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All things Black Locust

                        


Joined: Apr 03, 2011
Posts: 6
Location: Oshkosh, WI and Grand Marais, MN
    I don't think their are any companies making animal feed from black locust. Just lots of small farmers around the world using it to feed their livestock, with apparently no bad effects.


Harmon Seaver
                                              


Joined: Mar 30, 2011
Posts: 500
Harmon wrote:
     I don't think their are any companies making animal feed from black locust. Just lots of small farmers around the world using it to feed their livestock, with apparently no bad effects.


Ive often wondered the same thing. theres also siberian pea shrub, and honey locust, and hordes of nuts, and berries that out produce many other things we use for feeds.

  I think its rather likely those needs can be met much more efficiently.
John Sizemore


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 96
Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
ronie wrote:
It is the nitrogen fixing bacteria in the soil that attach to the roots of legumes that wind up using nitrogen out of the air and  fixing the nitrogen in the soil. I have never inoculated my soil. I know that some places have the nitro fixers for sale. I think it would be highly unlikely that the bacteria is not already in your soil. I've heard 'claims' that you will get better nitrogen fixing going on if you buy their product, but I have doubts as to whether they will speed up the process any.

Each plant pretty much has their own nitrogen fixing bacteria they need. In North America the Black locust is native so the bacteria are naturally in the soil. The real problem with inoculants comes from using fertilizers and other chemicals that disrupt the natural balance in the soil. I could see the need for an initial inoculation if I were planting trees in degraded soil. However if I were transplanting seedlings from under a mother tree or just got a handful of soil from under an existing tree and put in the seeding tray I think that would take care of the situation.


I am the first generation of my family to grow up on the grid eating out of the super market. I hope to be the last.
John Sizemore


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 96
Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
Harmon wrote:
       I'm not sure this is correct information. At least there certainly seems to be a lot of contradictory information, if you do a search on the web, such as this paper from North Carolina State University which studied black locust as goat feed and definitely recommends it. http://repository.lib.ncsu.edu/ir/handle/1840.16/5769
      Plus we see goats eating it with apparently no ill-effects. So does anyone know of any other studies which agree with the post from prepared society? Could it be that they confused some other tree as black locust, which so many people seem to do?

  I cannot remember all my sources but locust like all fabacea plants cannot be the entire diet. There needs to be some other plants mixed in. I used other fabacea tree leaves, grass clippings and table scraps for feeding tilapia in the Dominican Republic a few years ago. They did fine.
There were studies conducted by the USDA in P.R. On the mimosa family of trees and they found about 25-30 percent of the diet should be the fabacea trees and the rest grasses.
  Bill Mollison described a cut and carry fodder system where ten dairy cows were supported off of 1 acre of fabacea trees and elephant grass. Barking frog has the transcripts of the PDC where he describes it.
There will not be any studies due to no company can make money off of it.
The toxins may be in the wood but not in the leaves and seeds. The tree spreads it seeds by animals eating it and passing it through the gut. That is why warm water or acid helps germination.
Look at rhubarb. The leaves are poison but the stalks are not.
Matt Banchero


Joined: Jun 12, 2011
Posts: 10
If you are going to manage a copse of black/honey locust you should start by taking the tree stump down to grade.  In the video posted here the new shoot has a very poor attachment to the old stump.  There is perhaps 8-12" of included bark between the new shoot and old stump.  If the shoot was allowed to grow without being cut, it likely would break away from the stump before reaching maturity. 

You can avoid the thorns grabbing you by pruning branches to above head level on stems selected for ongoing growth. 

After a few years of sprout development, the funkiest, malformed, stunted sprouts should be thinned (perhaps stored or fed t livestock) and the most desirable sprouts should be pruned for form. 

A pruned and copse can produce more wood per acre of straighter material, while letting more light into the understory and limiting ladder fuels where wild fire is an issue. 

I love managing trees in this fashion.  The work done in one morning can be felt for many years depending on the length of rotation used. 
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6453
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
133
There is a simple reason that black locust is not used in commercial feeds: availability!
Companies like Purina buy thousands of hopper cars of corn for their mixes.  Where could you find a single hopper car full of locust seeds?  Without a reliable source of abundant quantities, they will not even experiment with it as an ingredient.
                              


