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De-husking honey-locust seed pods  RSS feed

 
Posts: 175
Location: Timisoara, Romania, 45N, 21E, Z6-7
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Hi all you hardworking people.

I am trying to put some fencing up on the land (it is cca. 1 mile long on the perimeter).
A "built" fence is a no-no (due do $$$) but a tree/shrub hedge is ok.

I have gathered seed for all kind of shrubs and trees for this purpose.
One of these is honeylocust (Gleditsia Triacanthos).

Now, for a mile long hedge i need a lot of locust seed. But my place is full of these trees so i'm ok.
But the seeds are kept well in those huge pods.

I have no idea how to remove (on a large scale) the seeds from the pods.

Anyone has any idea ?

Thanks
 
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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Ionel Catanescu wrote:Hi all you hardworking people.

I am trying to put some fencing up on the land (it is cca. 1 mile long on the perimeter).
A "built" fence is a no-no (due do $$$) but a tree/shrub hedge is ok.

I have gathered seed for all kind of shrubs and trees for this purpose.
One of these is honeylocust (Gleditsia Triacanthos).

Now, for a mile long hedge i need a lot of locust seed. But my place is full of these trees so i'm ok.
But the seeds are kept well in those huge pods.

I have no idea how to remove (on a large scale) the seeds from the pods.

Anyone has any idea ?

Thanks



I've been collecting them and all I do is wait until they are dry and crumble them up a bit. Seeds tend to fall out.
 
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Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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The seeds are very hard and almost impossible to damage, plus they tend to want a bit of scarification (which is to say, a few nicks and abrasions is a good thing) for easy germination.

So what I would do (if you have a lot) is put the pods (when they are dry and black) in a big plastic bucket and then just stomp up and down on them with the end of a piece of firewood. The pods will break up and most of the seeds will just fall out.

Here is a thread with more information on getting those seeds to germinate once you've separated them: http://www.permies.com/t/12091/plants/Planting-Honey-Locust-seed
 
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Location: Rutledge, MO
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We have a rusty cast iron pot that we smash the seed pods in with a pestle (just a chunk of wood, really). We also pack 'em in a pillow case or burlap sack and let our five year old beat it with a stick. We do this to supplement our poultry feed, but goats will just eat them pod and all.
 
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Location: Southern Manitoba, Canada, Zone 3B
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What about an improvised rock tumbler?

A solid bucket with a tight lid that can be flipped on its side and then rolled. Fill half of it with pods and some rocks. If it's put on rollers you can roll it so that the rocks break the pods and knock the seeds out. This should abrade the seeds at the same time.

If they don't tumble well enough just add a couple 1/4" thick strips of wood on the inside to bounce the rocks more.

If the seeds are already removed you could abrade them with small gravel. It should scuff all sides of the seeds evenly.
 
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Ionel Catanescu wrote:I have no idea how to remove (on a large scale) the seeds from the pods.

Anyone has any idea ?



Plant the pods with the seeds still inside. The species knows how to get the seeds out of the pods and germinated without human labor.

 
Dan Boone
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:Plant the pods with the seeds still inside. The species knows how to get the seeds out of the pods and germinated without human labor.



I love this, and entirely agree.

However, for some reason, the last two years in a row my honey locust trees have done a terrible job of making seed in quantity.  Pods have been numerous, as always, but seed formation has been poor within the pods and insect pressure very high.

I would not care, except that for silly human reasons I have promised in advance of having crop in hand to send people seeds.  "Oh, yeah, I'm swimming in honey locust trees, I can send you seeds, no problem."

Usually it's a matter of picking up a handful of pods, crushing them between my fingers, watching a hundred seeds rattle out onto a plate, dividing them four ways, shipping them off, boom, obligations met. 

This year it's as if every pod has fifty flat empty bays where seeds never formed and maybe half a dozen seeds up by the stem end.  Which the desperate bugs have usually eaten.

I just finished picking up a paper shopping bag full pods.  There's enough rattlesnake noise when I shake the bag to convince me I've got *some* seed in there, but it's going to take some serious hand shucking to get it.  I'd send off the whole pods but I don't really want to pay (or make anybody pay) for shipping all that dried pod material around the country.  Especially since it's full of bugs (although I do have the whole bag in my freezer right now to put a stop to the whole "eating the few viable seeds that did get formed" nonsense).

 
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I've tried quite a few ways, and the best I've found so far is to cut along next to the seeds in the pods with scissors.  I've done 4 or 5000 this year that way.  If you cut along one side of the pod, they open easily and you can use your thumb to scrape the seeds out.  It's easy to tell where the seeds are in the pods, so it's easy to cut the pods without hitting the seeds.

I don't leave them in the pods as Joseph suggested because I like to freeze them for a week or two and they take up much, much less room after they are removed from the pods.  I learned the hard way to freeze them for a couple weeks when I took the seeds out of some pods that I left sitting for a while.  When I took the seeds out, fully 30% or more had a tiny, perfectly round hole in the shell and the insides eaten entirely out.  I found some of the little creatures still in the seed shell eating.  Since that time, I freeze all of my honey locust seeds for a couple weeks, pull them out of the freezer for a week or so and freeze them again.
 
Trace Oswald
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Location: 4b
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I took a couple quick pictures to show Honey Locust seeds that have been invaded by some tiny creature.  These pictures were taken when I removed the seeds from the freezer, so you can see that the pests kept eating for some time after I put them in.  The first picture shows the damage done.  The bottom seed in the first picture still had the bug in it.  I tried to open the seed to get the bug out for a picture, but as you can see, it kind of exploded :)

The second picture is just a size comparison between a honey locust seed and black locust seed.
bug.jpeg
[Thumbnail for bug.jpeg]
Sizes.jpeg
[Thumbnail for Sizes.jpeg]
 
Dan Boone
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Trace, just to be clear, are those bug-eaten seeds ones that looked whole when you put them into the freezer?  As in, you'd already cut them out of the pods and sorted away the ones with visible bug holes before freezing?
 
