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Yellow Locust


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Yellow Locust

The Robinia Pseudoacacia is commonly known as Black Locust, False Acacia, Green Locust, Locust, Post Locust, Shipmast Locust, White Locust, as well as Yellow Locust

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Growing Regions

The original natural range of black locust is in two sections:  1) the central Appalachian Mountains from central Pennsylvania and southern Ohio south to northeastern Alabama, northern Georgia, and northwestern South Carolina, and 2) the Ozark Plateau of southern Missouri, northern Arkansas, northeastern Oklahoma, and the Oachita Mountains of central Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma.  Outlying populations thought to be part of the original natural range occur in southern Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Alabama, and Georgia [45]. Black locust has been successfully planted in almost every state [24]. Naturalized populations occur throughout the United States, southern Canada, Europe, and Asia [45].

     

General Information

The currently accepted scientific name for black locust is Robinia pseudoacacia L. [45,54]. There are no natural subspecies or forms, but many cultivars are available [45]. Named varieties are as follows [48,54]: Robinia pseudoacacia var. pseudoacacia Robinia pseudoacacia var. rectissima (L.) Raber Black locust hybridizes with Kelsey locust (Robinia kelseyi), New Mexico locust (R. neomexicana), clammy locust (R. viscosa), and bristly locust (R. hispida) [45].

Black locust forms pure stands only on disturbed soils where there is no
competing overstory vegetation.  On good sites, single trees or small
groups may persist and grow large enough to form part of the mature
canopy [45].  Black locust is found in the southeastern United States
largely within oak (Quercus spp.)-hickory (Carya spp.) forests.  It also
occurs in naturalized populations in a wide range of types including
blue ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata) savannas in the inner bluegrass region
of Kentucky [13].

Common tree associates in oak-hickory forest include black cherry
(Prunus serotina), white ash (Fraxinus americana), sweet birch (Betula
lenta), cucumbertree (Magnolia acuminata), black walnut (Juglans nigra),
sourwood (Oxydendron arboreum), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), and
flowering dogwood (Cornus florida).  Associates on dry slopes include
black gum (Nyssa sylvatica) and scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea).
Associates in prairie-woodland transition zones of the Midwest include
blackjack oak (Q. marilandica) and black hickory (C. texana)
[1,5,45,55,64,85].

Outside of its native range, black locust often naturalizes in riparian
habitats or floodplains [6,44,64].

Much of the information presented here is attributed to:
Sullivan, Janet. 1993. Robinia pseudoacacia. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available at USDA Forest Service.

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