How fast do black locust trees grow

Black Locust: A Tree with Many Uses

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In early October this past year, a devoted group of foresters, farmers, extension educations, students, and others gathered at the USDA Plant Materials Center in Big Flats, NY to discuss a common, yet underappreciated tree that has great potential for farms across the Northeast: Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia).

Steve Gabriel / Cornell Small Farms Program. Stand of black locust trees.

This tree, which has often been given a bad name for it’s opportunistic rapid growth and robust thorns, is said to be native originally to the Appalachian Mountain range, though it has become naturalized throughout the United States, southern Canada, and even parts of Europe and Asia. The species is incredibly adaptive, growing in many elevations, microclimates, and soil types.

While some have named it an “invasive” tree given its rapid growth and willingness to spread by seed and root suckering, others see these characteristics as advantageous, if only populations are properly managed to harness these qualities. Make no mistake, locust is not a tree to plant and walk away from. It is best when incorporated into managed activities on the farm, of which there are a remarkable array of options and benefits, including:

  • Because it fixes nitrogen from the atmosphere, the trees grow incredibly fast (3 – 4 feet in a season) and can quickly become windbreaks, shelterbelts, and shade and shelter for animals in silvopasture grazing systems.
  • The nutritional value of the leaves is similar to alfalfa, making it a valuable feed for ruminant livestock. Some sources claim excessive consumption can lead to toxicity, but many farmers have found their animals naturally limit their intake. (horses excepted)
  • The tree has been used to support nutrition in other crops, from grains to other trees. Research has shown increases in nitrogen in barley grain crops interplanted with locust, and black walnuts interplanted with locust as “nurse” trees were shown to rapidly increase their growth.
  • The flowers are important sources of food for honeybees. In Hungary, Black Locust is the basis of commercial honey production.
  • The high-density wood is the most rot resistant wood we can grow in our climate, making it an ideal material for fenceposts, hope poles, outdoor furniture, decks, and other projects that require weatherproof materials.
  • It’s BTU rating is among the highest, making it an excellent firewood in both heat value and coaling ability. At our last house, we actually ruined a woodstove by burning too much locust, which gets extremely hot.

young black locust tree. Photo from Wikimedia

If anything, Black locust is almost too good at what is does. All theses attributes have resulted in an extraordinarily high demand; both sellers of locust poles and lumber, as well as those in the nursery trade at the meeting reported not even coming close to meeting the demand for their products. There is a lot of room in the market for more farmers to grow, harvest, and sell black locust products in many parts of the region.

The challenge? Some states prohibit importing, selling, or trading Black Locust, including Massachusetts and it is restricted in Minnesota, Michigan, and New York. This is not necessarily a complete list – check with your state regulators before deciding how to proceed. Each state has it’s own specific regulations.

In New York, a regulated plant cannot be knowingly introduced into a location where it isn’t already present. It’s hard to say if there is such a place in New York, and likely not in any location where farming traditionally occurred, since the tree has a long history of value to both Native Americans and colonizer settler farmers around the state. In any case, in New York the trees can be purchased, sold, propagated and transported legally. Nursery’s are required to attached a disclaimed to any material they sell.

Assuming you are clear to work with Black Locust, it’s important to consider the genetic stock you source trees from, especially if your goal is to grow straight poles or trees that can be milled for lumber. Locust is incredibly crooked in its “natural” form, and so seed selection, and sometimes pruning, is a critical factor for success. Ironically, the Hungarians identified the awesomeness of Black locust a long time ago (1700s), deciding to intentionally import seeds and engage in an intensive breeding program. As a result, some of the best stock today comes from Eastern Europe, and nearly 20% of the forests in Hungary are comprised of Black Locust.

Propagation of new trees is best achieved by either seed, or root cuttings. Of course, seed will express variety in the resulting genetic profile, whereas root cuttings will be clones of the parent tree. To grow from seed, the thick coat must first be broken, most often by soaking in a pot of boiling water for 12 – 24 hours. Root cuttings can be taken by finding a good flare in the tree, and digging up roots at least thumb thickness. Roots are cut into 2” sections and planted in a potting mix or prepared seed bed.

While the tree is suitable for a wide range of sites, avoid extremely heavy clay and soils with excessive water moisture (standing water). Soil prep can be minimal, as the trees can often compete and overtake other competitors quite easily. Protection from deer or other potential pests is critical during the establishment period, usually the first one to three years.

Black locust has just a few pests of concern, and a little observation and vigilance goes a long way. The health and vigor of the trees are important defenses against devastation, as research has shown that good growing conditions are more important than genetic resistance.

Brett Chedzoy / CCE. Black locust logs.

The most common pest is the Locust borer (Megacyllene robiniae) which most often attacks living, stressed trees, causing extensive damage to the quality of the wood. Identifying and removing infected trees can go a long way. It’s critical get to know the lifecycle of the pest. The other is main pest is the leaf miner (Odontota dorsalis), which attacks the tree in spring, turning the leaves brown by mid-summer or early fall. Overall tree growth can be impacted, but usually not seriously.

One of the most exciting conversations at the meeting was around the good economics for Black Locust, which can be summarized as demand far outstripping the supply. A recent blossoming of interest in natural and sustainable materials for garden and fence posts, coupled with a boom in the hop production industry in the Northeast mean that black locust polewood (which requires only harvesting and cutting to length) can alone be a valuable product from the farm woodlot. Larger, straight trees can also be milled and either sold as lumber or made into a wide range of products include outdoor furniture and offered at a premium price. Prices for these products range from $1 – $3 per linear foot for whole posts, and from $1.50 – $3.50/board foot for milled lumber, which is far above the prices for most conventional hardwood lumber.

Personally, at our farm, Black locust has found a nice in our pastures, where it quickly establishes itself and is able to be integrated with our sheep grazing paddocks in under 5 years. The sheep initially prune the lower limbs for feed, and we prune thicker branches to use for tree stakes, to plant more trees! We plant very close together (3 – 4 feet apart) so that over time, we can leave some trees as the overstory, while coppicing (cutting to the ground) and pollarding (cutting above browse height) the less straight ones to provide longer-term fodder reserves for the sheep. Eventually we can harvest some posts and poles, as well.

With all its functions and uses in the farm landscape, it’s a wonder more people aren’t planting these trees, and managing ones they already have. The key take away is; if you plant it, manage it. This wonderful tree has many benefits to harvest, but left along could become a problem plant on the farm.

Sources for Trees and Seeds:

Twisted Tree Farm, NY:

Edible Acres, NY:

Sheffield’s Seeds, NY:

Cold Stream Farm, MI: https://www.

ore information and slides from the workshop can be found at:

This article is available for download at Wellspring Forest Farm & School’s website:

Complete Guide to Black Locust Tree – What you NEED to know – GrowIt BuildIT

The Black Locust is a deciduous hardwood tree native to Eastern North America that produces rot resistant wood with a high heating value. It will grow 80′ tall by 30′ wide in optimum conditions of full sun and well drained soil. A pioneer species, it spreads via seed and rhizome shoots, becoming aggressive in open areas.

Black Locusts are a good tree for erosion control, land reclamation, and for a durable hardwood that grows extremely fast. They benefit wildlife, can be used for fence posts and hardwood lumber, and produce very fragrant flowers in Spring.

