The honey locust tree or the thorny locust tree as it is also known is a tree that can be found along river valleys in central North America. Reaching a height of 66 to 98 feet, they grow pretty rapidly but have a relatively short lifespan. Unlike its name, this tree is not a honey plant. In fact, the name comes from the sweet taste of the fruit pulp it produces. Technically a legume, the pulp is mostly ingested by grazing herbivores. The legume pod matures in early autumn, but pods ripen in late spring and if temperatures are warm enough, they will germinate, growing at a rate of 24 inches per year. Along with producing legume pods, they also usually have thorns that grow anywhere from two to four inches in length from their branches, as well as producing off-white or cream colored flowers that are stoutly scented. These flowers grow in clusters from the base of leaves. In the fall, leaves turn from bright green to yellow. Being able to tolerate alkaline soil, heat, drought, urban conditions, and being able to be transplanted easily makes this tree popular and valued where shade is needed quickly. Its uses are primarily for shade trees, because of the canopy that it produces blocks sunlight so well, which at maturity the canopy spread is 30 to 70 feet, and the tree itself can grow to a height of 30 to 50 feet itself. As we can see, this shade tree can grow in just about any soil, grows fast, wide, smells strong, and would be a very good edition to any sunny yard, park, or common area. If there are small kids around your house or where the tree will be placed, look into getting the thornless or podless varieties to prevent injury or ingestion.
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Honey locust Latin Name: Gleditsia triancanthos Plant Hardiness Zones: USDA zones 4-9 Mature Height- 30-70 ft Mature Width- 30-50 ft Bloom Season- Late spring
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