How to kill locust tree sprouts

Black Locust Control | Missouri Department of Conservation


NOTE: Although the following guideline is written for black locust, the control methods will also be effective for honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos L.). Honey locust can be controlled more easily than black locust using the methods outlined below because it does not readily form root sprouts.

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Black locust invades dry or moist open woodlands, stream valleys, pastures, thickets and roadsides. It can be found in upland forest natural areas where it becomes established along ridge-top logging roads, at old home sites, or in openings following natural tree fall. Eroded areas along streams also provide potential habitat for seedling establishment.

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Black locust leaves and seed pod



Dozing may be practical consideration on some sites. A black locust of 300 plants was established in 1963 at the Elsberry Plant Materials Center near Elsberry, Missouri. Removal of the mature stand occurred in about 1987. Bulldozing, piling, and burning of trees followed by cultivation and planting of soybeans effectively eliminated root sprouts and seed germination. Monitor dozed sites for sprouting from roots or seed germination and follow-up with mechanical or chemical treatment. Roundup, Krenite or Garlon may be used to treat any sprouts that appear.

Aerial application of herbicide

Aerial spraying with Krenite works well on degraded sites having dense, tall infestations.


Black locust is difficult to control due to its rapid growth and clonal spread. Mowing and burning largely have proven only temporarily effective due to the tree's ability to spread vegetatively. As a result, management has concentrated on chemical control with variable success. Whatever control measure is adopted, a follow-up treatment is usually necessary.


Spread of black locust can be hindered by repeated cutting during the growing season. All stems should be cut, and new stems that appear subsequently should also be removed in the same growing season. This treatment will probably need to be repeated for several years to achieve adequate control. Annual haying may be adequate to control first year seedlings and prevent spreading in prairie communities.


Best success with herbicides has resulted from basal bark application of herbicides to live standing trees. This should be done when trees are small and thin-barked (6 inches or less DBH). It is not as effective on larger trees. This method minimizes re-sprouting from roots and stumps when applied between mid-July and the end of December. Remedy (a formulation of triclopyr) is recommended at a 2-percent solution in diesel fuel. Spray basal part of brush or trees to a height of 15 to 20 inches above the ground. Thoroughly wet all basal bark areas, including crown buds and ground sprouts. A thorough spraying that includes spraying until run-off at the ground line is noticed is necessary to hinder re-sprouting. Applications in periods of dry weather will aid in root control.

Basal bark treatment with Garlon 4 (triclopyr) can also be effective, although re-sprouting has occurred in at least one instance with this treatment. Two to two and one-half oz. of Garlon 4 is added to one gallon of diesel fuel. Follow same directions as with Remedy. Great care should be exercised to avoid getting any of the mixtures on the ground near the target plant since some non-target species may be harmed. Diesel fuel may kill vegetation around the target tree. Avoid using triclopyr if rain is forecast for the following one to four days; otherwise runoff will harm non-target species.

Pelleted herbicides are discouraged because leaching could occur, affecting native woody plants. A variety of sprays are available for foliage or cut stump treatment, but these methods will probably require more follow-up treatments than the basal bark applications. Krenite (a formulation of forsamine ammonium) is a non-volatile, contact, brush herbicide, applied as a spray to leaves usually during the two-month period before fall coloration. Krenite should be applied only in July through September. Thorough coverage with a soft water carrier is required and a nonionic surfactant will improve results. A 1-percent solution applied as a foliar spray is effective. Krenite inhibits bud expansion in the spring, and control effects are not seen until the following spring. Slight regrowth may occur the following season but saplings will die during summer. Follow label recommendations to obtain best results; minimize drift. Care should be taken to avoid contacting non-target species.

Garlon 3A (a formulation of triclopyr) is a selective translocated herbicide that can be applied as a foliar or cut-surface treatment. Cut-surface treatment provides a high level of control of tree root systems, especially for suckering species such as black locust. Cut-surface application can be made during any season of the year, but application during the dormant season reduces the potential for drift injury. Undiluted or diluted Garlon 3A at a rate of 50-percent water can either be sprayed on the cut surface using a hand sprayer or else wiped on the cut surface using a sponge applicator (sponge-type paint applicators can be used). Either a stump or a girdle can be used for the cut surface. Girdles around the stem can be made quickly, using a chainsaw. Application should be within a few hours of cutting, adhering closely to label precautions and directions.

Crossbow may be sprayed on cut stumps at a 1-percent or 1.5-percent rate in the early fall, well before freezing. This kills small saplings, however suckering, partial greenup of treated trees and germination of seed may continue for a couple of years.