In this article:

  • Black Locust Tree Facts / Quick Reference
  • Pros and cons of the Black Locust Tree
  • Why don’t Black Locust Trees rot / decay?
  • How to Identify Black Locust Trees
    • Black Locust versus Honey Locust ID guide
  • How to Grow and Care for Black Locust Trees
    • How to grow Black Locust from Seed
  • What Wildlife, Pests, and Diseases effect Black Locust Trees
  • How to control Black Locust Trees
  • Where to buy Black Locust Trees
  • Uses of Black Locust Trees

Black Locust Tree Facts

  • Growth RateBlack Locust Trees can grow up to 4′ per year when young. Typically 2′ per year once several years old.
  • Black Locust Tree Growing Zone – Hardy from USDA zones 3-8. Check your USDA zone here.
  • A Black Locust Tree can start producing seed as early as 6 years old [1]
  • Seed of the Black Locust Tree is consumed by many species of game bird including grouse, quail, pheasant, and turkey.
  • Black Locust is one of the hardest domestic hardwoods of North America, coming in over 1700 lbf Janka Hardness
  • The scientific name of Black Locust is Robinia pseudoacacia
  • Famous for it’s rot resistance, the heartwood of Black Locust is reported to be one of the most rot-resistant woods in North America

Black Locust Native Range

The primary Native Range of Black Locust is centered in the Appalachian Mountains from Alabama to Pennsylvania, centered in Tennessee and West Virginia. However isolated pockets were also created during glacial retreat in Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas.

Historical Native Range of Black Locust, Robinia pseudoacacia. [1] Click on image to enlarge

However, due to the strength, rot resistance, and heating value Black Locust trees were planted far and wide by early settlers. The current range covers all of the Lower 48 States in the Continental US, and has also spread around the world. In fact, Black Locust was the first Native North American tree species to be exported to Europe back in 1601. [2]

Current Range Black Locust in North America, courtesy of EDDMapS

Black Locust Tree Reference Table

Common NameBlack Locust
Scientific nameRobinia pseudoacacia
Bloom TimeLate Spring
Bloom Duration1 week
Bloom SizeWhite flowers that are approximately 3/4″ long, pea-like
CharacteristicsFlowers will be in strings of drooping flowers that hang down and are very fragrant.
Height60′-80′ (18m – 24m)
Spacing/Spread20′-30′ (6m – 9m)
Light RequirementsFull sun
Soil TypesSandy loam, silt loam, loam, clay – must be well-drained
MoistureMoist to dry soils, must drain well
MaintenanceTree will sucker, so must remove new saplings throughout year.
Typical UseOpen areas, fence lines, borders, shade tree
Fauna AssociationsBees, bumblebees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and moths. Game birds eat seeds. Deer browse foliage.
Larval HostOver 50 species of insect larvae, including butterflies and moths
Sowing Depth1/4″ (6 mm)
StratificationNone required. Seed must be scarified.
Native RangeAppalachian Mountains, Ozarks, Isolated driftless regions of United States
Growing ZonesUSDA Zones 3-8
References [1]

Pros and Cons of the Black Locust Tree

Pros / Benefits of Black Locust

Extremely Fast Growth Rate

Depending on the location and site conditions, Black Locust Trees can grow between 18″ and 48″ per year for the first 10 years of it’s life. But even after the first couple of years it can have an impressive 2.5′ growth per year, making this one of the fastest growing native trees. [1] [4]

Erosion Control

By having predominately shallow roots, combined with it’s fast growth make Black Locust one of the best trees to plant for erosion control. It is frequently used in land reclamation at abandoned mine sites. [1] [5]

Rot-resistant, valuable wood

Heartwood from Black Locust trees is a very hard and is extremely rot resistant. This gives it numerous uses in decking, outdoor furniture, fence posts, decking, and furniture. It also has a very high heating value making it a valuable firewood or use in a pellet stove.

Wildlife friendly

Black Locust trees host over 50 species of insects, of which whose larvae will feed numerous songbirds. Additionally, the large amount of seed is food for Wild Turkey, Grouse, Pheasant, and other game birds.

Beautiful fragrant flowers

A grove or thicket of Black Locust Trees can provide one of the most fragrant and aromatic aromas in nature. Should you have the chance, go take in the essence of the Black Locust flowers as they are truly one of the most beautiful smelling flowers this author has ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

Black Locust Tree in Bloom

Cons of Black Locust Trees


In many areas of the world, Black Locust Trees are invasive. The suckering roots of the Black Locust Tree travel far and wide, sprouting new saplings as they go. These trees will spawn thickets of Black Locust if not kept in check.


Young saplings and newer growth have small thorns up to 1/2″ long. These thorns are likely a product of evolution to dissuade mammals from browsing the foliage.

Susceptible to heart rot, Locust Borer

Black Locust trees are often attacked by the Locust Borer, which will create tunnels throughout the tree as larvae. These tunnels reduce the value of any lumber, and also provide a vector for heart rot. Heart rot fungus rots the center heartwood of the Black Locust, reducing the potential use and value of any tree.

Black Locust Trees resistance to natural decay / rotting

How long does it take Black Locust to Rot?

Research done by the US Forest Service in Wisconsin has shown Black Locust wood to be in the top 3 performing woods for decay-resistance and durability in both above and in-ground applications. In both decking and ground stake applications, Black Locust performed exceptionally well over an eight-year long study. (Juniper species did outperform it). [6]

Additionally, he standard for rating a wood’s natural resistance to rot is covered in European standards, which classifies species in to 1 of 5 classes, with Class 1 being the most rot-resistant. Black Locust has repeatedly been shown to be a Class 1 or 2, meaning it is one of the most durable woods for resisting natural decay.

Why Black Locust is rot resistant

What makes the wood of the Black Locust Tree so resistant to rot and decay? Black Locust wood is very slow to rot and decay because of a high concentration of Lignin within the heartwood, as well as the presence of two fungus killing flavonoids. These 3 ingredients within the wood of Black Locust make it extremely durable in outdoor applications. [7] [8]

What is Lignin?

Lignin is a complex natural polymer present within wood that resists rotting. It is a key building block for the cellular walls of wood and bark. So, having more Lignin within the cell walls is a good thing for resistance to decay. [9]

Flavonoids – the natural fungus killers

Numerous flavonoids have been identified within the heartwood of Black Locust Tree [6]. But two compounds in particular have been found to provide the wood with it’s famous durability – dihydrorobinetin and robinetin. [7]

Both dihydrorobinetin and robinetin are toxic to the wood-destroying fungi. Research has shown that the amounts of these two compounds increase with age, and also increase the European Standard for Wood Decay EN rating (rot resistance). [29]

The rot resistant of Black Locust is why I chose it for making my bee hotel and super-tall bird-feeder pole. I’m hoping that each last for decades.

This bee hotel and post are made from Black Locust

How to identify Black Locust Trees

Mature Black Locust Trees will grow on average 50′-80′ tall (15m-24m) and have an irregular crown shape. The branching on a Black Locust tree is typically upwards.

Crown of a Black Locust Tree


The Black Locust trunk will reach 1.5′-3′ diameter at maturity. While the bark of the Black Locust Tree will have shallow furrows and rough when young, changing to deep furrows that runs at strange angles and forks. Black Locust bark on mature trees is generally identifiable from a distance, as it is quite unique.

