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Robinia Trees | False Acacia Trees

Robinia Pseudoacacia trees are native to south-eastern U.S but have since been naturalised to Europe and other parts of the world. Commonly referred to as Black locust or False Acacia, they are attractive trees with pendulous racemes of pea-like, fragrant flowers.

 

Interesting facts about Robinia trees

The name Robinia was used in honour of Jean Robin and his son Vespasien Robin who were herbalists to King Henry IV of France. Jean Robin was the first person to introduce this tree to Europe from North America. False Acacia is a literal translation of Pseudoacacia which is in reference to the similarities these trees share with the Acacia species.

Robinia trees are resistant to rot and produce hard, strong wood. Many parts of this tree are used in cultivation and throughout different cultures.

 

Common uses for Robinia Pseudoacacia trees include:

  • Making furniture, flooring, paneling and fence posts flavanoids in the wood mean it can last for up to 100 years
  • Good choice for fire wood as it burns slowly, producing very little smoke and will even burn when wet
  • In France and Italy the flowers are used for making beignets (fritters) and are fried in batter
  • As Black Locust trees are tolerant of pollution they are commonly planted in parks and chosen for avenue planting in towns and cities
  • As part of the Pea family, False Acacia trees have nitrogen fixing bacteria in their roots so they will grow on, and enrich, poor soils. Because of this they also make good early colonizers for disturbed land

 

Wildlife value of Locust trees

Robinia trees are of great value to wildlife. In America and France where the climate is warmer, the flowers produce good amounts of nectar for bees to make honey. The honey from Black Locust trees is thought to be superior to most others and called Acacia Honey. Rabbits, squirrels and birds eat the seeds but the bark, seeds and leaves are toxic to humans and cattle.

 

One of the first trees to be planted in the Original Kew Gardens was a False Acacia tree, planted in 1762 and still standing today. Planted over 250 years ago and now supported by metal bands, this tree is expected to live for at least another 50 years.

Robinia Pseudoacacia trees make a fantastic garden feature if you have the space. For our full range of flowering ornamental trees, click here.

Robinia Trees | False Acacia Trees
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