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Author Topic: Black Locust ID help  (Read 2109 times)

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Offline runmca

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Black Locust ID help
« on: April 04, 2017, 10:50:42 am »
Hi-

First post, longtime reader. Such a great forum- kudos to the founder, administrators, members and sponsors!

So here goes, I need some help identifying Black Locust. I'm a novice at distinguishing wood species, so any help would be appreciated. Here's a picture of the wood in question.


Thank you,
Mark
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Offline Ox

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2017, 01:01:06 pm »
That looks more like honey locust to me.  If it is, it's less rot resistant than black locust.
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Offline low_48

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2017, 09:16:44 pm »
I'd say osage. Black locust has a green tint, honey locust is salmon colored, osage is yellow.

Offline WDH

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2017, 09:25:21 pm »
Sure looks like black locust to me.  Black locust has a very interesting characteristic.  It only has one to two annual rings of sapwood.  Very unusual.  The log in the pic only has one or two annual rings of sapwood. 

Down here, honeylocust bark is more smooth or breaks into plates.  Black locust bark is furrowed with distinct interconnecting ridges.  In the pic, the bark looks more furrowed and ridged, not platy. 
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2017, 09:31:23 pm »
If it was growing on my property it absolutely would be Black Locust.
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Offline Ox

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2017, 09:33:10 pm »
I guessed honey locust cause my honey locust here is not as deeply furrowed as my black locust and looks remarkably like the photo.  My black locust is easily twice as deeply furrowed as what's in the pics above and is yellowish when freshly cut!  This might be a location thing going on here...
There's a black light test which will glow if black locust.  Not sure about the others.
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Offline runmca

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2017, 07:56:46 am »
Thanks everyone. I haven't seen this wood in person yet, and this info will be helpful.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2017, 08:09:18 am »
Most times, honeylocust has thorns growing out of the trunk and branches.  These thorns are modified branches, and are 3" to 6" long and dangerous, and they branch out themselves with branch thorns like a twig on a tree.  On the other hand, black locust thorns are modified stipules, and only occur in pairs at the base of the leaf stem (rachis in a compound leaf like black locust).  These stipular thorns are exactly like the pair of thorns on a rose bush.  They are always in pairs at the base of the leaf stem, never branched, small at about 1/4" to 1/2" long, and never on the trunk.  If you have a twig, you can make a definitive diagnosis.
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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2017, 10:27:31 am »
How long have they been cut? 

Not Honey locust for sure, at least not how they look here.

I initially leaned Black Locust, but couldn't rule out aged Hedge, so I didn't comment.  Would be rare to get a stack of straight Hedge though.  I have been fooled by barkless Mulberry, but it sure doesn't look like Mulberry bark around here.  Still leaning Black Locust.

Like WDH said, if you could get a twig or even fresh cut, that would help.

Ox, blacklight test is interesting!  Will have to try that!
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2017, 04:29:02 pm »
Mulberry is yellow and a second cousin to osage orange.Black locust seldom gets over two feet in diameter ,Honey locust can get huge,fat like an oak .Thorns that look like elk antlers .Be careful they can put your eye out and puncture a tractor tire .

Offline runmca

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2017, 08:38:59 pm »
Not sure when they were cut. I do know they are between 6-12" diameter.
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Offline ToddsPoint

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2017, 06:11:15 am »
I had never cut a black locust but read where it is rot resistant in contact with soil for 75 yrs.  I asked a farmer neighbor if I could cut one of his black locusts.  I told him I wanted to test the 75 yr. claim on a fence post or two.  He laughed and said I could have a tree but I better leave a note for someone on the 75 yr. thing.  I cut a tree and have two 8' logs to mill for posts. Gary
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Offline Don P

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2017, 07:18:07 am »
 :D
Like most naturally decay resistant species the results are highly variable. The trees don't read the textbooks. I've had locust fenceposts last 7 years and should probably leave a note on others.