Black Locust Bark

The bark along branches is brown with white spots called lenticels, and new growth will be red in color. As the branch grows and matures, it will become more rough and furrowed.


Thorns occur along the smaller branches and twigs which are about 1/2″ long, and occur in pairs. These thorns are quite sharp, and can cause minor injury if you grab a branch or sapling.

Black Locust Thorns

Why Black Locust Trees have thorns

The thorns of a Black Locust Tree are a product of evolution, and act as a deterrent to mammals browsing the foliage. Deer and rabbits are less likely to eat the young branches and trees if they have to contend with sharp thorns.


Black Locust Tree leaves are compound alternate leaves in an overall arrangement that is approximately 6-18″ long by ~4″ wide. The individual leaflets are about 1-2″ long by roughly half as wide, with a rounded shape. Leaves will have a light green color early, changing to blueish-green color when mature.

The entire arrangement is known as a compound leaf, and the individual leaves are known as leaflets

In Autumn, the leaves of the Black Locust will turn yellow. In my yard I don’t bother raking leaves, as the leaflets are quite small. They do not smother the grass.

The yellow fallen leaves of Black Locust Tree in Autumn.


In late Spring on Black Locust Trees, groups of white flowers will form and hang down from the branches in beautiful arrangements. The overall cluster will be 4-7″ long, and look like dangling cluster of pea-like flowers that are very fragrant. An individual flower is approximately 1″ long with 5 petals that are white in color. Blooming will last for about 2 weeks.

Flowers of the Black Locust Tree

Seed Production

The flowers will give way to seedpods that are approximately 2-4″ long by 1/2″ wide and hang down much like the preceding flowers. Each pod will contain roughly 2-12 seeds that are hard, 1/4″ diameter, and have a rounded shape but very flat.

Seed pods hanging on tree

Pods will begin to ripen in September and split open, dispersing the seed. Pods also can travel a bit by being blown off in wind storms, where they can also open. I have Black Locust trees near my property and often find the occasional pod dozens to maybe 50 yards (m) away from any tree.

Root System

On average the root system of Black Locust Trees is wide spreading shallow lateral roots that can run 50′ or more from a tree. But in drier areas the Black Locust Tree can produce deep vertical roots that reach 20-25′ deep into the ground. [1]

A Black Locust seedling that sprouted from a suckering root (which is attached to the sapling). This tree emerged this year (2021) and is approximately 3′ tall.

But I have personally found Black Locust roots that ran 50-75′ into my lawn from the Black Locust trees that surround my property. So, in typical temperate areas, you should expect shallow roots that extend well beyond the canopy.

How to identify a Black Locust Tree in Winter

Mature Black Locust trees are not difficult to identify in winter due to their irregular shape, distinct bark, small isolated thorns. In Winter it is also likely that you can find seed pods near the drip-line of the tree. Also, Black Locust trees do not survive full shade conditions, the crown or side of the tree should have sun exposure.

Black Locust versus Honey Locust

Similarities between Black Locust and Honey Locust

It is easy to see why people confuse Black Locust and Honey Locust, due to their shared common name. Both are members of the pea family (Fabaceae), and both have compound leaves with like-shaped leaflets. Furthermore, both Black Locust and Honey Locust have thorns and produce seed pods in the fall. But that is where the major similarities end.

Differences between Black Locust and Honey Locust

The 3 main differences between Black Locust and Honey Locust are Black Locusts produces single 1/2″ long thorns in isolation at branch junctures, rough furrowed bark, and flat seed pods 2-4″ long. The trunk of Honey Locust is covered in clusters of large 2-5″ long thorns, has flat-plate style bark, and produces very large seed pods 6-14″ long.

Below I have created a reference table and infographic for identification of both Black Locust and Honey Locust:

Identification Guide of Black and Honey Locust Trees

FeatureBlack LocustHoney Locust
Crown ShapeIrregular with ascending branchesOpen plume
Bark Rough and deeply furrowed Flat plates with upturned margins.
Thorns1/2″ thorns along trunk and branchesLarge clusters of 5″ thorns that resemble ten-penny nails
LeavesAlternate-Compound, 6-14″ long, odd-pinnateAlternate-Compound, 6-14″ long, even-pinnate or bi-pinnate
Leaflets 1-2″ long by half as wide, oblong, green to blue-green color3/4″-1.5″ long by one-third as wide, yellow-green to dark green color
Petiole (leaf stem)1/8″ (3 mm)1/8″ (3 mm)
FlowerWhite pea-like flowers, arrayed in racemeYellow-green flowers, arrayed in raceme
Seed Pods2-4″ long by 1″ wide, flat6-14″ long by 1″ wide, flat or curled
Seeds1/4″ long, oblong or round, flat3/8″ long, round, flat
Source [1]

Infographic Identification Guide for Black Locust versus Honeylocust

Click on image to enlarge

Grow and care for Black Locust Trees

How to care for

Black Locust trees do not need special care once established. They have proven themselves to be adaptable to a wide variety of environments and climates. If you plant a Black Locust Tree in a location they prefer, basically no care will be required.

Sunlight Requirements

The sunlight requirements for Black Locust Trees is what is known as full sun, which is at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Black Locust Trees are intolerant of shade.

In general you will not find Black Locust Trees within mature forests, but only on the perimeter or edge. This is because most other deciduous trees will grow taller than Black Locust, and thus shade them out. Oak, Maple, Pine will all out-compete Black Locust, so if it cannot get the sunlight it requires, it will die. [1]

Moisture Requirements

Black Locust Trees prefer moist to medium moist soil that drains well. In general, Black Locust Trees do not like dry or drought prone locations.

If you are unsure about your soil, you can learn to test your soil drainage here.

Soil Requirements

Black Locust Trees are very adaptable in that they can grow in a wide variety of soils as long as they drain well. But in general sand-loam or silt-loam soils will be better than clay for Black Locust Trees.

You can learn to check what type of soil you have here and here.


As a general rule Black Locust Trees do not require special maintenance. The Autumn Leaves are small enough where they don’t even need to be raked up, as they are too small to smother the grass. You may wish to prune your tree though, but just make sure you do so when insects are not active, such as Winter.

But, eventually the lateral roots will begin producing saplings as off-shoots from the root. These saplings will need to be mowed periodically if they are not wanted.

How to grow Black Locust Tree from seed

Black Locust Trees are easy to grow from seed. There are no cold-stratification requirements, but seeds will need to be scarified in order to allow for germination.

Seeds of the Black Locust Tree

Scarify Black Locust Tree seeds by rubbing them on sandpaper, or using a hot water treatment. [10] In my own experiments I have found sandpaper to be more effective. But I will relay both methods here:

Scarification by sandpaper

For sandpaper, rub the seed over the sandpaper until you notice a white spot on the seed. This white spot indicates that the hard outer shell of the seed has been worn away by the sand paper. Soak the now-scarified seed for 24 hours to reduce germination time.

A Black Locust seed I scarified with sandpaper. Note the small white spot where the coating has been removed.

Scarification by hot water

To perform this method you will need a small container, water, and some seeds. Bring a small amount of water to a boil on a stove. Then, remove the water from the heat and wait about 30 seconds. Then, pour this water into a coffee cup with the seeds inside. Allow the seeds to soak for 24 hours.