Joined: Jul 11, 2011
Posts: 10
In "The Forager's Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants" by Samuel Thayer he has a chapter on how to prepare black locust for human consumption.

Also honeylocust - Gleditsia triacanthos L. does NOT fix nitrogen according to USDA and other sources
black locust - Robinia pseudoacacia does, totally different genus.

Honey locust seed is also supposed to be edible buy humans but I've not tried it.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6453
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
133
Honeylocust is also a legume, so I would expect some nitrogen fixing.
Perry Way


Joined: Nov 07, 2010
Posts: 65
Black Locust is a honey bee plant.  Just smell the damn flowers and that's the biggest clue there is! But it's true, Black Locust is a honey bee plant. Honey Locust is not, by comparison! It gets the name honey from the sweetness of the pulp in the edible seed pods.

Honey made from Black Locust trees is mighty good tasting honey!  It's a prized possession, just like honey made from sage and some special wildflowers like vinegar weed, aka blue curls, link: http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/trichostema-lanceolatum .

I have a piece of land I am hoping I can grow all kinds of Black Locust, and other flowering trees like Acacias and Chilopsis because I have a large amount of vinegar weed growing not just on my property but for miles and miles in all directions so I can feed the bees in the hottest part of summer and into late fall. Massive show-stoppers of wildflowers in late winter to mid-spring.  And flowering trees in spring and summer. I'm looking at Black Locust as a bee plant, so I can raise bees and have natural food for them in all seasons except winter obviously.
            


Joined: Jun 27, 2010
Posts: 75
Location: Ontario, Canada (44.265475, -77.960029)
Off The Grid wrote:

I have a piece of land I am hoping I can grow all kinds of Black Locust,


http://www.treeshrubseeds.com/details.asp?id=851
or
http://www.treehelp.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=SD-11502

I ordered from the second in April 2011 and now have 6 1 foot seedlings which will go into the ground this fall when they are dormant.  Germination rate was 75%.


Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.
Steven Baxter


Joined: Mar 22, 2011
Posts: 254
I was reading about BL in California. I read it is an invasive to CA, but New Mexican locust (Robinia neo-mexicana) is similar and it is native.

Anyone know if it has the same traits as BL, as being a long lasting hard wood for like fence posts etc.
Perry Way


Joined: Nov 07, 2010
Posts: 65
MikeH wrote:
http://www.treeshrubseeds.com/details.asp?id=851
or
http://www.treehelp.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=SD-11502

I ordered from the second in April 2011 and now have 6 1 foot seedlings which will go into the ground this fall when they are dormant.  Germination rate was 75%.


I ordered seeds from J L Hudson http://jlhudsonseeds.net/SeedlistQ-R.htm and I have one test one I'm trying to germinate at the moment. The packet of seeds I got for $2.50 contained quite a lot of seeds. Will be interesting to see if I can grow anything I can transplant in November.
ronie dee


Joined: Mar 04, 2009
Posts: 586
Location: Cosby MO
    
    2
Off The Grid wrote:
I ordered seeds from J L Hudson http://jlhudsonseeds.net/SeedlistQ-R.htm and I have one test one I'm trying to germinate at the moment. The packet of seeds I got for $2.50 contained quite a lot of seeds. Will be interesting to see if I can grow anything I can transplant in November.


I was wondering how much shipping and handling you had to pay in addition to the $2.50?


Sometimes the answer is not to cross an old bridge, nor to burn it, but to build a better bridge.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6453
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
133
J.L.Hudson is extremely fair on S/H charges.  I don't have this years cat. in front of me, but last year I ordered a bunch of stuff, and paid $1.50 shipping.  (He included a new catalog, and there was about $2 in stamps on the envelope I received.)

His catalog is a great reference book, and he offers many varieties that are difficult to find elsewhere.
Perry Way


Joined: Nov 07, 2010
Posts: 65
ronie wrote:
I was wondering how much shipping and handling you had to pay in addition to the $2.50?


