Skyline Honey Locust Care: Learn How To Grow A Skyline Locust Tree
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How to get started with sky line honey locust care?
In order to get started with sky line honey locust care, first you need to understand what exactly is a honey locust. Then you will learn how to grow them indoors or outdoors. You will also learn how to choose the right type of soil for your situation. Finally, you will learn how to care for them properly.
What is a Honey Locust?
A honey locust is a member of the family Apiaceae (Apis genus). They are native to tropical regions of South America such as Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. There are over 100 species found in these areas, but only two have been cultivated commercially: the honey locust (Hyl. spp.) and the golden honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) (1). Both belong to the subfamily Apicomplexae, which also includes the common house fly (Diptera: Culicidae), ladybird beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea), leafhoppers (Ceratopogonidae), aphids and scale insects.
What does a Honey locust look like?
The honey locust tree (Gleditsia triacanthos) is a deciduous species with compound leaves and yellow pinnate leaves. It grows straight up and can reach 40 feet in height with trunks reaching up to 3 feet in diameter. The bark is chalky white and the seeds are 1-inch long pods that ripen in the fall. The tree is found growing wild in dry, open woods, abandoned fields and along fencerows and roadsides across the eastern and central states of the U.S. (2).
The Honey locust is a beautiful tree with an upright oval shape. The bark is grayish-white with deep vertical fissures which gives it a ragged appearance. In late spring, it produces pinnate leaves which are dark green in color and turn a yellow-green in fall. The trees are dioecious (separate sexes) and produce small yellow flowers in the spring.
The fruits are flat, thin pods that grow in clusters at the ends of branches. They ripen in September and split open when ripe releasing a light brown seed with a long whitish tail which is dispersed by the wind.
The honey locust is one of the most durable trees and will tolerate drought, heat, cold, poor soil and air pollution (3).
How to grow a Honey locust tree?
In order to grow a honey locust tree from seed, you should start indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost and plant outdoors when risk of frost is past. Start by filling a container (4″X 4″ level) with a mixture of 1 part potting soil and 1 part sand. Place seeds in soil and barely cover with soil. Water lightly. Germination should occur in 14 to 28 days. When seedlings reach 2 inches in height, transplant to larger containers. Transplant again after a year to their permanent locations (4).
Tips for sky line honey locust care:
The honey locust tree is known for its tolerance of poor soil conditions and heat but it does require moderate watering. It can grow in full sun or partial shade. The tree can reach up to 50 feet in height and 30 feet wide.
The honey locust tree is one of the most durable trees in the country and it can withstand harsh environments. They are not particular about soil type but they do require full sun to partial shade. The honey locust prefers moist, well-drained soil and it does not tolerate water-logged roots or drought.
These trees are generally pest free and are tolerant of air pollution making them suitable for urban areas. The honey locust tree does have thorns on its branches.
The honey locust flowers in the spring. Male and female flowers grow on separate trees. It takes approximately 2 years for the tree to reach fruiting age. When the trees are mature, they can produce large quantities of seed which are popular with birds.
These trees have a long life span and can reach up to 100 years old (5).
Sources & references used in this article:
Selecting landscape plants: shade trees by D Relf, BL Appleton – 2009 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu
Tree Grouping when Planting by SF HAMBLIN – Landscape Architecture, 1923 – JSTOR
DECIDUOUS TREES MODIFY TEMPERATURE OF BUILDINGS V< X by RL Ticknor – archive.lib.msu.edu
Bicycling the Blue Ridge: A Guide to the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway by E Skinner, C Skinner – 2014 – books.google.com
Restraint in the Choice of Plant Materials by SF Hamblin – Landscape Architecture, 1923 – JSTOR
Selecting and planting landscape trees by MR Kuhns, L Rupp – 2000 – digitalcommons.usu.edu