If at the end of 24 hours you can’t noticeably see that the seeds are larger, this means that they probably did not imbibe water. You should repeat the hot water soak again.

Planting Black Locust Tree Seeds

Fill a large container with moist potting soil. Then, scarify the seeds and soak them for 24 hours. Plant the now-scarified seeds approximately 1/4″ deep. If the seeds were properly scarified, you can expect germination within a few days.

Black Locust Seedlings, about 1 week old.

Raise the seedlings until they develop several sets of true leaves, then transplant them to their final location. The young seedling/saplings should be protected from deer and rabbits.

Wildlife, Pests, and diseases of Black Locust Trees

Fauna Associations of Black Locust Tree


The Black Locust Tree is ecologically valuable as it feeds over 70 species of insects including beetles, borers, galls, walkingstick, leaf feeders, sucking insects, seed beetles, and over 15 species of moth. Some of these insects are quite damaging such as the Locust Borer and the Locust Twig Borer. [11]

Locust Twig Borer in action

The flowers of Black Locust Tree are mainly pollinated by bumblebees. However, Hummingbirds, butterflies, honeybees, and moths have been documented to visit the flowers. [12] Although the butterflies and moths are not effective at pollinating, just nectar feeding.

Black Locust Trees host several moth species including the Black-Spotted Prominent, Black Zale, Honest Pero, Locust Underwing, Locust Leafrolle, and the Orange Wing.


Black Locust Trees and their seeds are toxic to most mammals. However, Deer will occasionally browse the foliage and eat saplings. Squirrels and chipmunks will sometimes eat the seeds as well.

The dense thickets of Black Locust that often form in abandoned areas provide excellent cover for Deer, Coyote, Fox, Skunk, game birds and other woodland mammals.


The seeds of the Black Locust Tree are a source of food for larger birds such as Bob-White Quail, Turkey, and other game birds. Additionally, the heart rot fungus, while damaging to the tree makes it an excellent habitat for woodpeckers to build cavity nests, such as the Pileated, Flicker, and Yellow or Red-bellied woodpeckers. [1] [13]

Black Locust Trees are toxic to dogs, cats, and horses

The bark, seed pods, and leaves of Black Locust Trees are toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. [14] Symptoms include depression, weakness, vomiting, and respiratory problems. The poisoning will damage the kidneys and liver. [15] If you suspect your pet has consumed any part of the Black Locust Tree, you should seek veterinary care immediately.


There are two frequent insect pests that can negatively effect the Black Locust and it’s potential lumber value – the Locust Borer and Locust Twig Borer. But there are numerous other insects that harm the tree such as leaf miners, suckers, and various boring insects.

Locust Borer

The Locust Borer is a type of longhorn beetle native to North America that exclusively damage Black Locust Trees. The adults are roughly 3/4″ long, yellow-black in color with a sort of zig-zag stripe pattern on their wings, and straight line horizontal stripes on their head. [16]

An adult Locust Borer on Plains Coreopsis

Adults are visible from August through October where they frequent Goldenrod flowers during the morning. From afternoon to early evening they can be found laying eggs on Black Locust Tree trunks inside the deep valleys of bark, on or near wounds. [17]

These eggs will hatch and burrow into the bark to hibernate during the winter. When trees begin to leaf out in Spring, you can see sap oozing from the entry holes. In Spring and summer, it will tunnel throughout the tree eventually exiting as an adult in late Summer, completing the cycle.

A Black Locust limb with visible damage from a Locust Twig Borer.

Like most pests and diseases, trees grown on poor sites are more susceptible to attack and damage. It has been noted that the Locust Borer does play an important role in the succession of forests within Appalachia. [18] [19]

Locust Twig Borer

The Locust Twig Borer (Ecdytolopha insiticiana) is a small moth with ~1″ wing span whose larvae will bore into the center of Black Locust twigs, causing damage and twig death. They can be particularly damaging to young saplings. [20]

One day several years ago I was removing some unwanted Black Locust seedlings. I pulled one, and accidentally snapped it off, reveling a Locust Twig Borer larvae inside.

Locust Twig Borer in action. I accidentally interrupted it’s meal.


Black Locust is frequently attacked by several fungi while alive that severely rot the heart wood, making lumber worthless. These fungi all gain entry to the tree from wounds, most frequently caused by the Locust Borer and Locust Twig Borer.

There are numerous fungal agents, but three will be presented here that are the most frequent.

Black Locust and Heart Rot Fungus

Heart-Rot Fungus Phellinus rimosus is a fungus that resembles a semi-circle shelf that is generally 2-10 inches diameter and 1-2″ thick. Typically the upper surface is brown to black in color, and the margin will bear spores and be yellowish brown in color to brown. Like most tree fungi, it gains entry to the tree from wounds. [21]

Heart Rot Fungus, Phellinus rimosus, Credit – USDA Forest Service – Region 8 – Southern , USDA Forest Service,

Another heart-rot fungus that effects Black Locust, Perenniporia robiniophila is a white-shelf like fungus appearing near the base of trees. It’s scientific name robiniophila means ‘locust loving’ but will also effect Hackberry. Like other fungi, it will gain entry from wounds caused by insects. [22]

Perenniporia fraxinea is an inconspicuous white-rot fungus that will severely damage the heart wood, making a tree not mechanically stable. It attacks the base of stems and the trunk base, and while visible fungus/mushroom is present and visible, it is a dark gray or brown color rendering it inconspicuous. Excessive nitrogen in the soil or from pet urine may accelerate the growth, as research indicates the fungus feeds from high nitrogen. [23]

Perenniporia fraxinea – Image By Dragonòt, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Aggressive or invasive nature of Black Locust Trees

Black Locust is aggressive or invasive in many sites that it colonizes. As a pioneer species, it is quick to establish itself via it’s rapid growth rate when a sapling, out competing other species.

How a Black Locust Tree spreads

As a general rule, Black Locust Trees will primarily spread via suckering roots that are sent out from the mother tree. These roots sprout new seedlings that rapidly grow, and eventually a dense thicket is formed. This primarily happens in open fields. By year six Black Locust Trees can also produce seeds, furthering it’s spread.

Where Black Locust can be aggressive

Black Locust Trees are most likely to become aggressive in open areas with full sun, where they can form dense thickets from suckering roots. They are not a threat to established forests, as they will not survive in shade of taller trees.

However, once established as the dominant tree, Black Locust will remain in areas outside of it’s native range. Research in Europe has found that other, taller species of tree will not out-compete already established Black Locust forests. This is not an issue in North America, as the natural pests of the tree (Locust Borer, Heart Rot) will naturally thin Black Locust thickets. [24]

How to Control Black Locust Trees

There are two effective methods for controlling Black Locust Trees stop them from spreading in invaded areas. The first, and most environmentally friendly method is a combination of mechanical and herbicide application. The second is strong herbicide application to the basal bark.

But in general, a living Black Locust Tree will continually send out suckering roots that sprout new trees. Additionally, there is some spread from seed dispersal in the fall. The only way to truly stop a Black Locust Tree from spreading is to kill it, or plant it where it’s roots can not expand.

