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Kentucky Color: Honeylocust thorns and Blue Sky
Honeylocust is very pretty and pretty harmless in its thornless variety, but natural varieties can cause serious injuries. But there are rumors that some have used the pulp of the seed pods to make beer!
The next earlier Kentucky Color: Billy Joe Fudge, Kentucky Color: Eastern Wahoo Orange on Mayne Lane January 14, 2010. Click on headline for full story plus photo(s)
By Billy Joe Fudge, President, Homeplace on Green River, Inc.
6048 New Columbia RD, Campbellsville, KY
Honeylocust in its natural form is thorned. The thornless varieties growing in our yards and urban landscapes are Honeylocust but the thorns have been removed through breeding. The genetic disposition for thornlessness is in the Honeylocust itself.
You will notice that once a Honeylocust reaches about 10 years of age it grows no thorns in the crown only on the main trunk below crown level.
Locust of any kind is a legume which enhances the nitrogen level in the soil and the beans and the bean pods are eaten by many birds and animals including cattle. The seed is 12 or 13 percent protein.
The pulp in the seed pods is very sweet and edible. There are rumors of some who have fermented the pulp to make Honeylocust beer. An interesting note about Honeylocust is that there are considerable differences between the trees that grow in the North and those which grow in the South. It can be dormant up to 200 days in northern reaches of its range along the Southern Great Lakes over into the Mid-west. Conversely Honeylocust may be dormant only 50 or 60 days in the Deep South from Eastern Texas over into middle Alabama. I would guess that ours would be somewhere in between.
A word of caution concerning those thorns. They are very hard, very sharp and can cause serious injury. Please approach with caution being aware that a slight stumble could bring one into contact with these dangerous needle sharp thorns. Do not let children run or play in the vicinity of Honeylocust thorns.
This story was posted on 2010-01-31 04:15:04
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