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2017, 09:59:10 pm »
We never used fresh felled Black Locust for fence posts.  They had to be bucked and stacked for a year before use.  Sawing fence posts was my Winter job for many years, and we used a 6' crosscut saw.
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Offline Larry

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2017, 10:44:07 pm »
I'm absolutely positive that's Black Locust because I can tell by its smell. ;D  Makes me hungry.

Don't waste any as its a fine wood for projects and I have made a few.  With exposure to UV it takes on a rich reddish hue.  The bench was fresh and had yet to turn color.

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2017, 09:11:54 am »
  The end cut sure looks like our black locust here.

Larry,

   I assume you mean it smells like raw peanuts. That is what our fresh cut black locust always reminds me of.
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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2017, 01:03:19 pm »
I would have guessed Sassafras. The growth rings look a lot like what just got cut out of our fence line. 
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2017, 08:36:26 am »
It's not honey locust, not Osage, not Mulberry.  Could be Black Locust.  Not certain without hands on inspection.  Black locust has furrowed bark and around my parts, doesn't seem to get much bigger than 10 inches it seems.  Where are you/the wood located?
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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2017, 10:34:08 am »
The pores of black locust and osage orange are filled with tyloses.  Not so in honeylocust and mulberry.  Osage and black locust have latewood pores that can band together in little strings, sometimes in a wavy pattern.  However, black locust only ever has one or two annual rings of sapwood.  Osage usually has more annual rings of sapwood.   
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Offline Babylon519

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2017, 12:55:24 pm »
A tree that I've been calling Black Locust fell this past winter. When it came down, it landed in a pond and I pulled it out a month ago. I found it was starting to sprout branches, so I took a couple pictures of it to show the forum. I don't see any evidence of thorns as described above. Is it really a Black Locust?





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Offline Jemclimber

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2017, 01:01:27 pm »
No, that's not black locust, it looks like a willow of some sort.
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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2017, 03:06:38 pm »
Jem,

Willow is diffuse porous.  That log in the first pic is ring porous  :)
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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2017, 09:36:47 pm »
I love ? hate this thread.  The first log in question is black locust to me.  I don't know all the botanical Identifiers, but I've cut a lot of black locust, and the rings and bark are identical to mine.  I agree that, when freshly cut, it looks very green in color.  Over time, or under water, I have no idea what would happen to that color.

The second tree's bark looks very much like black locust to me.
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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2017, 12:49:36 am »
runmca's wood is 100% black locust, or I'm a dunce. Who has sawn and seen a lot of black locust.  ;D

Babylon's wood, I really don't know what it is, but not black locust or honey locust. The bark and wood looks like a hickory to me, but that little sprout growing out the side of it suggests it might be something else.
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Offline Jemclimber

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2017, 08:49:43 am »
I was referring to Babylon519, not the original poster, it sure doesn't look ring porous from the resolution on my computer. Which is why I said Salix. The leaves sprouting also do not look odd pinnate which black locust has.

Are we talking about the same picture? Bablylon's pic sure looks diffuse porous on my screen. 

The tree in the background also appears to be a willow. It's fuzzy but if I were to make a guess that one would be weeping willow, Salix babylonica.   

Screen name Babylon519 and Salix babylonica  coincidence?????   Hmmm??     :D
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Offline runmca

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2017, 10:34:51 am »
Unfortunately I was never able to see it in person, the owner got rid of it before I could get there. Thanks again for all of the information.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2017, 08:10:48 pm »
Jem,

You have been vindicated, Sir.  I was referring to the original pic. 
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Offline Jemclimber

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Re: Black Locust ID help
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2017, 07:44:10 am »
WDH,

:)  Thanks!  I thought the consensus to the original pic was Black locust. Which I would have said, because of the bark, ring structure, and the minuscule amount of sapwood, which in very uncommon to it's other family members. Since you already stated it, I kept quiet.

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