Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

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Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

Post  Todd Ellis on Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:36 pm

Hello IBC,
(especially in the Mid-Atlantic area)

I am looking for a common Black Locust tree to grow as bonsai. Do you know anyone who has one? Would you put the word out for me? The botanical name is Robinia pseudoacacia.
I have looked for some, but a short one (2-4 feet tall) with rough bark seems hard to find. I have seen a few Honey Locusts in some collections, but not the common Black Locust.

If you have any ideas or know of someone who is willing to sell or trade, please PM me.
Thank you,

Todd

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Re: Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

Post  coh on Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:53 pm

Good luck! I've never seen one as a bonsai (just a pic or two on the internet), and have never seen trained stock for sale. I would suggest starting one yourself, if you have space. I've got one growing in the ground for future experimentation. In 2 seasons it has gone from about 1/2" trunk to 4"+. Most vigorous plant I've got in my grow beds. In the spring I will chop it down to see what happens. Not sure if I'll get mostly growth from the remaining trunk, or mostly root suckers.

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Re: Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

Post  Todd Ellis on Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:57 pm

Thanks COH. Has it bloomed for you?

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Re: Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

Post  coh on Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:16 pm

Todd,

This one has not bloomed yet. I dug it up from a root sucker from a larger tree in my yard (which has bloomed, so I know this one will...eventually). I actually didn't think it was going to survive as it came out of the ground with almost no roots. Boy, was I wrong! Unfortunately it is now producing root suckers throughout my grow bed, so keep that in mind if you choose to go that route.

Chris

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Re: Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

Post  RKatzin on Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:34 pm

Hi Todd, you can buy these at ForestFarm.com. They also have pink flowering, contorted, weeping and dwarf Robina p. They grow wild here, I have an old one in my yard, about 4' on the butt. They sprout in all my pots and all over the place, I kill dozens every season just keeping the grounds. They are very aggressive growers!

I'm working on a forest/grove that started as a cluster of root suckers and I have a dwarf in my garden. This year I'm going to seperate the forest from the root and plant it in a box. I'll let you know in the spring how it went. Rick

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Re: Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

Post  DreadyKGB on Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:38 pm

Here's a place that sells bare root seedlings and such.

http://www.coldstreamfarm.net/p-127-black-locust-robinia-pseudoacacia.aspx

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Re: Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

Post  Todd Ellis on Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:33 am

Thank you all Very Happy 

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Re: Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

Post  coh on Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:15 pm

The comment about Forest farm sparked my memory...they actually carry a cultivar called unifolia (or something like that) that has single instead of compound leaves.That might be worth a try...

Chris

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Re: Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

Post  Todd Ellis on Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:05 am

...hmmmm

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Re: Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

Post  PeacefulAres on Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:57 pm

coh wrote:Todd,

This one has not bloomed yet. I dug it up from a root sucker from a larger tree in my yard (which has bloomed, so I know this one will...eventually). I actually didn't think it was going to survive as it came out of the ground with almost no roots. Boy, was I wrong! Unfortunately it is now producing root suckers throughout my grow bed, so keep that in mind if you choose to go that route.

Chris
I've been trying a grow a few Black Locusts in south Florida, and I've been a bit unimpressed with their growth. Do you think it's possible that the soil lacks the natural nitrogen fixing bacteria that would normally associate with the plants roots?

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Re: Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

Post  Todd Ellis on Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:27 pm

That's a good question. I think that other species face the same issue, hence the practice of adding nutrients to the soils. Do your locusts go dormant during the Winter season?

Todd

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Re: Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

Post  PeacefulAres on Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:31 pm

Todd Ellis wrote:That's a good question. I think that other species face the same issue, hence the practice of adding nutrients to the soils. Do your locusts go dormant during the Winter season?

Todd
I just acquired them this year, so I have yet to see if they'll go dormant. I was just kind of surprised by how little they've grown. I've read about how aggressive their growth is supposed to be, but they have been totally out paced by other trees, like my Siberian elms and osage oranges.

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Re: Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

Post  coh on Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:18 am

PeacefulAres wrote:
Todd Ellis wrote:That's a good question. I think that other species face the same issue, hence the practice of adding nutrients to the soils. Do your locusts go dormant during the Winter season?