Glyphosate (trade name Roundup) can be foliar-sprayed on black locust leaves as a control when trees are actively growing. For good control, all leaves on all shoots should be treated. Roundup should be applied by hand sprayer at a 0.5- to 1.5-percent solution (0.6 to 2 ounces of Roundup per gallon of clean water). Spray coverage should be uniform and complete. Do not spray so heavily that herbicide drips off the target species.

Black locust stems can be cut at the base with brush-cutters, chainsaws or hand tools, followed by treating the stump with a 20-percent solution of Roundup. While the Roundup label recommends a 50- to 100-percent concentration of herbicide for stump treatment, a 20-percent concentration has proven effective. The herbicide should be applied either by spraying individual stumps using a hand held sprayer or by wiping each stump with a sponge applicator. Treatment should occur immediately after cutting for best results. Application in late summer, early fall or the dormant season has proven effective.

Glyphosate is a nonselective herbicide, so care should be taken to not let it come in contact with non-target species. Foliar spray of glyphosate should not be used in high quality areas because of problems with spraying non-target species.

In general, foliar spray application of herbicides should not be used in high quality areas because of potential damage to non-target plants. Herbicide application to cut stumps or cut surfaces is preferred in high-quality natural areas because this minimizes damage to non-target plants.

Any herbicide should be applied while backing away from the treated area to avoid walking through the wet herbicide. By law, herbicides only may be applied according to label directions. As mentioned earlier, follow-up treatments are usually necessary because of black locust's prolific sprouting and rapid growth.

Biological Control

The locust borer, Megacylline robinine, can cause serious injury and disfigurement to black locust. However, no information is available on the use of the borer as a control method.


Tordon RTU (picloram) is a premixed general use herbicide labeled for cut-surface applications only. This herbicide kills treated black locust stems, but vigorous sprouts develop from roots. Stump treatments that do not effectively control the tree's root system may necessitate several additional years of foliar treatment of root sprouts. Tordon RTU has high soil mobility and persistence, and is no longer labeled for use on sandy soils.

Girdling kills the black locust stem that is girdled, but it does not prevent the formation of suckers.

Mowing areas around mature trees where seed pods have dropped seems to promote seed germination.

Fire kills the main stems but prolific sprouting results.


How to Stop Locust Trees From Spreading | Home Guides

By Doug Johnson Updated October 05, 2020

Locust trees (Robinia spp.) have become a real problem in areas where the locust trees sprout everywhere as an invasive species. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, mowing and burning attempts to remove the trees from the regions in which they are invasive have been successful only in the short term. If you live in one those places where the trees are undesirable, however, some methods are available to help keep them away from gardens and lawns. Ridding the landscape of the locust trees can also aid in conservation.

Locust Tree: The Basics

According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, locust trees are members of a genus containing around 10 members of flowering trees and shrubs that grow in North America. Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), which, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden, grows in USDA zones 3 to 8, is, in some cases, grown as an ornamental. The same is true for the honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos), which also grows in zones 3 to 8. The trees are members of the pea family.

These deciduous trees have long compound leaves, made up of up to 21 leaflets, and many species contain thorns. They flower in loose clusters and produce long legumes as fruit. The trees are also easy to grow, which has helped them spread and become invasive in many areas, including the Midwest.

Honey Locust Control

The best way to kill black locust is also the best way to kill honey locust. Controlling either species is a difficult task, considering their rapid growth and, in the case of black locust trees, their ability to spread quickly through self-seeding and root suckers. As a first, preemptive step, try to identify root suckers quickly and remove them equally as quickly. Sadly, in most cases, regardless of the treatment chosen, performing it again to control the trees is usually required.

One method of honey locust control and black locust control is to cut back the trees every growing season. Cut both new stems and new growth—you likely will need to repeat this step several times over the years. Spreading hay over the area could help prevent new trees from sprouting. In areas where it's possible, bulldozing, pilling and burning methods the trees have also been employed, but this seems less practical for most home gardeners.

Other Methods of Control

Honey locust control using herbicides works best when applying the compounds to the basal bark, particularly when they are small and thin. It does not work at all for larger trees. The best herbicides for honey locust control or black locust control contain Triclopyr. Using pelleted herbicides is not a good idea since leaching could occur and harm desirable plants in the region. Instead, opt for sprays, but bear in mind this effort could take several years.

