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Author Topic: Honey Locust = arrrgh!  (Read 2266 times)

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Offline retiredmechanic

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Honey Locust = arrrgh!
« on: February 07, 2020, 05:34:14 PM »
I have discovered a huge plot of Honey locust on my property and I have always just burned them and even then they stink while burning ....

I was just wondering is there any good uses for honey locust or (thorny nightmare trees) ? 

  just for kicks I took a small one sawed it up in to a 2x2x5 board and let it air dry for 1 year and it twisted up like a pretzel. of course it wasn't weighted or anything I placed it in my lean to rafters so it did stay dry and cool but .... 

 do I just keep burning them in a brush pile ? 
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Offline TKehl

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Re: Honey Locust = arrrgh!
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2020, 11:11:25 AM »
It makes pretty lumber, but they often grow twisty or with a lean at a field edge making for twisty lumber.  

It is becoming my favorite firewood species as it splits good, puts out heat, and holds coals like oak.   But dries faster than oak
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Offline Pine Ridge

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Re: Honey Locust = arrrgh!
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2020, 11:22:23 AM »
I agree with Tkehl, i have cut it and it makes very good firewood. Oldtimers here where i live called it thorny locust.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Honey Locust = arrrgh!
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2020, 11:59:35 AM »
Back when I was sawing, the loggers brought in a couple of Mbf of honey locust.  It seems that some farmers used to plant them along field edges to act as cheap fencing, shade and a feed source for cattle.  The ones they brought in were pretty good sized.

We didn't have a market for them, so we were making pallet stock out of them.  But, some of the boards were too nice for that and I took about 3-400 bf of wide boards home and put them on sticks in my barn.  I really didn't have much use for it.  One guy made a threshold out of it for my kitchen door, and it will outlast me or the house.  

I did find a use when I put a rear carryall on the back of my tractor.  The biggest problem I found was not twisting, but in splits in the wide boards.  I was able to trim the splits off and use that for the boards.  They were 10" wide.  I planed them down.  I had a few board that have bowed a bit, but there isn't any major twisting and everything seems stable.  I imagine it would make some nice flooring, if you can find enough.  Color is reddish, with white sap, which would make for a nice floor.  Its hard and dense.  
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Offline KEC

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Re: Honey Locust = arrrgh!
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2020, 09:10:31 PM »
Around here, any honey locust that I find was planted and is usually thornless. I try to never pass up a chance to get it for firewood. Stubborn to dry, but one of my preferred woods to burn on cold nights. I know that if they do have thorns they are evil.

Offline aigheadish

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Re: Honey Locust = arrrgh!
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2022, 08:55:56 AM »
I think this qualifies to post here... I have a handful of honey locust (thorny nightmare trees) in my yard, in a couple different spots. We moved into the house about 6 years and over the past 2 years or so these honey locust have started dying off or are dead. I'm not too upset by it due to the thorny nightmare part, but they are neat looking trees and I'd rather not have any of my trees die, if I can help it. 

Is there any known bug or anything that is killing these things off? I think all of them likely have a rotten center and I think they have that hollowed out spot in the base of them (like the big redwoods with the burnt out spots but without the burning). I don't know their lifespan either, maybe it's just time? Between the ash trees that are dead, and these locusts (speaking of which, I think they were heavily populated by the cicadas a couple years back, now that I think of it!) I'd rather not lose too many trees! Is it cicadas? 

There are trees of other varieties growing within 10 feet or so that appear to be healthy, but I'm not sure what they are. 
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Honey Locust = arrrgh!
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2022, 09:05:27 PM »
They are not bad for trailer planks

Offline LeeB

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Re: Honey Locust = arrrgh!
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2022, 11:08:20 PM »
PPB's love it.
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Offline aigheadish

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Re: Honey Locust = arrrgh!
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2022, 06:58:30 AM »
I was looking at them some more, still didn't think to take a picture... One of them, the most dead one, has severe bark loss. Squirrels love running around on the trees so maybe that's part of the deal but there are big chunks of bark missing all the way to the top.

I've never really paid much attention to trees, their growing or dying cycles, before moving to this house. It's got me a little nervous. There is another in the yard probably 150 feet+ away that seems to be doing ok, probably not great, but ok.
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Offline thriceor

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Re: Honey Locust = arrrgh!
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2022, 08:36:49 PM »
Hi Aig.  I have some property not too far north (Piqua area) that has quite a bit of honey locust.  7 or so years ago a small stand of it started to die.  I spoke with a State Forester who said he was not aware of any external pathogens/insects causing problems.  He speculated the trees had reached the end of their reasonable lives, as it is not a long lived species in this area.  Still have lots of larger and apparently healthy honey locust throughout the property, so who knows?  I agree with the others, it is pretty wood and makes great firewood.  I have found the ants seem to favor it though.
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Offline aigheadish

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Re: Honey Locust = arrrgh!
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2022, 06:45:24 AM »
Thanks thriceor! I kind of expected that to be the case. That one patch is gone. I'll let it stand for a while before attempting to do anything with the wood. I have probably 3 or 4 more trees that seem to be ok for now. They are a neat tree to look at but a hazard to equipment tires or feet, I probably won't miss them too bad when they are gone. 
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