Brandon Smith (Redwoodtwig)

Robinia Pseudoacacia (Black Locust)

I find black locust to be very opportunistic and will come up anywhere there's plenty of sun and just a bit of moisture.  They send out runner roots and new growth can pop up anywhere very quickly.  

Black locust are fast growers, so fast their tops are weak.  Most wind damage I see on the place is the tops of black locust being knocked down.  The lower branches die and  break off easily, a good source of kindling.

The thorns are short but wicked.  On older trees the thorns on the trunks tend to fade away, but they remain on dead branches.  

They bloom with a wonderful display of white flowers that smells heavenly -- I can see how honey from these flowers would be excellent.

Traditionally used for fence posts, they do cure well and the wood is quite tough, though it will almost surely develop at last one lengthwise split.  


Black locust is widely planted in the United States, Europe, and Asia for erosion control, reclamation of drastically disturbed sites, windbreaks, nurse crops, amelioration of sites, honey production, and ornamental use.

"Because of its soil-improving properties, black locust is often planted in mixtures. Many species have been underplanted in black locust stands. Success of such planting has been variable and many factors have to be considered carefully (37). On mine spoil in Illinois, black locust was a valuable nurse crop for black walnut (Juglans nigra), silver maple (Acer saccharinum), and yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), but not for cottonwood (Populus deltoides), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), or Osage-orange (Maclura pomifera) (25). On surface-mined land in Kansas, survival, growth, and form of black walnut were impaired when planted with black locust (39)."