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All things Black Locust  RSS feed

 
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Mine came with good instructions. Soak in almost boiling water till swollen, then plant. If they don't swell, re-soak.
 
Posts: 74
Location: Manitoulin Island - in the middle of Lake Huron .Mindemoya,Ontario- Canadian zone 5
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I highly recommend JL Seedsman for BL seeds and literally a couple of thousand other interesting plant seeds. A permaculture adventure just to read the website.
 
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Is this it? J. L. Hudson, Seedsman http://www.jlhudsonseeds.net/

This looks amazing! Thanks for the tip!
 
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If you want to grow a timber stand of perfect (and highest profit) sawlogs in a minimum of 20 years. Start formative pruning your saplings and don't quit till they're 16 feet tall. Then fence them off and let your hogs loose in the stand. Pig Shit is perfect organic fertilizer for them. Make sure to prune off any limbs larger than 1" and lower than 16', not exceeding 1/4 of the total canopy per year. Then log them between 20-50 years of age for optimal profit.
 
Posts: 288
Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
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Bill claimed in PC2 that robinia may be toxic?
anyone got any supporting data
 
Adam Colbenson
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The studies I've seen show that black locust has similar nutritional value and toxicity as alfalfa. Perhaps individual ungulates have more or less tolerance for the toxins, and perhaps you have a crazy horse that likes to chew on fence posts. For the most part it seems that as long as the animals vary their diets and don't eat black locust alone, they'll be just fine.
Experience talking (not scientifically justified).
 
Rick Berry
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I think I would be more concerned about avoiding breathing the sawdust or any dust products from woodworking with "exotic" woods like black locust, or really any woodmeal or sawdust at all. It's a known danger, and just not worth ignoring.
 
Adam Colbenson
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On that note, you might as well wear a respirator everywhere you go. Those diesel fumes you inhale at the bus stop, the 2nd hand cigarette smoke you breathe, the random airborne bacteria or fungus you inhale... They'll all kill you eventually
 
Rick Berry
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Those threats are diffuse. Wood dust is easily avoidable, since it's usually encountered while actually _woodworking_.
Oh, wait, I think I see.... You were being funny. My mistake.
 
Adam Colbenson
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We'll no I wasn't being funny. If you knew just what you were actually breathing everyday I doubt you would call them diffuse. In any case yeah, maybe wear a respirator everyday at the sawmill, if you want to live to be 90.
 
mary yett
Posts: 74
Location: Manitoulin Island - in the middle of Lake Huron .Mindemoya,Ontario- Canadian zone 5
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Sorry for my typo mistake. Yes, the awesome website for seeds of thousands of interesting plants -sold cheap and always of good quality - with an honored track record of many decades is indeed :

J. L. Hudson, Seedsman http://www.jlhudsonseeds.net/

btw, BL is easy to grow from seed - just soak in hot water and plant the ones that swell up - it is a legume afterall
 
Posts: 123
Location: West Iowa
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Yes, easy from seeds, that is what I started with, but then you get suckers eventually and easier from that propagation. Also I have done stem cuttings from grafted selection before to get them on their own roots, and has worked good.
 
Posts: 16
Location: Elk County PA
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Any one have some seed pods they would be willing to mail to me? I would send you a postage paid mailer envelope first of course. I am looking to start a grove for future firewood cutting.
thanks
 
Posts: 39
Location: Savannah GA
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Wow. I' stonished that after the threads gone on for four pages...

The fresh flowers are absolutely Delicious! I pick them right off the tree in early summer. Thousands of flowers, you can pop em right into your mouth.. Or, better yet take them home fry em in coconut oil battered, and have the oh so most tasty treat! They really are so delicious. If they'res a fair this year or some sort of venue at the right time I'm going to introduce my little town to some fried Locus flowers. Hell, maybe I'll sell them on the road right near the trees where I get them if nothing comes up. THey are so Good.
 
andrew curr
Posts: 288
Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
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Is it ok to prune/coppice /chop/ drop BL in mid summer
 
