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All things Black Locust

 
gary gregory
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Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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http://www.blacklocust.org/aboutus.html
 
gary gregory
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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Multiple pages here, scroll down:
http://plant-materials.nrcs.usda.gov/pubs/nmpmcsy03904.pdf

















 
gary gregory
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/theses/available/etd-11242003-154755/unrestricted/etd.pdf

goats love black locust







edit: posted wrong url
 
gary gregory
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Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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The story of the popularization of black locust in Europe is an interesting, if somewhat bizarre, tale. The tree was first introduced into Europe in the early 1600s, but it was not until the late 1700s that it began to be promoted as a plantation tree, especially for use in ship building. The decay resistance of black locust is legendary. It’s said to last 10 years longer than stone. In reality, it’s estimated to last 500 years when exposed to wet conditions and 1,500 years when kept relatively dry.


http://www.arhomeandgarden.org/plantoftheweek/articles/black_locust.htm

Lots of interesting info here:
http://www.fao.org/docrep/n7750e/n7750e04.htm
 
gary gregory
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
 
gary gregory
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
 
Kirk Hutchison
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Nice goats.
 
Matt Ferrall
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Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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BL is a traditional tree planted by settlers here.It seems to thrive in most soil types.I am currently working on a cob wood structure using it.It is the only hardwood suitable for cord wood construction because it dosnt shrink or expand as extremely.It is very hard to peel when fresh cut but after lying in moist conditions for at least 6 months(on the ground)it is very easy.The bark smells like trash when burned.While good for firewood,it will cost you in calories consumed proccessing it.
 
              
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Location: West Iowa
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I bought the shipmast black locust this year, so I shall see how that grows.   Though I was disappointed that it was grafted on just some ordinary rootstock.  Never occured to me that they would graft it, kind of defeats the purpose.   

Various little stands of black locust in the countryside around here, remnants of ccc planting them back in the day.  Alot have borer problems and succumb to that, but seems like it would be one of the best pioneer species to plant. 
 
gary gregory
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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We also have some here that are old; 3' trunks.   I have been transplanting all the seedlings that come up each year and hope to sprout a bunch of seeds this summer for hedgerows and future building material.
 
gary gregory
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Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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vinecroft.com
 
              
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Location: West Iowa
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do you ever have a problem with locust borers?
 
gary gregory
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Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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LoonyK wrote:
do you ever have a problem with locust borers?

I haven't noticed anything bothering these trees or the seedlings I have transplanted.
 
tel jetson
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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.
 
jacque greenleaf
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Gary or anyone,

Black locusts have gone feral in our area. We can get as many seeds as we can carry. Can you tell me at what stage the seeds should be harvested? We got some at just the point that the pods started to open. What's a good method for sowing them? ANyone here been successful at starting them from cuttings?
 
                        
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Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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jacqueg wrote:

Black locusts have gone feral in our area.



How do you gather the seeds without the trees turning on you?  Any problem with them grabbing the kids?  Or is it more like that scene in the "Wizard of Oz" with Dorothy and the apple trees?
 
gary gregory
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Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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jacqueg wrote:
Gary or anyone,

Black locusts have gone feral in our area. We can get as many seeds as we can carry. Can you tell me at what stage the seeds should be harvested? We got some at just the point that the pods started to open. What's a good method for sowing them? ANyone here been successful at starting them from cuttings?


I've started them from cuttings, try it like willow with 12" pieces of branch stuck in the ground.    They will grow from root cuttings too. 
I planted a bunch of seeds and got 30% germination without scarification.  I've read that blanching the seeds for 30 seconds works but haven't tried it. 
http://plant-materials.nrcs.usda.gov/pubs/nmpmcsy03904.pdf

or just transplant what sprouts under the trees.
 
Joshua Msika
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Location: Nova Scotia
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I posted a thread in the other permaculture forum as it seems more active but I might as well ask it here:

Why would anyone plant black locust when you can plant honey locust given that they are very similar in many respects and honey locusts produce pods that have a pulp with a 30% sugar content?
 
ronie dee
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joshthewhistler wrote:
I posted a thread in the other permaculture forum as it seems more active but I might as well ask it here:

Why would anyone plant black locust when you can plant honey locust given that they are very similar in many respects and honey locusts produce pods that have a pulp with a 30% sugar content?


I prefer the Black Locust. I gave the reasons on the other post. Don;t know why we need two posts for Locust Discussions..