Herbicide Control

As a note for the following two subheadings – were PPE if using herbicide (long clothes, rubber gloves, goggles), only work on calm days, and make sure you follow all directions on the label!

Mechanical / Herbicide Control of Black Locust Trees

The most environmentally friendly method of killing any tree is to cut and paint the stump. You use a chainsaw to cut the tree down, and then immediately apply a coat of 20% Glysophate or Garlon 3A (triclopyr formulation). In this way the herbicide only contacts the tree you wish to kill. [25]

I’ve written a detailed guide on this method here. I have personally killed many invasive trees and shrubs using this method. It is effective, and just about the most environmentally friendly method to kill a tree or shrub that re-sprouts from roots.

Basal Bark Herbicide Application

Successful herbicide application on basal bark has been successfully used for many years on smaller trees with thinner bark. To kill Black Locusts chemically, Garlon 4 (trilopyr mixture) and mineral oil (1:5 ratio) and using a pump sprayer and spray from the base of the tree to a height of 15″ (0.5 m). [25]

When spraying, apply enough herbicide until it begins to run off to the ground. After application, walk backwards from the tree to ensure you don’t pick up herbicide on clothing.

Mechanical Control

Since Black Locust Trees primarily spread via suckering roots, and have the ability to re-sprout, mechanical removal methods are often not effective. If a single mature tree is present, the trees will resprout from the roots. However, if an area contains only small trees, then several years of mowing or goat grazing can be effective control.

Control of Black Locust seedlings in residential yards

If you have Black Locust Trees that border your property you will likely have multiple trees sprout up in the middle of your yard each year. My own yard is surrounded by Black Locust Trees on two sides, and when we moved in late 2016 trees sprouting up were a problem.

Random Black Locust seedling in my yard, standing taller than the grass. It sprouted from one of the numerous surrounding trees.

Regular mowing of your yard will kill any seedlings that sprout up. But I found in times of drought, the tree seedlings will grow while the grass goes dormant. This gives the appearance of, well, small trees growing in your yard.

Removing the suckering roots

I was able to drastically slow the spread of Black Locust Trees in my yard by removing the suckering roots from the Black Locust Trees in Autumn. This was much easier than it sounds. To get rid of the roots, or at least the majority of the root, you need to locate a sapling, use a shovel to expose the root, and start pulling.

It is important to do this in Fall, when grass roots are not as strong, and the ground is generally moist. But locate the root and pull. Follow the root until you can pull no more, then cut it with a pruning saw or spade. You will create a trench, but be able to remove huge amounts of root material.

Doing this greatly reduced the amount of saplings/seedlings that would sprout in my yard. I estimate that some of the roots I removed were over 50′ long. Also of note, the trees that produced these roots were no more than 17 years old at the time of me pulling up the roots.

Where to buy Black Locust Trees or Seeds

Black Locust Trees can be purchased from various specialty nurseries or state forest plant sales. They typically are not available as common big-box garden center stock, as they are not a popular tree.

One supplier who I have purchased from in the past (other species) was I have no affiliation with that company, but my experience was very positive.

It can be challenging to locate a reliable source of Black Locust seed. For that reason, it is likely best to become familiar with the tree, and identify your own source.

Uses of Black Locust Trees

Fence Posts

Famous for being rot-resistant, Black Locust Trees have long been sought after and used by farmers for fence posts. There are anecdotes of fence posts lasting for upwards of 80 years. There is a saying that your fence will rust away before the Black Locust fence-post rots.


Black Locust wood, planed smooth.

With a Janka Hardness of 1700lbf, Black Locust Wood is one of the hardest commercially available lumbers in North America, rivaling Hickory and second only to Osage Orange. This combined with it’s rot resistance make it particularly suited to certain applications. Additionally, Black Locust Lumber is very beautiful honey colored wood. [26] [27]

Although dimensional lumber availability is somewhat limited, there are several companies that offer it as decking. Frequently small lumber mills have 4×4 fence posts and live edge slabs available. Hobbyist woodworkers can often find value in the appropriate piece of firewood, making tool handles or mallets.

Related ==> Learn to make your own DIY mallet here

Erosion Control

The Black Locust Tree’s rapid growth rate as a sapling combined with it’s propensity to grow in almost any well-drained soil condition make it an excellent tree to stabilize soil banks. It can be utilized on roadsides, slopes, or other disturbed areas.

Land Reclamation

Black Locust Trees have been used extensively in Appalachia, and worldwide for land reclamation at abandoned coal mines and similar sites. Their ability to tolerate poor soil conditions and a wide pH range make it possible to return desolate lands to nature, bringing homes to a variety of insects and wildlife. [5]


Black Locust Flowers are reputed to produce some of the finest tasting honey in the world. Although the blossoms only last for 1-2 weeks, which will keep that honey in short supply!

Native American Uses of Black Locust Trees

There are 10 uses of Black Locust Trees documented by several tribes, but mainly the Cherokee. These uses included chewing the bark as emetic, crushed root used to treat toothaches, and the bark was also used as a tea (even though toxic). [28]

In addition to several medicinal uses, the Black Locust Tree was used by the Cherokee as a building material for making bows, blowgun darts, fence posts/sills. This further shows the durability of the Black Locust was known for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Value of Black Locust Trees

Depending on the quality quantity of the tree, Black Locust Trees can be worth money. Black Locust Trees can be of value for fence posts and lumber, if the tree isn’t effected by Heart Rot fungus. You can frequently find local and amateur sawmills selling 4×4 locust posts, as well as rough split fence posts.


[1] – Burns, Russell M. Silvics of north America. No. 654. US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, 1990.

[2] – Sabo, Autumn E. “Robinia pseudoacacia invasions and control in North America and Europe.” (2000).

[3] – EDDMapS. 2021. Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System. The University of Georgia – Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. Available online at; last accessed November 23, 2021.

[4] – Converse, Carmen K., and Update By Nancy Eckardt. “Element stewardship abstract for.” Robinia pseudoacacia (1984).

[5] -Enescu, C. M., and A. Danescu. “Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.)-an invasive neophyte in the conventional land reclamation flora in Romania.” Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Brasov. Forestry, Wood Industry, Agricultural Food Engineering. Series II 6.2 (2013): 23.

[6] – Kirker, Grant, Amy Bishell, and Stan Lebow. “Above and in-ground performance of naturally-durable woods in Wisconsin.” In: McCown, C.; Branton, K., eds. Proceedings, One hundred fourteenth annual meeting, American wood protection association. Birmingham, AL: American Wood Protection Association: 272-277. 2018.

[7] – Reinprecht, Ladislav, Marchal, Rémy. Decay Resistance of Laminated Veneer Lumbers From Black Locust Wood. Wood Research, (2010). Retrieved 23NOV2021

[8] – Adamopoulos, Stergios, Elias Voulgaridis, and Costas Passialis. “Variation of certain chemical properties within the stemwood of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L. ).” Holz als roh-und Werkstoff 63.5 (2005): 327-333.

[9] – Lebo Jr, Stuart E., Jerry D. Gargulak, and Timothy J. McNally. “Lignin.” Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Technology 3 (2002).

[10] – Masaka, Kazuhiko, and Kenji Yamada. “Variation in germination character of Robinia pseudoacacia L.(Leguminosae) seeds at individual tree level.” Journal of Forest Research 14.3 (2009): 167-177.