Posts: 236
Location: Greybull WY north central WY zone 4 bordering on 3
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How do you get them through the winter? I am zone 4 bordering on zone 3. Heavy clay soils and natural pH before adding compost in 8.5 to 8.8 range.(yes I know that is not good) With compost mixed to depth I can keep the roots alive but the tops keep killing back each winter. I have 2 survivors of 20 planted and they freeze back every winter only to resprout from the roots or low on the trunk of the tree. The trees are 3 feet tall max and have been that height for a decade because they keep dying back each winter. Feeling the wood regularly through the winter it feel like living wood till some time in late March or early April when it very quickly goes to feeling like dead wood. Winters are long dry and cold typically. But best guess is that it is the brief warm ups in the spring are getting the sap up to much and then freezing the branches back. Reason for thinking this is how fast the wood goes from feeling living to feeling dead and the fact that low sprouts from the trunks happened in years when the snow was deep enough to have the low part buried in snow during those warm snatches.
 
andrew curr
Posts: 288
Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
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will the pink wisterisa tree breed true to type?
 
Posts: 21
Location: Paso Robles,Ca
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Defensive toxins vary within Species and the age of the plant as well as seasonally.
Some trees such as oak trees can increase tannin levels in response to predation.
Perhaps how long and severely a black locust tree is harvested for fodder affects toxin levels.
Climate and soil conditions are probably important too.

Ya know in case there were not enough unanswered questions here
 
Posts: 94
Location: Helena, MT zone 4
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To C. Letellier-
Being a Wyoming expat now living north of you in MT I can only offer one bit that might help. Your observation that the wood feels sound and then seems to lose that late in winter/early spring, have you tried a fairly deep mulch of something like wood chips around the trees? A fairly deep mulch applied several feet diameter around the trunk might help keep the ground cold enough late enough into the spring that the trees will only start to come out of dormancy late enough to avoid the late freeze damage. I know that the cold and dry of winter there in the Bighorn Basin is not exactly plant friendly. You likely have a pH higher than that I dealt with in Casper (around 8.0 to 8.2). Try also to make sure that the soil around the trees is thoroughly saturated in the fall before freeze up. A family member has three 30-35 ft. tall black locusts growing in a yard situationin Casper but these trees are growing on the N. Platte floodplain on much siltier soil than you describe.

I've tried the mulching and heavy fall watering on my own two year old seedlings here in Helena. We'll see how well they've handled the intense cold and dryness here. Heck, to top it off, we've had a massive amount of snow in the last four weeks and now it's all melted and the ground is saturated. Can't wait to see what will happen next! Good luck with your trees.
 
Posts: 138
Location: montana
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I am trying to learn the best way to scarify Black Locust seeds. Has anyone tried the percussion method or others?
 
Lance Kleckner
Posts: 123
Location: West Iowa
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Think I just used a fingernail clippers to do mine. Once you get some growing, then easier to use roots and suckers.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Cover with 190° water. Way easier than nicking each one. The ones that swell are usable.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Cj Verde wrote:Cover with 190° water. Way easier than nicking each one. The ones that swell are usable.



The batch I tried this with this year did not respond well to hot water. Room temperature water worked much better. I suppose it may vary due to unknown factors.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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tel jetson wrote:after reading Ben Law's The Woodland Way, I decided to try out a traditional forestry practice called "shredding".  I'm not very familiar with this practice, but it involves removing the branches, leaves, and tops of living trees toward the end of summer.  the leaves still have plenty of protein in them at this point and, depending on species, make good food for critters.

so, having previously read about trials of black locust hay, I tried this out on a small stand of black locust this weekend.  I left the branches laying in the sun for a day, then cut the leaves off and piled them in the hay loft.  our goats love the dried leaves.  I'm hoping that I gathered enough to get them through the winter without buying in hay.

it was a lot of work, but I think it will be easier next year, as the branches that grow back will be smaller.  after a few years of this, I'll start harvesting the stout poles that will result.  I'll use them for round wood building and firewood.  new stems will sprout from roots and the whole thing should keep humming along indefinitely.



How'd this work out for you Tel?
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Does Black Locust benefit from any management/fertilizing to improve growth/health? I know Ben Falk says they grow faster on swale berms but I'm wondering if there is anything I need to do to help out the many suckers I'm seeing? If I wanted to move them, would the best procedure be to dig them up when they go dormant and then plant out in Spring or immediately plant while dormant?
 
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This has probably already been discovered but just in case there is a photo on treeplantation.com of a black locust tree with filled with goats demonstrating its durabilty. I dont know how to link to photo. Just thought it was cool.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Must be a hardy tree to withstand that onslaught!
 
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Also honeylocust - Gleditsia triacanthos L. does NOT fix nitrogen according to USDA and other sources
black locust - Robinia pseudoacacia does, totally different genus.



