One of my favorite trees (aren’t they all?) is the Black Locust. Almost Gothic in the winter, Hudson Valley School in the summer; this tree can become massive. It also is a source for rot proof (as in downed trees are still rock hard thirty years after they fell) lumber for posts. As a firewood, if it can be split, it burns hot and long. Today, modern mill equipment is tough enough to deal with cutting it for things more refined than posts. I know a person whose friend took some Black Locust, made planks out of it, and now has a kitchen floor that rivals concrete in hardness, but is a lovely soft green/black veined wood instead. Because its wood can be a lovely green with black veining.  So much for the exotic tropical hardwoods.

Did I mention that it grows fast, is relatively disease free, and the blossoms are beloved of the honeybees?

Did I also mention that Connecticut, in its infinite wisdom for approaching the thing the wrong way, has decided that it is not native, being from the wrong side of the Hudson River and is invasive and (unlike such trees as the Norway Maple, whose timber/ecological value is Negative*) this is one plant they will actually try to ban the sale of? (Don’t get me started on the invasive plant list in Connecticut and its application).**

Anyway, since most people have more wisdom than that, Black Locusts are reasonably plentiful. We have several. Here they are in full flower:


The one on the left in the photo above is the third largest in the state.




*I like our big Norway Maples, because there is always intrinsic value in a mature tree. But they are trash for timber,  are entirely untouched by native animals, and their growth pattern gives them a formidable edge over all other trees.

**Let’s not even mention the Japanese Barberry and Burning Bush, shall we?