Todd
I just acquired them this year, so I have yet to see if they'll go dormant. I was just kind of surprised by how little they've grown. I've read about how aggressive their growth is supposed to be, but they have been totally out paced by other trees, like my Siberian elms and osage oranges.
Are you growing them in the ground, or in pots in standard bonsai soil? Mine is in the ground, I haven't tried any in pots yet.

For reference...the one I'm talking about was dug up with almost no roots and re-planted in April 2012. It was about a foot tall and trunk was maybe 1/2" (probably smaller but I didn't record that). By the end of that first growing season it was over 9 feet tall and the trunk was almost 2". Now it's probably close to 15' and the trunk base is close to 4". I'm going to chop it in the spring and see what happens.

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Re: Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

Post  PeacefulAres on Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:56 am

coh wrote:
PeacefulAres wrote:
Todd Ellis wrote:That's a good question. I think that other species face the same issue, hence the practice of adding nutrients to the soils. Do your locusts go dormant during the Winter season?

Todd
I just acquired them this year, so I have yet to see if they'll go dormant. I was just kind of surprised by how little they've grown. I've read about how aggressive their growth is supposed to be, but they have been totally out paced by other trees, like my Siberian elms and osage oranges.
Are you growing them in the ground, or in pots in standard bonsai soil? Mine is in the ground, I haven't tried any in pots yet.

For reference...the one I'm talking about was dug up with almost no roots and re-planted in April 2012. It was about a foot tall and trunk was maybe 1/2" (probably smaller but I didn't record that). By the end of that first growing season it was over 9 feet tall and the trunk was almost 2". Now it's probably close to 15' and the trunk base is close to 4". I'm going to chop it in the spring and see what happens.
They've been growing in raised beds. I started them from seed this year. The locusts are about two feet tall and maybe a third of an inch thick. By comparison, the Siberian elms that I also started from seed are over six feet tall and about one and a half inches thick.

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Re: Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

Post  Todd Ellis on Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:02 pm

coh, I look forward to hearing about your progress on that tree.

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Re: Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

Post  coh on Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:00 pm

Todd, I have no idea how well it's going to work but will definitely post updates. Please keep us informed if you decide to experiment with them.

PeacefulAres, I don't know about the root nodule issue, but perhaps black locust is one of those trees that just doesn't put out a lot of top growth when young. The tree that I am experimenting with came from a root sucker from a tree in our yard. That tree started as a volunteer seedling in one of our garden beds. As I recall, it was very slow growing the first couple of years, definitely less than 1' the first season. It took a few years for that one to really get going, whereas the root sucker was extremely vigorous right from the beginning despite the lack of roots. Perhaps it takes some time for the nitrogen fixing bacteria to get established in a seedling, whereas the root sucker would already be colonized. Just speculating...

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Re: Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

Post  PeacefulAres on Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:54 pm

coh wrote:Todd, I have no idea how well it's going to work but will definitely post updates. Please keep us informed if you decide to experiment with them.

PeacefulAres, I don't know about the root nodule issue, but perhaps black locust is one of those trees that just doesn't put out a lot of top growth when young. The tree that I am experimenting with came from a root sucker from a tree in our yard. That tree started as a volunteer seedling in one of our garden beds. As I recall, it was very slow growing the first couple of years, definitely less than 1' the first season. It took a few years for that one to really get going, whereas the root sucker was extremely vigorous right from the beginning despite the lack of roots. Perhaps it takes some time for the nitrogen fixing bacteria to get established in a seedling, whereas the root sucker would already be colonized. Just speculating...
Alright. That would make a lot of sense.

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Re: Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

Post  PeacefulAres on Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:52 pm

I had a slightly interesting development. By chance, I came across a vacant lot field with these beautiful plants that turned out to be a native legume bush, called the partridge pea. It another nitrogen fixing plant that has a symbiotic relationship with bacteria. I decided to try a little experiment. I dug up one of the partridge pea plants(Chamaecrista fasciculata). There roots had several nodules which i assumed would contain some of the bacteria.

I took the plant back home and proceeded to remove the roots and crush them up finely. I then mixed them with water and poured the liquid into the pot of a small black locust seedling that had been idling all year. That was three weeks ago and the plant has since had a surge of growth. It's had to make a definitive conclusion about the effectiveness of this bacteria "transplant", but it's something I think I will experiment with in the future. If I make cuttings in the spring, I'll probably give them a similar treatment.

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Re: Looking for a Black Locust for sale...

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