Here was my order (note my $2.50 memory was wrong):

*Robinia Pseudoacacia. (b,h) ROBI-16. Packet: $1.50*
*Acacia Greggii. (10,h) ACAC-54. Packet: $2.50*
*Chilopsis linearis. (c,h) CHIL-1. Packet: $2.00*
*Pinus edulis. (d,g) PINU-20. Packet: $2.50*
*Pinus Coulteri. (d,h) PINU-17. Packet: $3.00*

subtotal $11.50
tax $0.95
postage and packing $2.00
total $14.45

I am very satisfied and I got a very nice booklet that has all the seeds they carry and germination secrets.
Suzy Bean
steward

Joined: Apr 05, 2011
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
    
    8
Toby Hemenway and Paul talk about black locust and other exotics in this podcast: http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/367-podcast-053-toby-hemenway-native-plants/


www.thehappypermaculturalist.wordpress.com
Chad Ellis


Joined: Aug 09, 2011
Posts: 67
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
    
  11
Black Locust illegal in Oklahoma City! http://library.municode.com/HTML/17000/level3/OKMUCO2010_CH53TRSH_ARTIINGE.html#OKMUCO2010_CH53TRSH_ARTIINGE_S53-5CETRPR
Is everything I want to do illegal?


www.ellisfamilyokc.com
OKC Climate
Cj Verde


Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 2399
Location: Vermont
    
  44
I took a workshop this summer and Ben Falk was extolling the virtues of BL. What particularly interested me was his description of making a living fence out of BL by planting at 1 foot intervals.

I've recently read that it should be kept out of pasture as it is toxic to horses and cattle. I was hoping to use it for fencing cattle.

Perhaps it's OK for some animals like non-ruminants. Although the goat photo would suggested toxicity maybe really just for horses & cattle (which is what I read). Wonder how sheep would do with it. Course, then there's Sepp's advice to plant toxic plants for animals (which they use like medicine).

Can anyone recommend a different tree for living fences and/or speak about experiences with cattle and BL?


My project thread
Agriculture collects solar energy two-dimensionally; but silviculture collects it three dimensionally.
            


Joined: Jun 27, 2010
Posts: 75
Location: Ontario, Canada (44.265475, -77.960029)
CJinVT wrote:
Can anyone recommend a different tree for living fences and/or speak about experiences with cattle and BL?




Osage Orange

Mine are not at that stage yet.  The extent of my first hand knowledge is limited.  The germination rate seems to be very high - over 80%.  At 24" high, the spikes are already an inch long and hard.

Regards,
Mike
Cj Verde


Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 2399
Location: Vermont
    
  44
Nice pic!
I found a great article on Living Fences in Mother Earth News. A few of the comments warned against Osage Orange because it is so sharp it'll go right thru gloves & even the soles of your boots.

The most appealing plant from the article leads us right back to Honey Locust!

"According to Washington’s diary, the species he settled on as most suitable was “Honey locust; the seed of which not to be put more than Six Inches a part; that when they get to any size they may be so close, stubborn, and formidable, as to prevent an escalade [incursion by predators] ... indeed I know of nothing that will so effectually, and at so small an expence, preserve what is within the Inclosure, as this plant.”
Cj Verde


Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 2399
Location: Vermont
    
  44
Now that I've settled on the Honey Locust for a living fence, I just found a Black Locust just outside one of the paddocks.  At least it's close to my bee hives!
I suppose I could try to use it for fencing for chickens. No pods yet, still a young pioneer.
Yone' Ward


Joined: Feb 14, 2012
Posts: 135
Location: Springdale, WA USA - Cold Mediterranean Climate
How does Black Locust compare to Honey Locust? We have about two dozen Honey Locust seedlings and probably several thousand seeds available at the local Shopping Center Parking lot.


Just call me Uncle Rice.
17 years in a straw bale house.
Matt Smith


Joined: Feb 04, 2012
Posts: 181
Location: Central Ohio, Zone 6A - High water table, heavy clay.
I'm transplanting 40 black locust seedlings into the fallow field this year in tree tubes (along with 15 chestnuts) as the beginnings of a multipurpose woodlot.

Its rot-resistance and superiority as firewood sold me. Also that you can propagate/coppice them easily. Also doesn't hurt that goats and sheep can eat (a reasonable amount of) it. I learned a lot from Paul's video.
Doug Hack


Joined: Aug 10, 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Sacramento, CA Zone 9
Over the years I have done a lot of reading about Black Locust. My initial interest was because I grew up with a backyard full of BL trees. My interest has been sustained because BL is a tree mentioned often in permaculture writings (for very good reasons). I will share what I know.