I heard recently that Gleditsia triacanthos actually does fix nitrogen, but it's so primitive that it doesn't form nodules. Since people didin't see nodules before, they figured Honey locust didn't fix nitrogen: http://faculty.virginia.edu/honeylocust-agroforestry/agroforestry/Honeylocust%20Research%20Newsletter%20No.%202.htm

 
Posts: 142
Location: Missoula, Montana (zone 4)
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Black Locus (Robinia pseudoacacia)





Looking for info on Stratification, Seed saving & Germination
 
Posts: 85
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I believe black locust requires scarification not stratification, hot water seems to do the trick. I had about 30% strike rate from just putting boiling water on the seeds and planting in small pots. I tried slightly cooler water, and planting directly into the soil, nothing happened.
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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There's a whole thread on this subject already:
http://www.permies.com/t/23395/trees/Germinating-black-locust
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Let me add, I gave up using the permies search tool long ago.

The easy way is to type "permies black locust seeds" into google and you'll find info.
 
Posts: 1892
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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From my limited experience of our single tree, cutting the root gives rise to a whole load of new shoots. We had to put a trench in recently for a pipe and had a nice row of 20 odd baby locust trees. Suggests that you could take root cuttings from existing mature trees, or dig up established suckers. Are you specifically looking for seed propagation techniques in these threads? Some of the plants you have mentioned propogate easily from cuttings and would seem better suited to vegetative cultivation than seed saving.

Also - the massive pictures are breaking the display of these threads, and I have a fairly large monitor. Could you shrink them down a bit first?

Mike

 
steward
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From Pauls pal, Rick Valley, in response to paul's black locust video:

"I've been watching your Black Locust viddy.
I've lots to add- to brag, I was first at Lost Valley for a
Restoration Forestry Conference that Skeeter put on. Based on what I
had done with black locust, I figured I was the only person there who
had planted a tree, cut it down, built something with it, and still
had the growing tree. That was in 1989.

For instance, I discovered it on my own, but found it is well-known in
the East where split wood basketry is a traditional craft: Black
Locust sap wood makes fine split wood baskets, flexy but tough.

If you or someone you know wants, I have some seed of Black Locust
named varieties from Hungary, where it is one of the most important
forestry trees. The selections where made for both timber and honey
bloom.

I got the seed on a quest in AZ to obtain root cuttings of a tree-form
stand of Robinia neomexicana on the Mogollon Rim, but this time I was
snowed out. I will be trying again. R. neomexicana will likely become
an important species in Idaho with climate change.

Apparently none of your folks in the video have had a chance to work
with big green locust logs. Quartering a suitably large log makes the
best posts. The Black Locust Journal (defunct) said folks back East
figured green woodworking was the way to go with Robinia. I
successfully split out a 22 in. X 2.5 in. X 60 inch board from a green
log cut from a pioneer-planted roadside tree with only a sledge and
wedges, in a very few minutes.

I've met an arborist who was paid to take some locusts down, and then
tripled his money by hauling the best of the logs from Eugene to Pt.
Townsend and selling them to wooden boat builders. I also own a
green-turned black locust bowl from a Eugene woodturner.
Didn't see any mention of foliage being used for compost.

My first try at interplanting bamboo with nitrogen fixers was with
black locust. Some of those trees are nearly 3 feet in diameter now,
and 60 ft. tall.

The Robinine alkaloid is no joke; coppice regrowth is toxic enough to
kill a hungry horse. This has caused unreasoning hatred of locust by
some horsey females."


 
gardener
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Location: Northern Italy
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I have regular BL growing on my land, but I really want Spineless black locust (to go with my spineless blackberrys, I suppose). On a recent trip to france on the side of the road I gathered seeds from a spineless BL tree.

So, do they grow true to type? Will my spineless seeds grow spineless BL's?
Thanks,
William
 
William James
gardener
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Location: Northern Italy
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Found this also, don't know if it has been posted.
http://www.permies.com/t/23395/trees/Germinating-black-locust
 
master steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I think that if you plant 100 seeds from a thornless black locust, 20 will probably be also thornless.
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1892
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Something I read a while ago (perhaps in Tree Crops??) suggested that even "thornless" trees often have thorns on their new, young, shoots and it can be hard to tell from seedlings if the adult plant will be thornless.
 
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