It would be nice if people starting new threads would make it more general than too specific. THis way we can keep discussions in one area instead of all over the place.
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 19843
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I posted the video to a few different forums and got the following response at prepared society that I thought was interesting:

There are several toxic components in black locust including the toxic protein robin, the glycoside robitin, and the alkaloid robinine. The toxins affect the gastrointestinal tract as well as the nervous system. Clinical signs can manifest as soon as one hour after consumption and can include depression, poor appetite, generalized weakness to paralysis, abdominal pain, diarrhea (which may be bloody) and abnormalities in the heart rate and/or rhythm. With sufficient amounts ingested, death may occur within a few days, although black locust is not always lethal. Some animals recover despite showing clinical signs, an indication of the dose-dependent nature of the toxin.

Leaves, especially wilted leaves, young shoots, pods, seeds, inner bark are all poisonous. It may not kills the animals by eating a little but it certainly isn't good for them due to the toxic components and especially the nature of the toxic components.

One MAY be able to safely feed locust to animals after proper cooking and processing as the toxins are denatured by heat but this is not entirely certain.

Another issue is that even working with this wood may be toxic to humans and is reportedly carcinogenic.


I know that black locust is 4% fungicide by weight, which is why it lasts so long.  So it is no surprise that there are toxins in it. 

I think it is good to have the breakdown.  And, at the same time, I think as long as critters have lots of other things to choose from, they will eat that which is best for them.


 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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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
 
maikeru sumi-e
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Robinia x ambigua 'Purple Robe' perhaps?

http://lh2treeid.blogspot.com/2010/05/robinia-x-ambigua-purple-robe-purple.html
 
Kay Bee
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Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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does black locust need a specific bacterial inoculant in order to fix nitrogen?
 
ronie dee
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SouthEastFarmer wrote:
does black locust need a specific bacterial inoculant in order to fix nitrogen?


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.
 
Kay Bee
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Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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Thanks Ronie.  I share your skepticism of some of the places selling inoculant.

However, a good number of (research?) places claim that different species of bacteria (Rhizobium) are required for different leguminous species.

Even if that is true, as you point out, the variety of Rhizobium may already be present in the soil.  One way to find out, i suppose.

I've only identified one type of legume so far on our property, and that is a vetch that is mostly near the creeks.  I'll be planting my black locusts pretty far from the creeks.  I guess I can always put a handful of creek soil in the planting hole with the locust...
 
                          
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That purple robe locust is beautiful.

When I worked in a forestry lab, we once did an experiment with mycorrhysal innoculants.  I pasturized the sand we planted in and wiped all the willow planting stock with Everclear.  We innoculated with two different fungi that were supposed to help with phosphorus uptake.  Every day I watered, and feed nutrient solutions.  One set got full fertility and the other got reduced phosphate.  After two months, I noticed mold growing on the soil surface.  Some was yellow, some pink, some grey. We pulled a plant and looked at the roots under a microscope, and saw at least five species of symbiotic fungi, despite our efforts to keep clean.  Stuff gets around.

If you're still worried, I'd say a handful of soil from under a black locust elsewhere would ensure enough of the right bacteria.

Dan
 
tel jetson
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Huisjen wrote:
If you're still worried, I'd say a handful of soil from under a black locust elsewhere would ensure enough of the right bacteria.


this.  chances are good that wherever you got the locusts from, they've already got the good stuff on them.  unless you started from seed.  in which case they've probably already got the good stuff on them.

the commercial inoculants generally do fix more nitrogen, but more really isn't better in this case.  the wild stuff does just fine.
 
Kay Bee
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Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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Thanks for the responses.

Between the addition of the leguminous plants and the increase in organic matter in the soil due to mulch and buried wood, I am looking forward to seeing a very interesting transformation in our soil.  Since these things all take years, and time is something you can't get back, I want to make sure we are doing what we can to provide the best environment for the plants.
 
ronie dee
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SouthEastFarmer wrote:
I guess I can always put a handful of creek soil in the planting hole with the locust...


Hey Kurt, that is a good idea. You might put together a spade of soil from here and there and mix it in the soil near your legumes.

I was also thinking that you might dig down around some Black Locust trees and get some soil around the roots and mix that in with the planting soil.

I can send you some B. Locust seeds this year if you need any more.
 
Paul Cereghino
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I know a numebr of native plant growers that grab a handfull of seed or strip a pulled up set of roots into the bag with the seed, to be used as innoculant with planting.  Getting a chunk of the 'rhizosphere' is your best bet.  I had a colleague that tested innoculation on a tropical site stripped down to sub-soil, and they still couldn't keep the fungal spores away to have a 'no infection' control.
 