The BL trees in my backyard were planted in 1939 from root sprouts dug from my Grandfather's yard next door. His trees were planted by the previous owners sometime between 1920 and 1936 when he purchased the place. I do not know where the initial trees came from, or whether they were from sprouts or seeds. BL is NOT native to California, but was brought here very early by settlers and has naturalized (some would say 'invaded') in many areas. There are lots of BL trees in Coloma State Park along the American River near the original 1848 James Marshall gold discovery site.

While the trees produce a huge amount of small seeds every year (bees do LOVE the blossoms and have no ill effects from them), there is no evidence that any trees on either property ever came from seed. The BL roots spread far and wide and will readily sprout a new tree in moist soil anywhere they are damaged (by gophers for instance). I have intentionally inserted a spade where I wanted a new tree with excellent results. Both my current neighbors and myself have lush green lawns that have NEVER BEEN FERTILIZED under BL trees! In the few areas of lawn where the tree roots haven't traveled - the grass growth is much sparser.

I have read that the seeds have a heavy coating that prevents easy sprouting. In its native range germination may have been improved by cold winters. Here, we regard the occasional 20 degree frost to be a 'cold winter'. Those who want to grow BL from seed should research the effectiveness of cold storage, scarification (sanding the seed coat), or hot water soaks. If you have an existing tree - any piece of root will sprout with a minimum attention to common propagation practices.

Why are Black Locusts so popular for permaculture?
1. They grow incredibly fast, even on poor soils, due to their ability to fix nitrogen.
2. They have small leaves and produce filtered shade - so the understory plants do very well.
3. They are deciduous, dropping their small leaves and (I believe) they shed a portion of their nitrogen nodules every Winter - enriching the soil for other plants.
4. They can spread from root sprouts and rapidly expand their area supported by a network of existing roots.
5. Coppiced or damaged, they regrow incredibly fast from existing roots.
6. They provide excellent bee nectar for a two to three weeks in May (in Zone 9).
7. The heart wood is one of the best high-density firewoods you can find anywhere for holding a long winter's fire.
8. Even small branches make good starter firewood.
9. The heartwood (NOT the relatively thin SAPWOOD layer) is practically rot-free and extremely dense and strong.
10. Contrary to what I've read - the heartwood checks and cracks and is difficult to use as a furniture lumber. However it makes great mallet heads, pegs, and decent short tool handles (personal experience).
11. The leaves, and small twigs are high in protein (nitrogen) and readily consumed by sheep and goats. My sheep love it, given the opportunity. Sheep and goats have a longer digestive system than horses and can safely eat things that would harm a horse (star thistle for instance). I would not allow a hungry sheep or goat unlimited access to a new field full of reachable BL (or clover, or alfalfa...).
12. While naturally grown BL tends to have very kinky branches, any growth from roots, or coppicing can be trimmed up to quickly produce long straight poles of high utility.
13. Once established, the trees can survive considerable drought by dropping a major portion of their leaves during the dry months.

I have read that BL is a relatively short-lived tree - a colonizer that prepares the way for slower-growing trees like oak and ash. A couple of the trees on what used to be my Grandparent's land are over 80 years old - but nearly all of the original trees and many other much younger trees have split or fallen over in wet wind storms, including all of the trees planted in my backyard in 1939 which fell in 2005 and 2006. The yard is once again well-shaded with the few root sprouts I allowed to survive after the fall. The soil here is very sandy and very shallow over impenetrable hardpan so these trees tend to blow over once they get tall. The trees that have grown from established roots tend to get too tall for their anchorage in only 20 to 30 years, putting one to two inches of diameter on per year in the first decade.

The only drawback to BL is the thorns - and they can be easily broken off the areas within reach. The thorns did not seem to bother my sheep - they ate the tender parts of the sprouts and branches leaving the harder parts. These thorns are about 1/2 inch long and nothing like the spikes I've seen on some Honey Locusts.

