A small group of deciduous trees and shrubs grown for their elegant pinnate foliage. The main species has a spiny trunk and stems, although some cultivars are thornless.
Botanical Name: Gleditsia triacanthos
Common Names: honey locust, sweet locust, three-thorned acacia
Foliage: Deciduous, pinnate or bipinnate, oval-shaped green leaflets. Yellow autumn colour.
Blossom: Small-green-white flowers. Flattened long brown seed pods are borne in warmer climates or long hot summers in the UK.
Flowering Period: Summer
Soil: Well-drained soil (chalk, clay, sand or loam). Acid, alkaline or neutral pH.
Conditions: Full sun, any aspect.
Type: Shrub or tree.
Origin: USA, western and central Asia.
Hardiness: Hardy in the UK.
Bare-root trees can be planted from November to March. Container grown varieties can be planting at any reasonable time.
Thrives in any well-drained soil but prefers dry acidic conditions. Best planted in an open, sunny position, although it will tolerate some shade. Grows rapidly and thrives in poor conditions.
Tolerant of atmospheric pollution.
Water well until established. Reasonably drought resistant once established.
Prune young trees to encourage a good leading shoot in late summer. Remove any dead, damaged or crossing wood in spring.
Can be affected by gall midge and honey fungus.
Sow seed of species in spring, after a period of stratification. Protect young seedlings during winter in a cold frame.
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust) is a medium to large sized tree with attractive fern-like, bright-green foliage. Flattened, dark brown seed pods are produced in warmer regions. Height up to 60ft (20m). Garden worthy cultivars include: