Compound, light blue/green oval leaflets that are alternating.
Leaves are 8-14" long with leaflets that range from 1-2" long.
Beautiful, showy creamy white flowers that bloom from May to
June. Similar to the sweet pea flower, fragrant and about
5 inches long. Flowers bloom after the leaves come out and
are very abundant.
Thin pods that are light brown in color. Pods contain
kidney bean shaped brown seeds. They begin to
fruit in the fall and the pods stay on the tree throughout the
Winter Buds: Small
resinous and brown.
Bark: Branches have very
sharp strong thorns that can grow up to 1" long. While mowing the yard one day a few years
ago I stepped on a Black Locust branch. The thorn penetrated my
3/4" crocks and went into my foot. New twigs are smooth and
a green color. Older bark will be red-brown and will darken as
the tree ages. It is rough, with furrows and thick on a
The Black Locust has heavy and strong wood. It makes great
firewood, burning hot and for a long time. Black Locust is also
a very durable wood used in construction. In the past it
has also been used in ship building. When in contact with
the ground it holds up very well for fence posts. It is pale yellow in
the eastern part of the United States. Native to the
Appalachian region. It can be found as
far south as Georgia. Grows well in zones 3-8
As a member of the pea family, this tree is very
valuable as a nitrogen fixer. It can also help control
erosion in places where other trees struggle to grow. One
consideration with this tree is that it is very toxic to humans
and livestock. It should not be planted where livestock
graze. Horses have been known to eat the young shoots of
this tree even when there is sufficient forage available.
Purple Robe, Frisia, Pyramidalis, Twisty Baby™,