I am currently encouraging the trees to expand into new areas (primarily with irrigation) where their rapidly spreading roots will improve the soil for whatever I choose to follow them with. I intend to establish a mulberry coppice under existing BL trees in the next few months. The nitrogen/protein content and huge size of the Mulberry leaves will provide fodder (and/or compost fuel). A couple of the Mulberry seedlings with the best fruit will be allowed to grow. My seed source is a huge existing Mulberry that overhangs my asphalt driveway - I have swept up a wheelbarrow full of seeds from fruit that the birds, critters and humans didn't eat this year.
Clover Love


Joined: Mar 17, 2012
Posts: 52
Location: Tacoma, WA [8B-7B]
Our neighbor across the street took out a BL 2 months ago (he doesn't know 'jack' about his decision). The neighborhood birds are pissed. However, we've got some sprouting in our yard now and his mow strip looks like a BL nursery.

I'm sure I could harvest them for any interested parties. Send me a message if you're interested.


I live in Bizzaro World.
Yone' Ward


Joined: Feb 14, 2012
Posts: 135
Location: Springdale, WA USA - Cold Mediterranean Climate
I bought 1000 Black locust seeds from Amazon.com for like $12. I sanded a small hole in two of the seeds, and planted them in cups next to two seeds that were unsanded. The unsanded sprouted just as fast, and the unsanded ones are the only ones that still live.
Devon Olsen


Joined: Nov 28, 2011
Posts: 990
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
    
    5
those goats in that tree made for a very cool picture

as for toxicity, i think it is still important to have poisonous plants available for foraging so long as there are plenty of other food sources so that the animal only eat toxic stuff if they need it


Current Cheyenne, WY project
"Do you Hugel?" T-shirts and other products
Doug Hack


Joined: Aug 10, 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Sacramento, CA Zone 9
I recently found two authoritative sources that said Black Locust seeds don't need a low temperature stratification, but they do need a seed coat scarification - perhaps with sandpaper. Germination was greatly increased and reduced to under 10 days after two hours in a specialized drum sander. Hand sanding should work.
Cj Verde


Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 2399
Location: Vermont
    
  44
I soaked some black locust seeds in hot water this spring and they sprouted fine. No sanding or filing.
Kay Bee


Joined: Oct 10, 2009
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
I planted a dozen or so Black Locust seedling trees around our property last year.. and the deer found them delicious! They didn’t even get a chance to settle in before getting completely chomped. The trees were not big enough to resprout, so it’s time to start some new ones.

There is a copse of Black Locust not too far from our property, so we collected some nice dry seed pods that had dropped. A few minutes opening pods resulted in a couple hundred seeds.

The seeds are pretty small, just a few mm across. A couple days ago, I put the seeds in a bowl and then poured a couple cups of boiling water over them. After about a minute, I poured off most of the boiling water and added warm water back to the bowl with the seeds. The seeds were then allowed to soak overnight.

The next morning, about half of the seeds had swollen up to about twice their original size. The swollen seeds were gently transferred to a wet paper towel that was put into a loosely sealed container. The remaining seeds got an extra day of soaking.

This morning, I opened up container with the swollen seeds and found that about half a dozen seeds had small roots starting to break out of the sead coats. They were planted out in the orchard this morning (safely fenced away from the deer!).



I’ll keep checking each morning and planting out the ones that sprout.

These trees will be planted this fall in the hopes that they can spend the winter getting their root systems established. By next year they should start growing quickly and by the end of summer, I’d like to start using them for “chop and drop” mulch around other plants. It may take a year or two for them to settle in to allow for rapid resprouting, but trees planted from seed should allow for fast growth. If nothing else, they should be a good bait for all the lousy grasshoppers that are currently enjoying my other chop and drop crops, such as the comfrey…

"Limitation is the mother of good management", Michael Evanari

Location: Southwestern Oregon (Jackson County), Zone 7
Dumas Walker


Joined: Sep 15, 2012
Posts: 12
I am growing some black locusts from seeds. I carefully nicked the ends of 5 seeds with an Xacto hobby knife. I soaked the other 6. None of the 6 soaked seeds have made it... one sprouted and the other 5 did nothing. Three of the 5 nicked ones sprouted and are still growing. A 4th sprouted but never had leaves.

