black locust

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ansehnlich1

Retired Hearth.com Member
Dec 5, 2006
1,601
Adams County, PA
The stuff burns great, it can sit around for years and still burn great, when it gets real old it turns grey, you'll likely be burning it when the color is still yellowish/greenish....it stays that color for quite some time.

Used for fence posts where I'm from. I've pulled old farm post that I know were in the ground for 50 years or more, and burned 'em just fine.

One of the best burning firewoods out there, IMHO.

I always use a big round or split of BLACK Locust or Apple for overnight burns when it's friiiiiiiigid outside.
 

Bigg_Redd

Minister of Fire
Oct 19, 2008
4,153
Shelton, WA
savageactor7 said:
Dr Bigwood the only caveat with locust is that the coals last forever and makes reloading the stove difficult. We use to be loaded with Locust here but have gone out of our way to remove all but 1 or two just for the scent of the blossoms. If you split it smaller and mix it up it'll work for you otherwise I don't think you'll be pleased burning just locust...Oh and give it an extra summer to season if you don't make the smaller splits.

I'm in the minority here but consider it a pain in the ass wood....and watch out for those thorns too.

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Now I've read everything.
 

MadTripper

New Member
I pulled some locust out of my wood pile and worked on it a little in the shop. I ended up with two chunks like the following and haven't figured out what to use them for. I did carry one in my car for a bit to use as an "anti-carjacking device". Anyways, thought I'd post them.

locust.jpg


locust2+001.jpg


Tripper
 

Eric Johnson

Mod Emeritus
Nov 18, 2005
5,871
Central NYS
DaveBP said:
It doesn’t have much commercial value because there is no market for locust lumber.
Eric, there is still a market here in Maine with the wooden boat builders. Just hard to find straight, long boles to make timbers of. Of old it was referred to as American Teak for its appearance and its rot resistance. I sawed some years ago that ended up as the cabin sole in a 50 year old teak-planked wooden sloop. Biggest uses were mine timbers and railroad ties.

Just can't imagine driving rail spikes into locust ties all day.
I work in the forest products industry, so my definition of "commercial value" is probably a bit skewed. No doubt, woods like black locust and specialty species like butternut have nice niche markets that exploit their unique attributes. They're just not part of the wider commercial commodities market like hard maple, red oak or black cherry. Most sawmills, in other words, won't buy black locust.

It does make beautiful lumber, IMO. I love the green color and distinctive grain/pore pattern.
 

MadTripper

New Member
That is funny. I was at a biomass conference on Friday and the local forester kept saying how we were being over run with "junk wood like birch, beech, locust..." and I thought to myself, that isn't junk wood, that is some of the best heat per volume wood you can get!!! Of course I mainly think in terms of usefulness for my stove whereas this guy thinks in terms of wood for $$$$. It is a wonder you don't see more applications for locust, like decks, outdoor furniture etc etc. I wanted to use locust around my garden instead of treated or RR ties so I didn't have to question what was leaching into my soil.

Chris
 

savageactor7

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2008
3,735
CNY
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Now I've read everything.[/quote]

There's a lot of folks that consider Locusts to be an invasive species. Once they established they take right over. Nothing else grows by them. They put out tons or thorny suckers and baby trees and yes those thorns will give any wheeled vehicle flats.
 

Ken45

Minister of Fire
Feb 21, 2008
545
southern Ohio
savageactor7 said:
There's a lot of folks that consider Locusts to be an invasive species. Once they established they take right over. Nothing else grows by them. They put out tons or thorny suckers and baby trees and yes those thorns will give any wheeled vehicle flats.
I think there is confusion between black locust and honey locust. Black locust only has small thorns (1/4") and then only on the small branches. Probably less of an issue than blackberry bushes. Honey locust is the one with the BIG 3 to 5 inch tire piercing thorns that are on the trunk as well as the branches.

Both are supposed to be good firewood. Black locust makes the long lasting fence posts. I've read mixed things about the rot resistance of honey locust.

Ken
 

Gooserider

Mod Emeritus
Nov 20, 2006
6,737
Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
1. Does black locust grow in Massachusetts?

If so,

2. Where can I get some healthy trees suitable for planting?

Gooserider
 

DaveBP

Minister of Fire
May 25, 2008
1,157
SW Maine
Where can I get some healthy trees suitable for planting?
Yes, it grows like mad in Mass. Used for roadside landscaping on interstates a lot.

I checked the usual mail order nurseries and Mass. apparently has a ban on importing them. You can collect seeds from any trees around and they grow easily. 2 feet per year if they have decent soil. I have one in front of my house that I planted 18 years ago as a 1 year seedling. It's 30 ft. tall now and shades my living room nicely in the summer.

You might find a mail order outfit that will ship to you. Google up what you can and check out their listings for black locust. Some are less particular about state restrictions than others.
 

Jeff S

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2008
344
Kimball,Michigan
I have Black Locust growing in my back yard I think they have a very nice canopy and the blooms are beautiful in the spring.They propagate from both seeds and from the root system and will become a weed if not kept in check but that doesn't seem to be a problem with the wood burners.
 
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