Honey locust is a tall, pod-bearing, deciduous shade tree with a short trunk. Its ornamental foliage is lacy and medium to fine in texture. The tree's mature size is variable, growing in the 30 to 70-foot range, taller in the wild. Honey locust is a rapid-growing tree whose fall foilage is yellow to yellow-green. Its fruit is a long, reddish-brown, straplike, curved pod produced in late summer. Its shade is dappled and permits plant growth beneath the canopy.
How to grow: Plant honey locust in full sun and limey soil. It adapts to a range of conditions, including drought and high pH, and tolerates road salt spray.
Uses: To avoid thorns and litter problems, use an unarmed podless selection as a shade tree. Webworm is this plant's worst enemy. Leaflets are small and break down quickly.
Related varieties: Shademaster, a superior podless cultivar with a vaselike form, is fairly resistant to webworms. Skyline is noted for its golden fall color and upright form. Summergold has gold-green leaves in summer.
Scientific name: Gleditsia triacanthos var. Inermis
Want more information? Try these:
- Fruit Trees. These memorable trees allow sunlight to trickle through to nourish the fruit, and can adorn many a yard.
- Flowering Trees. Standing along, these trees make a strong visual impact. With strong leaves and vivid flowers, they're interesting all year long.
- Shade Trees. Towering overhead, shade trees can complement even the biggest house, and define the amount of sunlight that reaches your yard.