Honey Locust

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12 years 10 months ago #132654 by Davej
Honey Locust was created by Davej
Are there two different species of trees which are commonly identified as being \"Honey Locusts?\" I am familiar with the one that has the big nasty thorns but I've also seen images of trees which do not have obvious thorns which were identified as being \"Honey Locusts.\"

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12 years 10 months ago - 12 years 10 months ago #132655 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Honey Locust
Davej wrote:

Are there two different species of trees which are commonly identified as being \"Honey Locusts?\" I am familiar with the one that has the big nasty thorns but I've also seen images of trees which do not have obvious thorns which were identified as being \"Honey Locusts.\"


When Honey Locust becomes very mature it stops making thorns or at least slows down in the thorn production. The Honey Locust that I frequently climb in my neighbors yard no longer produces thorns. It's a 92 ft. tree at peak maturity for the species. There are natural and bred varieties of Honey Locust that do not have thorns. These are often planted as street trees in urban settings.
-moss
Last edit: 12 years 10 months ago by moss.

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12 years 10 months ago #132663 by Davej
Replied by Davej on topic Re:Honey Locust
Well I knew it is true that Black Locusts seem to lose their thorns as they mature but it's more difficult to imagine with the hyper-thorn clusters on the Honey Locusts. My next-door neighbor has a thirty footer and he says birds don't even land in it.

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12 years 10 months ago #132666 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Honey Locust
Davej wrote:

Well I knew it is true that Black Locusts seem to lose their thorns as they mature but it's more difficult to imagine with the hyper-thorn clusters on the Honey Locusts. My next-door neighbor has a thirty footer and he says birds don't even land in it.


Yep, things change as the tree grows old. Honey Locust grows fast, a 32 footer is a young tree, give it another 60 years.
-moss

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11 years 3 months ago #134639 by 2chops
Replied by 2chops on topic Re:Honey Locust
There's a cultivar called a Sunburst Locust that I'm pretty sure is derived from the Honey Locust. The Sunburst looks just like a Honey, but without the thorns. Also, the heartwood of a Sunburst Locust has a nice reddish color to it.

Ron.

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11 years 3 months ago #134642 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Honey Locust
Yep the thornless honey locust cultivar has been planted quite a bit as a street tree in the greater Boston area. Can't say I like it as a street tree but then again the zelkova has also been pushed heavily in the urban landscape design world as the go-to elm replacement for street plantings. Horrible species for that use (crown is a co-dominant factory) and there's nothing elm-like about it except the leaf resembles elm leaf, the structure of the tree is nothing like elm.

My neighbor's 92' honey locust made one!!! thorn this year. twenty years ago it had plenty of thorns.

Honey locust thorns are left over defenses against massive herbivores that existed in North America before the ice ages. It may be that when a honey locust reaches mature size, plus 80' in a forest that the crown is well above the top grazing height of the largest possible ancient mammal herbivore so there's no need to invest energy in creating thorns.
-moss

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11 years 3 months ago #134643 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Honey Locust
Davej wrote:

Well I knew it is true that Black Locusts seem to lose their thorns as they mature but it's more difficult to imagine with the hyper-thorn clusters on the Honey Locusts. My next-door neighbor has a thirty footer and he says birds don't even land in it.


As the trunk diameter grows the thorns are "squeezed off" or absorbed into the bark so it has to continue making new thorns to keep up. So if the tree stops making thorns it will eventually be thornless.

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