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Honey locust

Honey locust
Photo: Nursery & Garden Industry South Australia
Invasive Plant
Honey locust
Gleditsia triacanthos
Native to eastern North America, the typical form of this species has been cultivated in Australia mainly as a fodder tree.  The tree is deciduous, to 10 metres, and the flowers are dull yellow in short racemes. Numerous thornless cultivars based on Gleditsia triacanthos forma inermis have also been widely grown as ornamental garden and street trees.  


The tree spreads by both suckering and seeds.  The seeds are spread by animals that eat the pods and also by water as the seeds float.  Honey locusts spread rapidly and if not controlled can form dense thorny thickets, smothering other vegetation and precluding access, particularly along creek lines.   

There are a number of almost seedless ornamental cultivars available such as ‘Sunburst’ and ‘Shademaster’, however suckering can still be a problem with suckers emerging in neighbouring properties, especially if roots are disturbed.

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Additional suggested alternatives: Chinese redbud (Cercis chinensis),  forest pansy (Cercis canadensis), tuckeroo (Cupaniopsis anacardioides).


Alternative Plants

Chinese Pistachio
Photo: John Zwar
Alternative Plant Chinese Pistachio
Pistacia chinensis
Trees and Shrubs
This small tree from China is grown mainly for its spectacular red and orange foliage in autumn.  The Chinese pistachio reaches 5 to 8m high by 6 to 8m wide.  Its fresh green foliage and compact size make it suitable for a variety of gardens as a feature tree.  It does best in moist, well drained soils including lime.  Once established the trees are drought and frost tolerant.  
Crepe myrtle 'Natchez'
Photo: Fleming's Nurseries
Alternative Plant Crepe myrtle 'Natchez'
Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei 'Natchez'
Trees and Shrubs
A popular tree to 8m x 6m with a slightly weeping habit. This form has an abundance of white flowers from mid-summer to autumn, reddish foliage in autumn, and one of the features of the Crepe Myrtles, attractive peeling bark which develops after a few years. It is moderately fast growing, suitable for a range of growing conditions including heat and dryness, although it needs to be well watered during establishment. Resistant to powdery mildew it makes a splendid feature tree.parks, driveways and avenues.
Photo: Fleming's Nurseries
Alternative Plant Liquidambar
Liquidambar styraciflua 'Rotundiloba'
Trees and Shrubs

This deciduous tree is an ideal specimen tree for large open spaces such as parks and gardens. Growing to 13 m high, it is noted for its yellow to burgundy-red autumn colour. Performs best in a moist full-sun position.

Mop Top Maple
Photo: Fleming's Nurseries
Alternative Plant Mop Top Maple
Acer platanoides 'Globosum'
Trees and Shrubs

A dense, symmetrical and formal round-headed deciduous small tree to 5 m high by 4 m wide. Leaves turn golden-yellow in late autumn, the young foliage in spring is bronzy-green. It is a robust and ideal street tree where space and height are limited and requires little or no pruning to hold its shape. Once established it is relatively drought tolerant. An excellent alternative to Mop Top Robinias.

Mudgee wattle
Photo: Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
Alternative Plant Mudgee wattle
Acacia spectabilis

Trees and Shrubs
A popular small native Acacia from Queensland and New South Wales.  It grows 2 to 4m high by 2 to 3m wide.  Useful as a feature tree, it flowers prolifically over winter and spring.  An easy to grow tree tolerant of drought and heavy frost, it will grow in loam and clay soil and is unfussy about soil pH.  A prostrate form is also available.   
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