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Black Locust Upkeep

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by 08brute, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. 08brute

    08brute Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
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    Loc:
    South Dakota
    I planted 75 Black Locust trees that I purchased from the conservation district. They were about 2' when i planted them last spring and they are currently about 4' tall. I would like these to grow fairly straight with minimal low branches. Should i be pruning them and cutting off extra leaders now? Should I maintain these like any other tree or is there special considerations to take?

    Is the consensus that pruning should be done after a freeze or in the winter?

    I plan on planting 75 more next spring for future firewood production. I am kind of putting all of my eggs in one basket? Should i maybe plant a different species in case my Locusts get a borer or some disease.

    Thanks in advance.

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  2. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    NE Maryland
    I have done none of these things, and most of the locusts I have grow like a spear.
  3. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    Adams County, PA
    I would do any pruning in late spring before the buds open up. Reason is, it's just prior to the growing season and the cuts can heal.

    I always like to leave a few lateral branches in case deer chew off the leader I don't lose a tree. You may not have a deer problem there, but we sure do :)

    Lastly, indeed, I would vary the species so as to not lose the entire lot should some blight come through.
  4. Blue Vomit

    Blue Vomit Minister of Fire

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    eastern PA
    wow, talk about planning ahead. I dont know what i'm doing this weekend and its already wednesday!
  5. 711mhw

    711mhw Feeling the Heat

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    Western ME
    Very nice, I always thought about doing this, they used to seem to grow like a weed around the edges of a field and if you missed a year cleaning (mowing) the edges of the field it wasnt long before there was a real tree or trees there and you're makin hay around them. Personally I think Locust is the perfect wood, very strong, the perfect fence post, won't rot, and even looks really nice planed and sanded and stained. My wild ones that got big always seemed to be solid but usually had ants in the middle, but when they were done (dead) they would stand there slowly shedding the bark and small branches, just to leave some beautiful ready to burn hot "farwood". Check with the folks that you got them from for their veunerability to your concerns,and keep us posted time to time on your long term (excelent) project.
  6. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    Lake Odessa,MI
    How far apart did you plant them?

    Gary
  7. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    Virginia
    They only live a 100 yrs u know
  8. 08brute

    08brute Member

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    Loc:
    South Dakota
    I know, I know. The only reason it is on my mind is that I have to have the order in by 2/18/12 for trees delivered in spring.
  9. 08brute

    08brute Member

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    Loc:
    South Dakota
    I planted them 8' X 8' staggered.
  10. 08brute

    08brute Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
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    Loc:
    South Dakota
    I think i will plant some Honeylocust, Bur Oak (for my great grandkids!), and maybe some Ash. Hopefully the EAB leaves South Dakota alone for a while! Thanks all for advice. I will take pics when the snow melts.
  11. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I'm not sure how well locust trees take to pruning. Any time I've seen a locust with a damaged limb, etc. new growth seems to sprout back tenfold. We had a bad wind storm here a while back that wrecked a big stand of locust trees and they all look like topiary now. I would try pruning a few and see how that goes before you do them all.
  12. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Richmond, VA
    My experience in Colorado was that the conservation district personnel were the folks to ask. They knew a lot about local trees and how to grow them.
  13. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I wouldn't prune them unless they seem to be developing multiple leaders. I think at 8 ft spacing they will shade each other well enough to make most of them single stemmed. it is always better to have natural branch drop rather than pruning if natural branch drop will work, and for you I think it will. If the trees aren't expensive consider planting them at 4 ft spacing which will require 4 times the seedlings, but will allow you to cut a lot of them at post size and let the others grow. it will also help make sure they grow as single stems because they will compete with each other more for light. You could also plant locust between other trees with the idea of removing the locust at post size in ten or fifteen years. Locust fix nitrogen and cast light shade, so they aren't harsh competition for most other trees.
  14. curber

    curber Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    south east idaho
    Hey kinda wierd but I'm sprouting a bunch from seed now, Honey and black, Got 250 seed from ebay for 5 bucks. It's been really fun growing them with the kids. These will be planted at my moms. Pat

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  15. OhioBurner©

    OhioBurner© Minister of Fire

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    Central Ohio
    I've thought about planting BL... but I would guess they wouldnt be usefull until I was retired, which wouldnt be too bad but I highly doubt I'll be at the same house then.
  16. katwillny

    katwillny Guest


    Where are you ordering these trees from if you dont mind me asking bud?

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