[12] – Robertson, C. “Flowers and insects: lists of visitors to four hundred and fifty-three flowers. Carlinville, IL, USA, C. Robertson.” National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis Interaction Web Database: http://www. nceas. ucsb. edu/interactionweb/html/robertson_1929. html. Keywords: Lists plant-pollinator interactions for 456 (1929).

[13] – Conner, Richard N. , Orson K. Miller Jr, and Curtis S. Adkisson. “Woodpecker dependence on trees infected by fungal heart rots.” The Wilson Bulletin (1976): 575-581.

[14] – Plants Toxic to Dogs and Cats. ASPCA.

[15] – Cortinovis, C., and F. Caloni. “Epidemiology of intoxication of domestic animals by plants in Europe.” Veterinary Journal (London, England: 1997) 197.2 (2013): 163-168.

[16] – Rudolf, Paul. Attack by the Locust Borer, Megacyllene Robiniae (Forster), on the Black Locust Tree, Robinia Pseudoacacia L., in Relation to Stand Composition: A Thesis in Wildlife Management. Diss. Appalachian Environmental Laboratory, 1983.

[17] – Dellinger, Theresa A., and Eric R. Day. “Locust Borer, Megacyllene robiniae (Forts.).” (2015).

[18] – Boring, L. R., and W. T. Swank. “The role of black locust (Robinia pseudo-acacia) in forest succession.” The Journal of Ecology (1984): 749-766.

[19] – Harman, D. M., M. A. Van Tyne, and W. A. Thompson. “Comparison of locust borer Megacyllene robiniae Forster (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) attacks on coal strip-mined lands and lands not mined. ” Annals of the Entomological Society of America 78.1 (1985): 50-53.

[20] – Harman, Dan M., and C. Wayne Berisford. “Host relationships and determination of larval instars of the locust twig borer Ecdytolopha insiticiana.” Environmental Entomology 8.1 (1979): 19-23.

[21] – Kotlaba, František, and Zdenĕk Pouzar. “Notes on Phellinus rimosus complex (Hymenochaetaceae).” Acta Botanica Croatica 37.1 (1978): 171-182.

[22] – Hoffard, William H., and Robert Lee Anderson. A guide to common insects, diseases, and other problems of black locust. Vol. 19. US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Area, Forest Pest Management, 1982.

[23] – Kehr, R., et al. “Root and butt decay of Robinia pseudoacacia caused by Perenniporia fraxinea.” MITTEILUNGEN-BIOLOGISCHEN BUNDESANSTALT FUR LAND UND FORSTWIRTSCHAFT (2000): 92-96.

[24] – Pacyniak, C. “Locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) in conditions of Polish forest environment.” Roczniki Akademii Rolmiczej w Poznaniu 111 (1981): 1-85.

[25] – Heim, J., 2000. Vegetation management guideline black locust (RobiniapseudoacaciaL.)., Accessed date: January2018

[26] – Kamperidou, Vasiliki, Ioannis Barboutis, and Vassilios Vassiliou. “Prospects for the Utilization of Black locust Wood (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) coming from plantations in Furniture Manufacturing.” Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Wood Modification and Technology. 2016.

[27] – C. Pollet, et al. “Physical and Mechanical Properties of Black Locust (robinia Pseudoacacia) Wood Grown In Belgium.” Canadian journal of forest research =, v. 42 ,.5 pp. 831-840. doi: 10.1139/x2012-037

[28] – Native American Ethnobotany Database.

[29] – Bostyn, Stéphane, et al. “Optimization and kinetic modelling of robinetin and dihydrorobinetin extraction from Robinia pseudoacacia wood.” Industrial Crops and Products 126 (2018): 22-30.



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Acacia tree: species, description, photo

Description of yellow, white and silver acacia, recommendations for growing a houseplant


Plant species and varieties, appearance plants that belong to the legume family. Today, there is an impressive abundance of these plant species, each of which is guaranteed to be interesting for you to learn about. Next, we suggest that you study the most popular varieties of the plant considered in the article:

  • White locust wood. White locust, the photo of which will be presented below, is a fast-growing shrub or tree. The plant is native to North America. Commonly used for soil stabilization, wind protection and as an ornamental plant.
  • Gorgeous. An ornamental acacia that blooms in autumn and has a bushy structure. Usually it is a shrub no more than 4 m high, whose leaf resembles a green feather. Each flower during flowering has a spherical shape and yellow color. After flowering, elongated pods are formed on this acacia in which seeds are stored.
  • Armed. This plant has large spines. Acacia leaves are standard green. Usually it is a bush no larger than 3 m.
  • Long leaf. This is an acacia tree with a height of no more than 8-10 m. The main feature of the plant is its intensive growth. In just 5 years, a tree can reach its height limit. When flowering produces small pale yellow flowers with a pleasant aroma.
  • Yellow. Shrub up to 7 m high. Often used as a hedge. It has leaves that are no more than 8 cm long. Flowering usually occurs in late spring in the form of yellow flowers, reminiscent of butterflies in their appearance.
  • Red. An upright shrub that is densely covered with spiky leaves and longitudinal veins. Its height usually does not exceed 2 m.
  • Chinese. This is a branchy shrub no more than 10 m high. It has gray-green leaves 5 cm long and hollow thorns. Acacia flowers have a yellow color and a smell that combines the features of raspberries and violets.
  • Crimean. Deciduous spreading tree, which, like the white acacia, the photo of which is presented below, can grow above 10 m. At the same time, the trunk of the Crimean acacia in girth can be more than 3 m. The leaves of the tree are pinnate light green with a length of up to see. The tree blooms with fragrant large flowers with white and pink outlines.
  • Silver. An evergreen tree with an umbrella-shaped crown. The height of the plant is usually 10-12 m, and the trunk has a diameter of no more than 70 cm. The leaves of the plant are pinnate up to 20 cm long.
  • Pink. This tree is no more than 7 m high with long bright green leaves. Blooms pink with an attractive fragrance.


Desktop wallpapers - Acacia.

You can download any photo of Acacia screensaver in high quality and resolution absolutely free of charge.
Pictures in section Acacia : 67 pcs.


Acacia grows quickly, the size of the tree varies from 6 to 12 meters. Although there are over 80 types of acacia, each with slightly different characteristics.

Pictured is an acacia tree, known for its white flowers that appear in spring in clusters with a pleasant aroma. Beware of the long thorns of the acacias and, even worse, the nectar-gathering stinging ants.

Acacia leaves are a favorite food for cattle. In the home landscape, acacias are pleasant shady trees. Use them as a specimen plant or plant them as a hedge to keep wild animals out of your yard. Avoid planting acacias near pools, playgrounds, and paths. They will create some garbage on the lawn.

Acacia trees grow fast and have a short life span. Like most fast growing trees, they have relatively shallow roots and brittle wood. Branches break easily in strong winds, and trees sometimes even fall. Proper watering can minimize this risk.



