Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos)

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Don’t get your hopes up just yet. This hardy fast growing ornamental plant does not actually produce honey. The seed pods do, however, have a honey-like sweet taste. Many mammals, especially deer, have been known to stop and pluck the flavorsome pods right out of the tree. The sugary pods, which contain the honey locust seed, are extremely high in protein. Often honey locust is planted near the edge of a food plot or pasture to supplement the diet of large grazing mammals such as deer and cattle.

The flowers bloom in late spring, followed by seed production between September and October.  As January rolls around and the cold of winter approaches, the honey locust tree still provides food for game. We have also seen white tail deer as well as rabbits routinely chomp the bark of this sweet tasting tree. When planting this remarkable tree, remember that they prefer to live mostly in the sun. So pick a spot on the edge of a field or along a stream and your new honey locust should be providing food in no time.  Keep in mind that Southern soils produce sweet pods, while the pods tend to be less attractive in northern soils.

Zone: 3 - 8
Soil pH: 6.0 - 8.0
Mature Height: 75'
Wildlife Value: Pods eaten by deer, possum, squirrel, rabbit, and quail. Bark eaten by deer and rabbit.
Site Preference: Mountain slopes, moist bottomlands, along streams, limestone prairie soils.
Fruit Maturity Date: Early Fall
Alias: Beantree