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Robinia pseudoacacia

black locust

Black locust is a legume with root nodes that, along with bacteria, "fixes" atmospheric nitrogen into the soil. These soil nitrates are usable by other plants. Most legumes have pea-like flowers with distinctive seed pods. Black locust is native to the Ozarks and the southern Appalachians but have been transplanted in many northeastern states and Europe. The tree has become a pest in areas outside its natural range. You are encouraged to plant the tree with caution. Read more on Invasive Exotic Trees.

Black locust leaf Row of black locust inside New York Central Park wall Black locust plate
Photos by Kim and Steve Nix

Start with the Tree Finder if you are not sure what kind of tree you have!

Black Locust Habitat and Culture
(silvics courtesy of USFS)

From Virginia Tech w/Photos
(Big List courtesy of VT Dendrology)

North American Timber Types
(courtesy About Forestry)

The Great American Hardwood Forest
(courtesy About Forestry)

Recent Champion: 96' height, 92' spread, 280" circumf., Dansville, New York
National Register of Big Trees

Black Locust Images
(courtesy of ForestryImages.org)

Range Map
{Native range of black locust}
-The native range of black locust, USFS.

Quick Stats
Common Names: yellow locust

Habitat: Grows naturally on a wide range of sites but does best on rich moist limestone soils

Description: Because it is a nitrogen fixer and has rapid juvenile growth, it is widely planted as an ornamental, for shelterbelts, and for land reclamation

Uses: Black locust is not a commercial timber species

Image
(images courtesy of Kim Nix and About.com)

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