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Difference Between Black and Honey Locust Trees

Black vs Honey Locust Trees

The black locust and honey locust are trees that grow in warm climates. The black locust tree’s botanical name is Robinia pseudoacacia and the honey locust tree’s is Gleditsia triacanthos.

The black locust is also known as the false acacia or yellow locust and there are about 10 species. There are about 12 species  of honey locust.

The black locust tree is fast growing and larger than the honey locust. The black locust reaches a height of about 25 to 30 meters with a diameter of one meter. Some older black locust trees have been known to grow to about 50 meters tall.

While the black locust tree is a native of the south eastern US, the honey locust tree is native to central eastern region.

One can also tell the two trees apart by just looking at the bark. The black locust’s bark is dark in colour with grooves that resemble an intertwining rope. The honey locust’s bark is brown or grey in colour and the tree has  bunches of thorns.

Both the black and honey locust have smooth, thin, shiny seedpods. But if you look at the seedpod, there are minor differences. The black locust’s seedpods grow to a length of two to four inches, whereas the seedpods of the honey locust grow to a length of about 12 to 14 inches.

The leaves are very different. The black locust has very simple compound leaves where honey locust trees have bipinnate compound leaves. New leaves also come out earlier in the honey locust than the black locust.

Summary

  1. The black locust’s botanical name is Robinia pseudoacacia and the honey locust’s is Gleditsia triacanthos.
  2. The black locust reaches a height of about 25 to 30 meters with a diameter of one metrer
  3. While the black locust tree is a native of the south eastern US, the honey locust tree is native to central eastern part.
  4. The black locust’s bark is dark in colour with grooves that resemble an intertwining rope. The honey locust’s bark is brown or grey colour and the tree has bunches of thorns.
  5. The black locust’s seedpods grow to a length of two to four inches where the seedpods of the honey locust grow to a length of about 12 to 14 inches.
  6. The black locust has very simple compound leaves where the honey locust has bipinnate compound leaves.

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