Growing Locust Trees?

April 8, 2009

locust blossomOn March 14th, I planted two Skyline honeylocust trees in front of my house (along the street on the narrow strip) as part of a Friends of Trees planting day. They were bare root and planted to the proper depth. Other trees on the street and in my yard are starting to bud, but these trees aren't doing much. Will they take longer to leaf? Are they in shock from the transplant? Should I be worried? Thanks for your help and any info you can give me!


Hardiness Zone: 8a

By Paula Rodriguez from Vancouver, WA


April 10, 20090 found this helpful

Great to hear you planted with Friends of Trees! Although many of the most showy flowering trees are budding out in the Pacific Northwest, most of the canopy trees haven't started leafing out yet (look up high at the big trees, not the small ones that are demanding your attention with their bright colors.)

Also, bare root trees are often stored on a cooler to keep them from budding out until after planting - so your tree could be behind other trees because of how the nursery made them think it was winter longer than other trees.

And lastly, Friends of Trees checks on all our trees twice during the first summer to make sure they are doing well - we'll replace them if they don't bud out.


A good winter/spring test to see if a tree is alive is to cut a small scrape in the bark and make sure it's green underneath - just keep it small - you're cutting into the living tissue.

Friends of Trees

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April 12, 20090 found this helpful

I planted honeylocusts several years ago, and they are slow to bud and leaf out. This is in north Texas. Don't be discouraged.

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April 27, 20090 found this helpful

Thanks for the assurances. They did start budding this week. Still a little behind other similar trees in the area, but I'm happy with their progress.


I'll post a pic when they are more impressive!

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2 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 5, 2009

I noticed some of you writing about a purple robe locust (robinia ambigua) tree. A landscape company planted one in my yard about five years ago. For the past several years, the purple blooms show up in June and stay for about a week, then fall off and the leaves start turning yellow and dropping off, although most of the leaves stay green. But the yellow ones are smaller and litter my lawn all summer long. I have had three different "tree specialists" and each has suggested spraying, which has not seemed to phase the tree. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks

Hardiness Zone: 6a

By shw3 from UT

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October 16, 2008


I have 2 locust trees around 20 years old in my yard. I have had them trimmed twice as they are quite large. I am noticing that there are a lot of dead branches now on both trees. I am assuming some insect or fungus is attacking them causing foliage to cease and limbs to dry out.

I found a systemic liquid by Ortho, which has to be diluted and sprayed and is toxic. The trees are too high for me to spray and I would prefer not to do this as I have lots of flowers and grass underneath them which could be damaged, along with pets who roam the yard.


Does anyone have any suggestions to handle this problem short of contacting a professional, who I am sure is going to want to spray. Thanks for any advice you can give me.

Hardiness Zone: 5a

mtm from Northeast PA



Before you can take any productive action, you really need to find out exactly what you are dealing with. In order to find out you may need to either call in a professional, or contact your local county extension agency to find out if a Master Gardener would be willing to look at a sample and help you with the diagnosis. Insect and fungus attacks are quite different and require very different strategies for treatment. The Ortho you found may prove to be ineffective depending on what the problem is. Once you find out exactly what you are dealing with, you can research some Organic treatment methods that may or may not involve some type of spraying.


What kind of Locust tree do you have? Do you see any evidence of sawdust? The Locust Borer is a common problem that affects Black Locust trees. Do you see sunken spots on the branches that are dying? Are the leaves turning brown but the twigs look fine? Dead branches here and there may indicate verticillium wilt. You can check for it by taking a sharp knife and slicing diagonally through a dead twig. Verticillium wilt shows up as brown streaks in the vascular system. Did you have a cold, wet spring and summer? If so, you could be looking at a fungal disease, root rot, canker, or leaf spot.

Good luck!

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