In addition to excellent protective performance for the area where acacia bushes or trees are planted, you should pay attention to other properties of the plant. Properly prepared roots, seeds, bark, flowers and leaves of acacia will have a positive effect on:

  • Muscles. Eliminates inflammation and pain in the muscles, allowing you to increase physical activity in training without negative consequences.
  • Cardiovascular system. Normalizes the work of the heart and prevents the development of various diseases.
  • Teeth and bronchi. Treatment and prevention of diseases of the oral cavity. Prevention of the development of bacteria and inflammation in the mucosa.
  • GI tract. Removes toxins from the body and reduces intestinal irritability.
  • Kidneys and bladder. Restores damaged kidney tissue and suppresses oxidative processes.
  • Leather. Increases the speed of wound healing and eliminates ulcers.

this evergreen shrub or low tree with graceful double-pinnate, soft numerous leaves comes from Australia. In Russia, the silver acacia is well nestled and grows successfully on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus.

These photos show how beautiful the silver acacia is at the time of flowering:

Perhaps no one here calls this plant silver acacia, everyone calls it mimosa, although real mimosa (genus Mimosa) grow in the tropics of America, Asia and Africa, and in Russia - only in greenhouses.

Beautiful shoots of this variety of acacia with small pale yellow flowers in capitate or spike-shaped inflorescences with a special light spicy-sweet invigorating aroma are called mimosa and have long been a symbol of spring.

It is at this time, when snow is still everywhere in central Russia, that the time of its flowering comes in the historical homeland of silver acacia. In late February - early March, mimosa begins to bloom in southern Russia. From there, bouquets of this plant come to every home and fill with the mood of anticipation of spring and the holiday.

See how the silver acacia looks like in these photos:



Acacia is an ornamental plant that is usually planted as a hedge. Some of its species, due to the dense root system, are also planted to strengthen the soil.

Another area of ​​application is cosmetology and perfumery. In this case, the Chinese acacia is meant. Often, the flowers of this plant are used to create a fragrant oil that has a range of relaxing and healing properties.

The fact that acacia is widely used in folk medicine deserves special attention. From it often create decoctions and infusions, allowing you to cope with a large number of ailments.


Tree life span tables

The average lifespan of some deciduous trees is shown in Table 1.

Table 1

Name How long does a tree live (average/maximum), years
Alder gray 50-70 (150)
Black alder 100-150 (300)
Aspen 80-100 (150)
Warty birch 150-300
Common ash 150-200 (350)
Smooth Elm 150 (300-400)
Rough elm to 300
Small-leaved linden 300-400 (600)
Forest beech 400-500
Pedunculate oak to 1500
Maple 100 (300-400)
Poplar 100
Hornbeam 300
Ash 300
Elm 300
Chestnut 300

The average life expectancy of some common conifers is summarized in Table 2.

Table 2

Name How long does a tree live, years
European spruce 300-400
Blue spruce 400-600
European larch 400-600
Siberian fir 700
Common juniper 500
Scotch pine 100
European pine 1000
Siberian cedar 1000
Western thuja 150-200
Berry yew 1500-2000

The average lifespan of fruit trees is summarized in Table 3.

Table 3

Name How long does a tree live, years
wild apple up to 200 years
Home apple tree 100-120
Plum 15-60
Pear 150
Peach 5-20
Apricot 100
Rowan 80-300
Cherry 25-30
Cherry 20-25

Source: http://ferma. expert/rasteniya/derevya/skolko-zhivut-derevya/

How to grow, care and pests and diseases

To grow an acacia, you do not need special skills. It is enough to plant the plant in a place where it will be protected from the wind, and at the same time, it will receive the necessary amount of light. Almost all types of acacia are very unpretentious, which is why you will not have any difficulties with planting trees and shrubs in your territory.



Here you can see clusters of decorative white and yellow acacia trees during the flowering period:

You can also read about the healing and beneficial properties of White acacia here, and here read about honey from this plant and about the use of the product.


Growing and caring for room acacia at home

To grow acacia at home, the following conditions must be met.

Lighting. Photophilous plant. In winter, it needs a 4-hour artificial extension of daylight hours.

Temperature. The optimum temperature for the growth and development of home acacia in summer is 20° C, in winter - not lower than 5° C.

Air humidity. Acacia does not need to be sprayed at low room temperatures.

Maintenance, care and reproduction. During active growth, water the plant 1-2 times a week, in winter - once every 10-12 days. It is preferable to use rainwater for irrigation.

Every 2 years, the acacia must be replanted, waiting for the end of flowering.

Pests and diseases. If the care for growing acacia was not thorough enough, the plant can be affected by aphids, mealybugs, red spider mites. With high humidity and temperature in winter, rotting of the roots is possible.

If the stems of the plant are covered with a sticky liquid, then this is definitely a trace of sucking pests - aphids, whiteflies, thrips, after which honeydew remains on the plant, later covered with black mold. Collect insects, then treat the plant with an insecticide.

Millipedes can be seen when transplanting the plant in the ground. If their number does not exceed 2–3 individuals, then there is nothing to worry about, but if there are more than 5–6 of them, then the plant must be urgently transplanted, completely replacing the substrate. Centipedes are dangerous for seedlings, rooted cuttings, because they gnaw the roots, as a result of which the plant stops developing.


50 photographs of the plant, its species don't forget to leave your comments. Share your personal experience of using and growing acacia.



Robinia, or false acacia (Robinia pseudacacia L.) has taken root well on the European continent and is familiar to many of its inhabitants. Its white flowers emit a very strong and pleasant fragrance that attracts not only people but also bees.

This tree lives on average 30 to 40 years, has a brownish bark, spreading crown with green pinnate leaves. The fruits of white acacia ripen in September - October and fall off only next spring.


Acacia in medicine

The chemical composition of acacia bark and its effect on the body has not yet been fully studied, but even today decoctions from it are recommended not only by traditional healers, but also by official medicine. Since the bark, flowers and fruits of this plant are often poisonous, they can be used only after consulting a doctor and in the recommended doses.


What fast-growing trees will help close the neighbor's house? Description of varieties and photos - Botanichka

Having moved to a country house with a garden, we, like many people, strove for peace and solitude in nature. But everything turned out like a bad joke. Soon the neighboring plot was bought out, and the new neighbors erected a three-story house with windows overlooking our garden. But I did not despair. In this article I will tell you what trees I acquired in order to hide the neighbor's house from our eyes as soon as possible, or rather, to close our garden from prying eyes.

What fast-growing trees will help close the neighbor's house?

By what criteria did I choose the trees?

When it is necessary to decorate neighboring buildings as quickly as possible, the main quality of the selected trees is their high growth rate. But it is important to take into account other characteristics of the plant. Here are the criteria by which I chose the trees:

  1. This should not be a breed of the first or second order. That is, a 20-40-meter tree on the site will certainly cope with the function of a screen from a neighbor's house, but at the same time, there will be nothing in my garden except shady flower beds. And this is not quite what I dreamed of.
  2. The tree must be unproblematic. From time to time, any crop can be affected by diseases and pests, but if the breed is famous for its propensity for any disease, for example, like Weymouth pine, suffering from rust, then this option will not suit me. Also, the breed should not actively grow or be "garbage", such as black locust (locust) or American maple.
  3. The plant must fit into the design of the garden, have an appropriate character, color and not stand out from the general mood of my site.
  4. The crown should have a predominantly columnar shape, that is, not be too wide so as not to “steal” a significant part of the territory of my garden, but grow mostly vertically, like a living tall fence.
  5. It is desirable that the breed be consistently decorative and have an attractive appearance for most of the year. It is also nice if the tree is evergreen, so that I can calmly walk around the garden “without prying eyes” in winter.

