Characteristics of Honey Locust Tree (Gleditsia triacanthos) in the Wild

Gleditsia triacanthos
Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) is a deciduous tree in the Fabaceae family, native to central North America where it is mostly found growing on moist soil and river banks.

Honey locust tree is very easy to adapt to different environments, it is because it tolerates hot urban conditions, dense/hard soils, alkaline soils, and drought conditions. Even today the honey locust tree has been introduced all over the world and has become an aggressive invasive species.

Honey locust trees are easily transplanted, and their growth rates are relatively fast and can survive in bad conditions. This makes it a popular and valued tree in the areas where it is planted.


Characteristics of Honey Locust Leaf

Gleditsia triacanthos Leaf
Source : Hunt

Pinnate leaves are compound in old trees, but bipinnate in young trees. Each leaflet is 2-3 cm long and is bright green and turns yellow in autumn.


Feature of Honey Locust Flower

Gleditsia triacanthos Flower
Source : Hunt

The flowers are very fragrant and appear in groups at the end of spring in the axils base.


Characteristics of Honey Locust Fruit

Gleditsia triacanthos Fruit
Source : Hunt

Honey locust pods are 15-20 cm in size and appear during the summer before autumn.


Characteristics of Honey Locust Tree

Gleditsia triacanthos Tree
Source :

Honey locust trees can grow to a height of 20-30 meters in the wild. Growth is fast and relatively medium-aged, which is around 100-150 years.

The stem has 3-10 cm long spines, some of its spines can grow to a very long length of about 20 cm. The spines are soft and green when young, then harden and fade to gray as an adult.

This species is a weed in the Australian agricultural region. The plant tree forms a large bush and disrupts the ecosystem in the grasslands that livestock or domestic animals need to survive.


Honey locust trees produce high quality and durable wood, which is often used for industry.

The wood is also used for rail bearings because of its strong, rot-resistant wood.

In ancient times, thorns were used as nails and tree wood was used to make sails in shipbuilding.

Honey locust tree is suitable to be planted in a large garden (recommended far from humans because of its long, stiff, and sharp thorns) as a complement to landscape views because the autumn leaves make the tree look very beautiful.


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