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Honey Locust (Gleditsia triancanthos)

Family: Bean (Faba­ceae)

Common Names: Thorny Locust, Common Honey Locust, Sweet Locust.

The honey locust is a fast-growing tree with a spreading crown, often identified in the wild by its smooth, sharp, branched thorns on the trunk and branches. A thornless variety is commonly cultivated in urban areas as a shade tree. In natural stands honeylocust attains a height of 70 to 80 ft.

The wood of honeylocust possesses many desirable qualities but is little used due to its relative scarcity. There are few commercial growers or loggers, although there are honeylocust plantations in eastern Nebraska. The wood is dense, very heavy, very hard, strong in bending, stiff, resistant to shock, and is durable when in contact with soil.

Heartwood is a medium to light reddish brown. Wide sapwood is a light yellow, clearly distinguished from the heartwood. Very similar in appearance to Kentucky Coffeetree.

Honey Locust is used locally for fence posts, and as utility lumber for pallets, crating, and general construction.

As far as we can determine, it is not used in commercial cabinetmaking, but has been used locally for custom cabinets.