Thornless Honey Locust
The original trees were found growing wild on an old farm homestead. The seeds are from trees which produce a heavy seed crop and are thornless. Although seeds were taken from thornless honey locust trees, a few seedlings may exhibit thorny growth.
Habitat: A fast growing tree which adapts to a wide range of soils and environments. Can grow in poor compacted dry alkaline soil lacking in fertility, but makes best growth in moist fertile soils in full sun. Tolerates drought and salty environments, air pollution and urban conditions. Honey locust can grow to a mature tree size of 30 to 70 ft. tall with a spread of 25 to 30 ft. and can live from 120 to 150 years. The trees can be kept smaller by pruning back the leader to side branches. The small narrow leaves produce a light filtered shade.
Uses: The tree produces long flat, bean shaped seed pods with sweet edible pulp. Young green pods can be cooked and eaten. The pods have been used as fodder for cattle and other domestic animals. The wood of the honey locust makes good firewood and has been used for railings, furniture, and ship construction. Native Americans ate the sweet pulp found between the seeds of the pods. Some settlers also used the pulp to brew beer. Other parts of the tree have been used medicinally.
Flowering: Strong scented flowers produced in late spring. Flowers are attractive to bees. Pods are produced in late autumn and some of the seed pods may hang on the tree during the winter months.
-Soak seed in water for 24 to 48 hours, until the seed swells. If seed fails to swell, seed may need to be scarified by filing seed coat being careful not to damage the embryo.
-Boiling water treatment can also be used. ( Bring water to just under the boiling point, if thermometer is available it should read 190°F. Pour seeds into hot water, let stand until cool. Plant seeds as soon as possible.)
-Plant seeds shallow, just cover lightly.
-Keep seeds at 65° to 70°F. until germination in 14 to 30 days.