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All things Black Locust

 
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Steve Thorn wrote:I soaked them in willow water overnight.

The larger branches did best. Most were probably 1/4 of an inch and the best one was the largest at about 3/4 of an inch.
. . .



Thanks for the information, Steve.

So you soaked them in water overnight, that's it. And then put them in the ground? That sounds pretty easy. I'll try that.
BTW: I watched your YouTube video mentioned in the other thread and gave it a Like.

One more question: is there a difference in cold-hardiness between different strains of Black Locust?
I am especially interested in the Frisia cultivar. Any idea if this cultivar is less cold-hardy than other varieties of Black Locust?
 
gardener
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Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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Thanks David. Yeah, willow water. (Water with cut up young willow branches in it.)

From what I've seen there are more cold hardy varieties. I've noticed the local black locusts seem to be more cold hardy than the one in the picture that I purchased from somewhere else. That one seems to be a faster and more healthy grower though. I bet the seedlings from it and the local varieties could have some good combined genetics. I don't have any personal growing experience with the Frisia cultivar though.
 
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I've bought black locust seed from https://www.treeshrubseeds.com/ before but I don't see it for sale there now, might be out of season. I think it was $20-25 US for a pound, thousands of seeds. I boiled water in a cup, took it off heat, then put the seeds in and let them soak and the seeds swelled nicely, then I planted them in pots and they were 2-3 feet tall in a couple months with forgetful watering. Hoping to plant more on the lab next spring to get a grove growing for coppice and perhaps some standards for construction years down the road.
 
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Location: Quebec, Canada zone 4a
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Does anyone know how a black locust will grow in zone 3 or 4?
I’d like to put some on my property but I’m unclear which zone it’s in as my property is literally on the edge of the zone map.
 
pollinator
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Location: Green County, Kentucky
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The native range extends about halfway up into Pennsylvania.  I've seen it growing in the high desert in Eastern Oregon, at an elevation of about 4,500' -- the USDA zone charts put that area in zone 6, but it's really not.  Winters are frequently down to thirty below (F), and the growing season is less than four months and can be quite a bit less.  That's all I can tell you -- I have a bunch of black locust trees in my back yard, but I'm in zone 6b.

 
Mark Brunnr
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I've read it's hardy to zone 4, so perhaps if you develop microclimates that make it a touch warmer that would help. Make sure there's no frost pockets, avoid north facing slopes, things like that.
 
pollinator
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Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
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Donald Smith wrote:Does anyone know how a black locust will grow in zone 3 or 4?
I’d like to put some on my property but I’m unclear which zone it’s in as my property is literally on the edge of the zone map.




I'm in zone 4b, the sands of Central WI. It is totally verboten to plant them here because they are invasive in Portage county WI. [But not in Wood County, just across the road from me. go figure! If you look at the map of zones [the detailed one] from just a few years back I was smack dab in the center of a small island of zone 3, completely surrounded by a zone 4, but zone 5 was maybe 20 miles away, so we've had a little bit of everything. With the climate warming up, I'm now squarely in zone 4b. The Arbor day foundation tells me I'm in zone 5. Looking at their catalog as to what grows in zone 5, they are way wrong however, even with protection.
Back to black locusts. 3 miles east of me, they are still in very sandy soil [great potato fields] and black locusts are considered invasive. I met a lady who had a mulberry and let  me pick them [that is where I got my 26 mulberry from seed]. She had only a small patch of black locusts and because of the thorns, she didn't want them there at all.
Long story short, she decided to eradicate them and discovered that the roots made a tangled mat. they were impossible to dig out. Next best thing, she decided was to mow systematically every sprout that came up. Big mistake! Huge! Like a number of invasive plants whose top you clip, the roots then try to escape the reach of your mower. It is like a Hydra: You cut one head and 10 sprout.
If you are a beekeeper [and that is what got me interested in black locust first, [as black locust gives a very fragrant honey that never crystallizes]. Well, I discovered from talking to other beeks that some years they love it an some years they won't touch it. We don't know why.
If you decide to grow this beautiful tree for the great fragrant racemes, make very sure that you love them and want them to grow there forever and you don't mind if they take over.
The lady I was talking about had to ask a horticulturist to come and spray the crap out of them. Not much grows in her yard anymore. She still has some stubborn locusts that pop up and she keeps some Roundup handy. She has invested in large pots to grow her tomatoes with imported soil. Her neighbor has started mowing along the fence.
Some folks still like them as living fences. If you have sandy soil, beware. Just saying...
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Our soil is rather heavy; the black locusts do try to pop up around the yard, and I chop them off if the goats don't find them first.  However, within limitations, I want them, and want them to expand in one direction.  I'm going to start pollarding the young trees for a source of small firewood and for poles.  
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:Our soil is rather heavy; the black locusts do try to pop up around the yard, and I chop them off if the goats don't find them first.  However, within limitations, I want them, and want them to expand in one direction.  I'm going to start pollarding the young trees for a source of small firewood and for poles.  




It might act differently in heavy soil: [Not go quite as deep perhaps?] Goats will be working at removing them, and a few thorns will not deter the goats as they are browsers! You mention wanting them to expand "in one direction". To that effect, you might want to let them grow one year while bending them down in the direction you want them to expand. Then, in the Fall, bury / layer them: In the Spring, you will have a new plant at each node. Easy peasy! If the goats get too aggressive, you may have to protect your black locust with a fence they cannot reach through.
Good luck to you. Let us know how it turns out. [I love the smell of the black locust racemes but they are too aggressive in sand :-(
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