Forest EcologyGeneral SilviculturePlant Taxonomy

Gleditsia triacanthos Linn.

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Gleditsia triacanthos Linn. Family


Gleditsia triacanthos Linn. English Name

Honey Locust

Gleditsia triacanthos Linn. Local Name


Gleditsia triacanthos Linn.

Gleditsia triacanthos Linn. Description

A large deciduous tree with a spreading crown. Heights of 25 m are not uncommon; diameter will range from 0.6 to 1 m. Leaves are compound between 12.5 and 17.5 cm long. Twigs and branches are armed with thorns. The flowers are greenish and occur as hanging bunches with the individual flowers arranged along the central axis. Flowering usually occurs in May and June. The fruit is a large pod, 50 cm in length and 3.7 cm in width. The pod is pulpy and encases the seed. Seed ripens in September and October. It is reproduced both from seed and by vegetative means. Under cold storage seed will remain viable for 2 years. Hot water or acid treatment is need to overcome seed coat dormancy. MAI in the central plains of the United States is recorded as 4.6 m3/yr over a period of 18 to 35 years. Height growth is approximately 0.5 m/yr. coarse grained, dark color and strong wood.

Gleditsia triacanthos Linn.

Gleditsia triacanthos Linn. Distribution

The tree is native to the United States of America, but has been successfully planted in Africa, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Pakistan and other countries of the world. In Pakistan, it is found as a roadside tree and in gardens, and in the plains of Punjab and NWFP. An intolerant, deep rooted tree that is adapted to semi-arid. Warm to hot sub-tropical climates that are characterized by winter monsoons. Under cultivation the tree can survive on varied sites including both alkaline and acid soils. It grows best on deep alluvial soils of limestone origin and in precipitation regimes of 500 to 1500 mm/yr. It is frost hardy, and occurs in a temperature range of -2 to 35°C.

Gleditsia triacanthos Linn.

Gleditsia triacanthos Linn. Uses

This tree is drought resistant with no observed disease or insect problems. It is ideally suited for planting on eroded sites if it’s protected from grazing. Since it is a good fodder tree it could be adapted to farm forestry programs. Also used for posts and supports, furniture, shade, apiculture, and fodder (pods are 29% sugar).

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