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The black locust is commonly referred to as "false acacia" after its species name "pseudoacacia". 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. The tree was named for its resemblance to Ceratonia siliqua, known as the "Old World Locust". Its seeds are also eaten by bobwhite quail and other game birds and squirrels. Since then it has made its way into gardens in Africa, Asia and Australia. It prefers dry to moist limestone soils but will grow on most soils as long as they are not wet or poorly drained. I live on Long Island near the abandoned Kings Park Psychiatric Hospital. Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is found throughout the United States in woodland areas and along stream banks. The colors that came out in that wood after a semi-gloss varathane was applied were amazing. The pods turn a deep brown in fall and are full of oval, brown seeds. I only wish there was a supply of this lumber in my area. Figure 17.âBlack locust trees grow rapidly and mature at earlier ages than most forest trees. Black locust trees can reach heights of 70 to 80 feet but are more often 30 to 50 feet tall. It is a very upright tree with a straight trunk and narrow crown that grows scraggly with age. All photographs and text ©2013 by Will Cook unless otherwise noted. Black locust's current range has been expanded by humans distributing the tree for landscaping and now includes Pakistan, India, Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Northern and South Africa, temperate regions in Asia, New Zealand, Southern South America. Black Locust trees usually grow to between 12 to 30 meters high, or 40 to 100 feet high. Black locust is a part of the Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests. The physical construction of the flower separates the male and female parts so that self-pollination will not typically occur. Some of these poles are still in use today; as sound as the day they were driven into the ground. Attractive white spring flowers. There is a widespread habit of allowing black locust trees to grow beyond their age of maturity, which is often 20 to 30 years. Most legumes have pea-like flowers with distinctive seed pods. (Wesley Greene - garden historian for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation). I'd make everything out of it. Second, the wood is not easily damaged by extreme foraging for two reasons, the short thorns on many trees discourage some foraging, but you also have a wonderful hidden asset, even if the tree is completely stripped of bark by winter foraging deer, the runners and underground storage of food insures it will grow back even stronger the following season, not just stronger but often taller and with friends. These trees feed pollinators, store carbon, replace pressure treated lumber, and support other hardwood species. Often forms dense stands where established and can choke out other vegetation. Black locust blossoms produce such delicious honey that the trees where introduced to Europe about 40 years ago (however, it blooms only 10 days per year, making the honey rare as well as delicious). It tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, and spreads clonally as well as by seed. Grow Food And Trees Together . By using the existing root system to grow new tree shoots, a Black Locust tree plantation becomes a sustainable resource for a variety of wood products including structural timber, hardwood florring, fence posts, ground contact landscape timber, split rail fencing and wood pellets. The flowers are pollinated by insects, primarily by Hymenopteran insects. The suckers are stems which grow from the roots, directly into the air and may grow into full trees. 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. It has a very low rate of expansion and contraction, making it very stable for furniture and woodwork (interior or exterior). Item # L1048 Shipping Size: 2-4 Feet - GROWING ZONES: 4-9 / SUN EXPOSURE: Full to partial Sun 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. R. pseudoacacia is considered an excellent plant for growing in highly disturbed areas as an erosion control plant. Posts made of this wood are good for grapevine supports in vineyards. This tree can sucker to the point of forming colonies. 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. A confusion between species of both genera is almost impossible in higher latitudes, since acacias are native to subtropical and tropical areas and do not thrive in the cooler climates favoured by the black locust. On average, the thinned trees will increase two times diameter compared to a plantation without thinning.  Jesuit missionaries apparently fancied that this was the tree that supported St. John in the wilderness, but it is native only to North America. Black locust is a legume with root nodes that, along with bacteria, "fixes" atmospheric nitrogen into the soil. Assuming you are clear to work with Black Locust, itâs important to consider the genetic stock you source trees from, especially if your goal is to grow straight poles or trees that can be milled for lumber. 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. Black locust is still in use in some rustic handrail systems. Black Locust: Black locust trees (Robinia pseudoacacia), also known locally as âChicago blues,â is a fast-growing tree that does not get quite as tall as the honey locust. Different to honey locust trees, the sharp spikes are short and donât grow in long branches around the tree. I have not seen these trees elsewhere in Nova Scotia and have no idea where they came from. The sharp spines on black locusts are usually present on immature trees and grow at the base of each leaf. Root suckers arise spontaneously from the extensive root system of trees â¦ 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. Black locust trees typically flower for 10-20 days in May or June, approximately one month after the leaves emerge. The national champs: black locust i~100" DBH They have a diameter of between 0.60 to 1.2 meters ( 2- 4 feet). Our trees are available for wholesale and retail purchase. (Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies) These trees have more deeply furrowed bark, branches that grow in zig zag patterns, â¦ Black locust reaches a typical height of 40â100 feet (12â30 m) with a diameter of 2â4 feet (0.61â1.22 m). One is, it conserves water, requiring just half of an irrigated plantation. 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.  On sandy soils black locust may also often replace other vegetation which cannot fix nitrogen.. 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.  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. 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