Trace Oswald
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Dan Boone wrote:Trace, just to be clear, are those bug-eaten seeds ones that looked whole when you put them into the freezer?  As in, you'd already cut them out of the pods and sorted away the ones with visible bug holes before freezing?



Dan, that is exactly right.  I sorted out the ones with holes before placing them in the freezer, and I found these mixed in with the whole seeds after taking the seeds out of the freezer.  They had been in the freezer for about 2 weeks.  It's very possible that I missed some seeds that had already been eaten, but I definitely didn't miss this many, and this isn't all of them that I found holes in.  My best guess is that I missed some that had bugs and they continued to move from seed to seed eating for some period of time before they froze. 

I have a lot more seeds to de-husk and freeze this year, so I think I will submerge all of them in water and separate out the ones that float before drying and freezing them.  That should help ensure I don't miss as many before freezing, but some having some loses looks to be a given.
 
Dan Boone
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In other places I have seen it written that a household freezer is often not cold enough to swiftly and reliably kill seed pests.  I guess you are proving that assertion!

 
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Location: SW Ohio
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Trace, did the one with the grub still in it have a big hole or just a little hole? I'm thinking that if they're moving from seed to seed as you suggested, the hole would be big like the empty seeds. If the whole was tiny, it might mean the adult insect laid one egg in/on each seed rather than the grubs traveling from seed to seed. I'm not sure it changes the prevention options either way, just curious.
 
Posts: 209
Location: SE Oklahoma
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Dan Boone wrote:The seeds are very hard and almost impossible to damage, plus they tend to want a bit of scarification (which is to say, a few nicks and abrasions is a good thing) for easy germination. 

So what I would do (if you have a lot) is put the pods (when they are dry and black) in a big plastic bucket and then just stomp up and down on them with the end of a piece of firewood.  The pods will break up and most of the seeds will just fall out. 

Here is a thread with more information on getting those seeds to germinate once you've separated them:  http://www.permies.com/t/12091/plants/Planting-Honey-Locust-seed



Hi Dan. Do we have honey locusts in our area? I'd love to find someone who knows more trees and wild edibles than I do to help me identify them. Also, any idea what the trees in this area are with the flat branches?

I just found a bunch of American Beautyberry bushes growing wild in 2 different places (because now they have berries on them so easier to see). They aren't very big bushes or berries.  I found wild persimmon seeds in coyote scat on the driveway so somewhere near here there must be at least one persimmon tree.

What I do have in abundance is black walnut, oak, and sumac so maybe I can trade some of that for honey locust seeds (and other things).
 
Dan Boone
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Gail Gardner wrote:Hi Dan. Do we have honey locusts in our area? I'd love to find someone who knows more trees and wild edibles than I do to help me identify them. Also, any idea what the trees in this area are with the flat branches?

I just found a bunch of American Beautyberry bushes growing wild in 2 different places (because now they have berries on them so easier to see). They aren't very big bushes or berries.  I found wild persimmon seeds in coyote scat on the driveway so somewhere near here there must be at least one persimmon tree.

What I do have in abundance is black walnut, oak, and sumac so maybe I can trade some of that for honey locust seeds (and other things).



I still owe you a PM -- I have it open in one of my many tabs, but I'm buried in work at the moment.  But to answer your question, oh yes we do have honey locust, the land I'm on is covered in it.  But you've mentioned being on horse land.  Honey locust has nightmare thorns that can get to six inches long and more -- if you had them right where you are, you would not be in any doubt because nothing else is like it!



But anybody managing land for horses has probably cut them all down decades ago and brushhogged out all seedlings many years running. That said I will be happy to bring you seeds if you want, no need to trade for them.

Anyway I really do need to come by for a visit once this current slug of work slows down.  I want to see those beautyberries as I have never found any closer than Arkansas!  And I would be happy to help you identify any trees that I know.  "Flat branches" doesn't ring any bells unless you are talking about winged elm, which has little ridges along both the branches and on the trunk?
 
Trace Oswald
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Sarah, the seed had the same size hole as all the others.

Gail, the seeds I have are harvested from a thorn-less Honey Locust near me.  I'm told that is no guarantee that tress grown from those seeds will be thorn-less, but I'll send you seeds if you want to try them.  Send me a message with a mailing address and I'll throw some pre-frozen ones in an envelope for you.
 
Gail Gardner
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Dan Boone wrote:Anybody managing land for horses has probably cut them all down decades ago and brushhogged out all seedlings many years running. That said I will be happy to bring you seeds if you want, no need to trade for them.

Anyway I really do need to come by for a visit once this current slug of work slows down.  I want to see those beautyberries as I have never found any closer than Arkansas!  And I would be happy to help you identify any trees that I know.  "Flat branches" doesn't ring any bells unless you are talking about winged elm, which has little ridges along both the branches and on the trunk?



I haven't seen any thorns that big around here, but I haven't walked the entire place, yet, either. I don't know what the cleared areas were originally pasture for so it could have been cattle rather than horses.

Those thorns would make a formidable exterior fence, but they could spread all over, too.  Maybe the thornless variety would be preferable.

The American beautyberry bushes I found are growing along the driveway and the edges of trees. They aren't big and beautiful like the photos you see - the berries are pretty small and the leaves about an inch across. I'm pretty sure that is what they are, though.

I'd love to have you come for a visit whenever you can make the time. I freelance and am always here, so just about any day or hour will work for me. Except for a few meetings and a day or two when my equine conformation expert will be here I can be available.
 
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