Slightly-OT: Are thornless Honey Locusts also bloomless? I am assuming that if they had seed pods, they must have had blooms at some point? At work, we have some locusts trees (*) that sure look like honeys, but I have never seen them bloom. They also do not have thorns or seed pods. The one near the Old Capitol building, where I gathered my HL seeds, is also thornless but had a bumper crop of large seed pods. I used those seeds because that tree is so beautiful in the Fall (I get a great view of it while sitting in the chair at the barber's! ), but I don't remember if it blooms in the Spring.

(*) maybe they are not really honey locusts, but they just about have to be a locust of some sort. They have the tiny, pretty yellow leaves in the Fall.
andrew curr


Joined: Dec 18, 2012
Posts: 285
Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
    
    1
Kathleen Sanderson wrote:Are there any black locusts that have pink flowers?  If not, what tree looks just like a black locust, with the same type of flowers that are pink instead of white?  There are a couple of these trees that I notice in bloom every spring, just where we go into the down-town area of Klamath Falls.

Kathleen
there was one marketed here as a pink wisteria tree very fast growing (not as dark pink as the purple robe)


we have to forest our farms and farm our forests
andrew curr


Joined: Dec 18, 2012
Posts: 285
Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
    
    1
i a woofer max made a utube video of how much soil black locust created in 20 years by its deciduos mulch
you can watch it if you follow his spelling mistakes (hes swedish)
google ; scrap metal maulching
andrew curr


Joined: Dec 18, 2012
Posts: 285
Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
    
    1
Do you think it would hurt my BL trees if i were to prune them now, remembering that they are fully out at the moment being on top of the world an all
if i can my livestock can benefit from the parisite free protien??
andrew curr


Joined: Dec 18, 2012
Posts: 285
Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
    
    1
good one Ronie
When i watched tv many years ago i was watching CSI this corpse had a black locust splinter in it
the investigators could tell this by the fact that it was luminous under a black light (it was in a night club) is this true??
there seems to be quite an industry in Black locust Lumber in the USA
im off to put in some black locust fence posts before it gets too hot
Ihave had posts in the ground for 20 years without any signs of rot or termites our native species are harder ,heavier lots more horsepower to cut and they dont fix nitrogen
osker brown


Joined: Jun 28, 2011
Posts: 146
Location: Southern Appalachia
Black locust should be fine pruned any time of year. In my area the power companies cut under their line easements usually in the spring/early summer and black locust stump sprouts dominate most of these areas.

peace


Glorious Forest Farm
mike mclellan


Joined: Nov 13, 2011
Posts: 74
Location: Helena, MT zone 4
    
    3
I have looked in a number of places but haven't come up with any information as to the spacing of black locust trees when planted in a group. Does anyone have any information on this topic? My rough guess is space them about half the distance of the mature height but guesses can cause trouble. I would like to get the spacing right the first time.
andrew curr


Joined: Dec 18, 2012
Posts: 285
Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
    
    1
mike i did a foreestry course last year but they mainley focussed on australian native trees
all trees can suffer from supression and you need to calclute the basal stem area ,i think,
it will depend what your soil types /rainfall is like and what products you are wanting to produce



what are BL best companion species?
Cj Verde


Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 2399
Location: Vermont
    
  44
It depends on your goal.

In general, you want the leaves to just barely touch when fully grown. Black locust is easy to plant from seed, just soak in hot water and plant the ones that swell. Since it's a support species, a nitrogen fixer, and seeds are cheap, there no harm in doing it like Geoff Lawton suggests and plant hundreds or even thousands per acre. Chop and drop over time till you end up with maybe dozens per acre.

If you wait till the trunks are fence post size you can sell them as such or use them yourself. In that case the spacing should be close - few branches develop.

You can make a living fence by planting 1/foot.
osker brown


Joined: Jun 28, 2011
Posts: 146
Location: Southern Appalachia
Like CJ suggests, I'd plant them as densely as possible if you're trying to grow timber/polewood. They tend to not grow very straight in full sun. If it's timber you're looking for you could plant very dense (1 foot spacings maybe) then thin every year or two, selecting for the straightest ones, and prune the branches off those.

peace
 
 
subject: All things Black Locust
 
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