Kay Bee
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Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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I'll take a look at the roots of the seedling trees when they arrive and see if they already have nodules.  If not, I'll try soil from a few different sources and try and keep track of which go where so I can do spot checks down the road.

Thanks for the offer of seeds, Ronie!  I should be good this year.  I have some honey locust seeds that I want to try, as well.
 
ronie dee
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Any time you would like some let me know. I just had a big snow melt off and I have seed pods all over the place that should be ready to grow. I don't like Honey Locust as it seems to draw insects. It burns great, but bugs will be all over it in the wood pile.
 
rose macaskie
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I did not like the smell of burning locust, it smells of bunt hair.
One of my first adventures, in the growing plants realm, was growing locusts from seed I pickied up on the pavement in the sstreets of Madrid,there are lots of these trees pllanted in Madrid and you don't have to pick the pods you just wait till they fall on the floor. I took a lot of seed because i had read it was better to use a lot of seed as it might be that not all seed was viable. Those who talked of taking a lot of seed  were not talking of honey or black locusts just seed. It did not seem hard to grow locusts from seed. I have big problems though growing thinkkgs from pact¡ket ed seeds.
  It could be a good occupation with children, planting the seed they an pick up from the side walk, also the seed they get out of vegetables and fruit peppers and tomatoes. agri rose macaskie
 
                        
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paul wheaton wrote:
I posted the video to a few different forums and got the following response at prepared society that I thought was interesting:

I know that black locust is 4% fungicide by weight, which is why it lasts so long.  So it is no surprise that there are toxins in it. 

I think it is good to have the breakdown.  And, at the same time, I think as long as critters have lots of other things to choose from, they will eat that which is best for them.


      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?
 
ronie dee
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How safe is the milk from goats that eat Black Locust? (Especially to children.)

If you are planning to drink the milk, i guess it would be good to research the issue.
 
                        
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Huh, the more I look at this, the more mysterious it seems. If you google on "black locust toxic" you get a lot of hits with warnings of toxicity, but if you google "black locust fodder" you get a whole lot of hits with personal reports from people who have fed it to their rabbits, their chickens, goats, etc for years with no problems. And university papers like this:
"The leaves are used for livestock feed in the Republic of Korea and in Bulgaria (Keresztesi 1983, 198. In the highlands of Nepal and northern India, where black locust is naturalized, it is an important fodder tree. Branches above the reach of livestock are cut when other green for-ages are scarce, and the wood is used later for fuel.

Ground black locust tops including woody stems, from first and second harvests, were found to be comparable to alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) with 23-24% crude protein, 7% lignin, and 4.2 kcal/g. Ruminal digestion by cattle was also equivalent (Baertsche et al. 1986). When planted at close spacings, the new growth can be harvested with conventional farm machinery for silage or hay (Fig. 2, 3). The compound leaves can be separated and ground for a high-protein ingredient of commercial feeds. Because black locust thrives on sites too marginal for alfalfa, it merits further study as a forage crop."
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1990/v1-278.html
    And actually, most of the warnings seem to have to do with horses. So I don't know -- and I'm still wondering if somebody didn't mix up another plant with black locust.
 
ronie dee
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I've ran into people who had Black Locust and Honey Locust mixed up.
 
John Polk
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I have read that the North American Indians boiled the seeds for food, but that raw seeds were toxic.
 
ronie dee
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John Polk wrote:
I have read that the North American Indians boiled the seeds for food, but that raw seeds were toxic.



Everything that i have read said that all parts of the plant has poisons except the flower. I don't know how the toxins can be lessened or neutralized.

I've eaten the Black Locust leaves as a kid with no ill effects that i know of. There are differing degrees of toxicity to various 'poisons.'  A Destroying Angel mushroom can kill a person with just a small amount of mushroom. Green parts of tomato are poison, but i still eat green tomatoes. I ate a large amount once and got sick, but will still eat a few now and then.

If Black Locust was a major companies source of income from an animal feed product- then they would have all kindsa studies to prove that brown Collies can smoke Black Locust cigarettes all day and not harm them...and I'd still not smoke any... But the folks on here that say that Black Locust as animal fodder is OK seem to be sincere...so I guess it is one of those things that may be in dispute for a while... I would not feed the milk of the animals to children until studies proved that the milk was safe for children.

I read somewhere that children got toxic effects from drinking milk from animals that ate Black Locust...I can't find that study now so I can't swear for or against Black Locust as food.. I would error on the side of caution until convincing evidence is presented.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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