as fruit and the fragrant yellow follows it produces

Plant Growth Habit: Large Tree

Height at Maturity: More than 10 Feet

Life Span: Perennial

Seasonal Habit: Deciduous Perennial

Growth Habitat: Full Sun

Manner of Culture: Landscape Shrub-Vine-Tree

Thorns on Younger Stem?: No

Cross Section of Younger Stem: Roundish

Stem (or Trunk) Diameter: More Than The Diameter of a Coffee-Mug

Produces Brownish Bark?: Yes

Bark Peeling in Many Areas?: Yes

Characteristics of Mature (Brownish) Bark: Bumpy

Type of Leaf: Flat, Thin Leaf

Length of Leaf (or Leaflet): Less than Length of a Credit Card

Leaf Complexity: Pinnately Compound

Shape of Leaf: Simple

Edge of Leaf?: Serrated

Leaf Arrangement: Opposite

Leaf has Petiole?: Yes / No

Patterns of Main-Veins: Pinnate

Leaf Hairiness: No Hairs

Color of Foliage in Summer: Green

Change in Color of Foliage in October: Changes to Yellow

Flowering Season: Spring

Flowers: in Loose Group

Type of Flower: Like a Grass Flower

Color of Flower: Yellow

Shape of Individual Flower: Radially Symmetrical

Size of Individual Flower: Larger than the Length of a Credit Card

Sexuality: Hermaphroditic Flower

Size of Fruit: Larger than the Length of a Credit Card

Fruit Fleshiness at Maturity?: Dry

Shape of Fruit: Long Pod

Color of Fruit at Maturity: Brown or Dry

Fruit Desirable to Birds or Squirrels?: Yes / No

Is the Plant Poisonous: None of Plant

Pesty Plant (weedy, hard to control)?: No

Common Name(s): Sweet Locust or Thorn Locust

Louisville Plants That Are Most Easily Confused With This One: Black Locust Tree

Page prepared:

November 2005

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