Glyphosate, or Roundup, can also be sprayed on black locust foliage while the trees are still growing. Spray heavily, but not heavy enough that it begins to drip off the black locust tree onto other plants, as glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide. It kills everything it touches. Research studies suggest that the locust borer insect can seriously harm the trees, but so far, there is no information about its viability as a control method. It's important to stay patient when dealing with these trees.


  • Missouri Department of Conservation: Black Locust Control
  • Missouri Botanical Garden: Robinia Pseudoacacia
  • Missouri Botanical Garden: Gleditsia Triacanthos
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica: Locust Tree


  • While it might seem a detriment to the environment to kill any tree, you actually help the environment when you kill invasive species. Invasive species are introduced to environments where they have no natural control measures, which allows them to spread quickly and in many cases, choke out or kill native vegetation.
  • Honey locust (Gleditsia spp.) is another locust that can become an invasive pest, although it belongs to a different genus than black locust. Also grown in zones 3 through 8, you can employ the same control measure to kill and stop the spread of this tree species.

Writer Bio

Doug Johnson is a Canadian writer, editor and journalist.

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Acacia - cultivation and care, purchase

Description Acacia

Latin name:



The species of silver acacia (Acacia dealbata) is called "mimosa". The genus Acacia unites more than 700 species of trees and shrubs. Acacias are often confused with mimosa proper, the bashful mimosa (Mimosa pudica), a plant with pink and purple flowers originating from Brazil.

Acacias were brought to Europe in the 19th century. They are often grown in parks and gardens, especially on the coast, in subtropical climates.

Acacia leaves, depending on the species, are complex and double-pinnate, their color is silver-gray. In Australian species, only the leaf petiole (phyllody) develops, in others only stipules modified into spines develop. The flowers are collected in very fragrant capitate or spike-shaped inflorescences of bright yellow or white color, which, in turn, are collected in panicles 7-10 cm long.

Acacias - open ground plants, do not tolerate low temperatures; at home, they can also be grown, but this is fraught with some difficulties.



Acacia species are not easy to grow in gardens and terraces. However, results, although modest, are obtained by planting young plants in a permanent planting site. This place should be protected from the wind and lit by the sun for most of the day. Prefers acidic, moist and very well-drained soils.

To stimulate the vegetation of this plant, it is recommended to remove the branches immediately after flowering. To maintain a good condition of acacia indoors, a constant soil moisture is observed.


In winter it is sufficient to keep the soil moist; in the spring, watering is gradually increased, bringing to a maximum by the summer. Regardless of where the plant is grown - at home or in the garden - you should periodically add liquid fertilizer to the water for irrigation.


At home, after flowering, the plant is recommended to be transplanted into a new pot slightly larger than the previous one after a short time.


Propagated by both seeds and cuttings. Best months to sow: March and April. First, the seeds are soaked in water for 2 days (they increase germination), after which they are sown to a depth of 1-2 cm in peat-sandy soil. Humidity is maintained at a high level, and the temperature is 15-20 ° C. Cuttings are taken from the mother plant in the summer, using semi-lignified parts of the branches, then they are placed in the soil, maintaining a high level of humidity and moderate temperature. Acacia silver forms shoots growing from buds at the base of the stem and on roots that can be used as cuttings.


Acacias love the light and grow well even in the open sun, as long as there is protection from the wind.


They prefer high temperatures and cannot tolerate winters that are too harsh, with temperatures below 15°C.

Diseases and pests of Acacia

Leaves and branches often become flabby - this is Verticillium wilt, which is provoked by a fungus (Verticillium) and causes Fusarium wilt due to Fusarium (Fusarium spp.). In this case, it is necessary to remove the affected parts, and then treat the entire plant with a fungicide. Of the pests, aphids, worms and mites attack the acacia, which are disposed of by treatment with appropriate insecticides. Due to excessive alkalinity of the soil, chlorosis occurs - you need to increase the level of acidity (pH). If the plant is affected by powdery mildew, then sulfur-based preparations or other fungicides are used.


Acacias are always difficult to acquire - the fact is that interesting species grow only in the subtropical climate zone. However, at the end of winter, several plants go on sale in large stores and gardening centers. When buying, you should check whether the culture grew in good conditions. You should purchase specimens with fully closed flowers.

Additional information


Flowering occurs in early spring. In hot areas of the temperate climate zone - plentiful. Early flowering can be provoked if the temperature never drops below 15 ° C in winter.

Acacia Care Summary

Growing complex
Watering plentiful in summer
Transplantation after flowering
Maintaining appearance remove dead leaves
Location solar
Temperature 15-18°C
Flowering beginning of spring
Height up to 25 m