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Black Locust Grafting

William James
volunteer

Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Posts: 513
Location: Northern Italy
    
    6
Near my garden, there is a hedgerow of black locust where the owners of my plot do their winter coppice harvest. It tends to expand, as you may know. Some of it is expanding into my area.

I was wondering if I could go the way of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" and graft something fruit-ish onto the black locust as it invades. I did some searching on the internet, and I'm coming up blank.

They keep telling me I need to cut it back ASAP, or it will get entrenched. It'd be nice if I could get that invasiveness to work for me instead.

I'm open to any and all low-tech and low-investment ideas. If, in the end, the idea involves a shovel, I would also consider that.

Thanks.
william
gary gregory


Joined: Apr 09, 2009
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
You might want to check out this thread.

http://www.permies.com/bb/index.php?topic=4078.0

The black locust that I grow don't spread.  They will come up from seed but not many.

Sounds like honey locust to me.


Gary
kent smith


Joined: Sep 05, 2010
Posts: 211
Location: Pennsylvania
The black locus on our property does spread. It keeps popping up in the pasture, but it gets mowed. Also an Amish friend is going to send his kids over to dig up some to transplant. From my perspective it has at least two great uses: first it makes great rot resistant fence posts and it is a huge nector and pollen source for the local bees.


Kent
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5836
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  87
An interesting question:  would it still be a nitrogen fixer if the top half was an apple tree?
William James
volunteer

Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Posts: 513
Location: Northern Italy
    
    6
gary gregory wrote:
Sounds like honey locust to me.


Yeah, I'm seeing how difficult it is to tell the difference. Can't come up with the answer online. Might have to take some pictures next time I'm out there. It has thorns, not that long. The bark might have thorns, have to check.

Then, as for nitrogen fixing: "Honey locust roots lack the nodules common to nitrogen-fixing legumes.  Apparently, the question is still unsettled, since a quick search of the web reveals sources that claim that it does indeed fix nitrogen, and sources which state it does not."
http://permaculture-watch.blogspot.com/2009/08/honey-locust-as-forage-tree.html

Whatever it is, It'd be nice to graft a tree on top of it, one that is more useful to me. Especially when there are so many volunteers just pleading with me to graft them
best,
william
William James
volunteer

Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Posts: 513
Location: Northern Italy
    
    6
After some further consideration, I'm getting more convinced that they are black locust.

Evidence:
--Everyone here calls them "Robinia" (italy/italian).
--Wikipedia says they are pretty widespread in italy and my region in particular.
--I don't think there are the red bark needles that typify honey locusts.
--Wikipedia says the honey locust is present here, but mainly as an ornamental, and is called "Lo spino di Giuda" (Judas Needle).

So...how about we graft a couple and see what happens? My neighbor has an apricot, a plum, and an apple tree. Pretty sure I can get some cuttings.

In other news, I saw a wild apple tree where I work. It puts out wild apples. I could either graft from that or try to grow the tree from a small branch. I've Already taken an apple from it for the seed.
Joseph Fields


Joined: Feb 23, 2011
Posts: 137
Location: Berea, Kentucky
    
    1
I would love to know if any fruit trees can be grafted onto a black locust, I have a huge stand of locust that cranks out seedlings.
William James
volunteer

Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Posts: 513
Location: Northern Italy
    
    6
Joseph Fields wrote:
I would love to know if any fruit trees can be grafted onto a black locust, I have a huge stand of locust that cranks out seedlings.


Me too. I found this at
http://sdhydroponics.com/resources/articles/gardening/grafting-plants
"All kinds of plants can be grafted including fruits, vegetables, trees, bushes, flowers, but not all plants can be grafted together. The only real way to tell if it can be grafted is simply to try. But generally speaking plants that are closely related graft together best, and form a good graft union.  A poor graft union usually results in plants that either grow poorly, break off or just eventually die."

I guess we can have a go at it...gotta do some more research to find out when, how, and find a decent scion.

I'll post here any amendments of findings.
William
Jeff Mathias


Joined: Feb 19, 2009
Posts: 118
Location: Westport, CA Zone 8-9; Off grid on 20 acres of redwood forest and floodplain with a seasonal creek.
    
    1
Joseph Fields wrote:
I would love to know if any fruit trees can be grafted onto a black locust, I have a huge stand of locust that cranks out seedlings.


I copied the below from http://www.n8ture.com/hort.html. That is about as clear as the "rules" can be. Certainly you can try other things but these rules reflect the best possible results for trying.

Compatibility: Not all plants can be grafted successfully. In order to produce a good graft union (the growing together of both plants) the plants should be closely related botanically (the stock and scion must be compatible).

The following rules apply:

Plants of the same genus and species can usually be grafted, even if of a different variety.
Plants of the same genus but of a different species may or may not unite. If they do unite the union will be of inferior quality.
Plants of different genera are less successfully grafted.
Plants of different families will not result in a successful graft.


Based on this I checked the more common fruits most of which are in the Prunus and Rosaceae family. I did not find any fruits in the Fabaceae family. Your best bets for grafting for something else useful might be Acacia or Mimosa.

Good Luck,

Jeff

"Study books and observe nature. When the two don't agree, throw out the books" -William A Albrecht
"You cannot reason a man out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." - Benjamin Franklin
 
 
subject: Black Locust Grafting
 
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