So, what breeds did I consider for the role of a screen from a neighbor's house and what did I end up with?

Deltoid poplar "Purple Tower"

Sapling deltoid poplar "Purple Tower" ( Purple Tower ) I first saw in the nursery, and he literally sunk into my soul. The plant had huge burgundy-red glossy leaves and a very stately appearance. However, I was in no hurry to plant this plant in my garden due to the fact that it is still a poplar, and it grows quite large. As an adult it is described as 10-15 m tall.

Delta poplar (Populus deltoides), cultivar 'Purple Tower'. © Janusz Radecki

It grows like all poplars, it is literally before our eyes (an increase of 50 cm per year), you can cut it, but you will have to do it quite often. And now, in connection with the appearance of a tall neighbor's house, I again remembered this variety and seriously thought about it. However, I still didn't buy it.

The main reason is poplar's windfall (just recently a hurricane raged not far from us, and poplars were literally broken in half, while other trees survived). Another problem is poplar's superficial root system, and I didn't really want its roots to climb into my flower beds and lawn. And the third reason - after all, poplar looks too formal and is subconsciously perceived as a marker of urban landscaping.


Willow ( Salix ) is another fast growing tree that can be quite acceptable in wet areas. At present, there is a great variety of decorative types of willows (in Moscow you can even find a nursery specializing in interesting types and varieties of willows). They look very attractive and will not grow into gigantic trees. But in our new garden, the soil is still very dry, and the willow, I think, would not be too comfortable with such conditions. I don't plan to water much in my garden.

Willow (Salix)

In addition, willow tends to have a wide crown and will take up too much space. Another problem is that willow is famous as a plant that attracts a huge number of insects, including pests. There is even a saying that a good gardener will never plant a willow in his garden. Also, these trees do not really correspond to the general style of my site and are often short-lived, they can suffer from strong winds.

Read also our article Iva Matsudana - an openwork beauty for your garden.


Apricot ( Prunus armeniaca ) is one of the fastest growing fruit trees, whose growth rate is simply amazing. When we bought the plot, two apricot seedlings were growing on them, reaching a height of about 1.5 m. By the end of the season, these were already trees of almost three meters in height, and we took the first crop from them. That is, in one summer, apricots of the varieties "Orlovchanin" and "Kompotny" gave an increase of 1-1.5 m and significantly overtook the cherries, apples and pears growing nearby.

Apricot (Prunus armeniaca). © CowboysMomma

Therefore, if your conditions allow you to grow an apricot, and you need a fast-growing tree, then you can opt for it. Apricot not only gives delicious fruits, but is also certainly beautiful (one of the first to bloom profusely in spring, decorates the garden with bright foliage in autumn). But since I already have two apricots in my garden, I decided not to increase their number, fearing not to cope with the harvest. Yes, and as planned, that part of the garden where the neighbor's house appeared should be decorative, not fruit.

Rumelian pine

A few years ago at an exhibition-fair I bought an unusual seedling of Rumelian pine ( Pinus peuce ), being seduced by a very low price, and planted it in my country house. As it turned out later, the low cost of this tree is due to the fact that it is a species, not a varietal specimen, and the seedlings of the breed grow incredibly fast. Now, looking at my pine tree, I just can't believe my eyes.

Rumelian pine (Pinus peuce). ©

Even "yesterday" it was a "blade" 20 cm high, and today it is already a two-meter tree, and it has become so in three years. This year it even got its first bump. I have not seen such long growths in any of my coniferous pets. Therefore, if you think that all conifers grow slowly, then the Rumelian pine will cross out these ideas.

The appearance of this pine cannot leave you indifferent, it has very thin bluish needles, pleasant to the touch and not prickly at all (I really like to stroke it). The cones are long and slender, the trunk is smooth, and the crown is like that of Scots pine. Outwardly, it is very similar to the Weymouth pine, but it is not at all affected by rust.

I would definitely plant a similar pine tree on a new site to close the neighbor's house, if not for one "but". It is a species, not a variety, and its height can be unpredictable. In particular, in the encyclopedia it is described as a tree 10-20 m high. And this, you see, is too wide a spread. And 20 meters for 10 acres, especially on the south side, is still too much.

Flexible pine "VanderWulf Pyramid"

Having studied the entire range of nurseries in our city, I came to the conclusion that 9 fully meets my requirements0014 Pinus flexilis ‘Vanderwolf’s Pyramid’ ( Pinus flexilis ‘Vanderwolf’s Pyramid’ ). First, it is one of the fastest growing. Its growth can be about a meter per year, and after 5 years the height of the seedlings will be about 4 m, which will practically close the neighboring windows. At the same time, this tree has a rather narrow crown, up to 3 m in diameter, and if over time it raises its crown, then it will not take up much space on the site.

Flexible pine (Pinus flexilis), Vanderwolf's Pyramid cultivar. © plantmaster

In addition, this variety is completely winter-hardy (up to -34 degrees) in our area, does not burn or freeze slightly, is rarely affected by diseases and pests. And, finally, it is an extremely beautiful tree with bluish, soft-touch needles and a regular pyramidal crown.

I am also pleased that this is an evergreen tree, that is, it will perform its masking function all year round. And, of course, pine is a long-liver, and in a good scenario, it can remind descendants of me for 300 years or more. The final height of the tree will have to be 10-13 m. This is a lot, but quite tolerable compared to 20-40-meter species pines.

Read also our article Spectacular pines on the site - planting, formation, types and varieties.

Bird cherry "Shubert"

Bird cherry "Shubert" ( Prunus virginiana ‘Shubert’ ) is another good option for fast-growing, relatively low trees, but this breed is with some reservations. I liked this bird cherry for a very long time, and it's really hard not to fall in love with it. Bird cherry "Schubert" has dense large leaf blades up to 13 cm long. It blooms very beautifully in spring with clusters of white flowers, exuding the same bird cherry aroma, and large black berries appear to replace the flowers. They are larger and sweeter than those of the "wild" bird cherry and, as they say, do not knit at all in the mouth.

Red-leaved bird cherry (Prunus virginiana), variety "Shubert" (Shubert). © Todd_Boland

In the spring, the leaves of the Schubert bird cherry are green, but around the end of June they gradually begin to turn burgundy, and the tree is so elegant almost all summer, the autumn color is orange-red.

Bird cherry is a record holder in terms of growth rate and can produce growths of about 1 m per year or more. The height of an adult tree is 6-10 m. The crown is narrow – up to 2-3 m. It would seem that not plants, but a dream. But not everything is so smooth. Unfortunately, the main scourge of this plant is fungal diseases, in particular, clasterosporiasis (holes in leaf blades) and powdery mildew.

In search of the truth, I studied many reviews of gardeners who grow red-leaved bird cherry, and concluded for myself that the plant has much more advantages, and diseases can be successfully fought. Moreover, usually they only slightly spoil the view, but do not completely destroy the tree. In addition, I often met red-leaved bird cherry in front gardens, and it looked great, and did not at all give the impression of a diseased tree.

What did I choose?

So, what kind of plants did I end up buying to cover my neighbor's house? As you might have guessed, they turned out to be two seedlings of the VanderWulf Pyramid pine.

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