Black Locust : Overview
by Chris Mahmood
“The mocking crown of thorns
I figured to be black locust.
Some young limbs wreathed.
Did the weaver’s hands bleed?
You needed a local tree
To hitch myth and truth together.”
"Black Locust" by Michael Chitwood
A mature specimen, the black locust resembles a crotchety old man you grew up next door to. He’s hard and gnarled, and he may even seem a bit toxic. But despite his rugged appearance and prickly thorns, he’s persevered through a lot, and there’s a lot to be gained from his insights. Underneath all that bitter hardness, one might just catch those few rare days where the Black Locust is in full bloom, draped in sweetness and white flowers.
Robinia pseudoacacia, or black locust, is an enigmatic tree to say the least. Known for its hard, strong, incredibly rot resistant wood, the black locust is the culmination of many traits desired in high quality wood products around the world. It’s a very heavy wood, great for firewood, furniture, and even masts and ship nails. In many regards, it’s the jack of all trades in the tree world.