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Posted on September 28th, 2022 in Forestry, How To, Plants, Woodlands | No Comments »

The classic and trusted book “Fifty Common Trees of Indiana” by T.E. Shaw was published in 1956 as a user-friendly guide to local species.  Nearly 70 years later, the publication has been updated through a joint effort by the Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Indiana 4-H, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and reintroduced as “An Introduction to Trees of Indiana.”

The full publication is available for download for $7 in the Purdue Extension Education Store. The field guide helps identify common Indiana woodlot trees.Drawing of honey locust leaf

Each week, the Intro to Trees of Indiana web series will offer a sneak peek at one species from the book, paired with an ID That Tree video from Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee to help visualize each species as it stands in the woods. Threats to species health as well as also insight into the wood provided by the species, will be provided through additional resources as well as the Hardwoods of the Central Midwest exhibit of the Purdue Arboretum, if available.

This week, we introduce the honey locust or Gleditsia triacanthos.

This tree, also called “thorn-tree,” has multi-pronged thorns of two inches or more in length, which occur on the trunk as well as on the limbs and twigs. Honey locust can be found with doubly compound leaves with very small oval leaflets arranged alternately on the main leaf stem, or it can have singly compound leaves with very small leaves on a straight stem. Leaves produce a bright yellow fall color.

The bark is tight and red-brown on young trees and features gray-brown scaly strips on older trees. The fruit of the honey locust is a wavy, glossy brown flat pod that reaches lengths of between eight inches and one foot and curl or twist at maturity. These pods, which contain several seeds, are held on the tops of the trees and are highly favored by wildlife.

Honey locusts grow 70 to 80 feet tall.

For full article with additional photos view: Intro to Trees of Indiana: Honey Locust

If you have any questions regarding wildlife, trees, forest management, wood products, natural resource planning or other natural resource topics, feel free to contact us by using our Ask an Expert web page.

Other Resources:
Hardwoods of the Central Midwest: Honey Locust
Hardwood Lumber and Veneer Series: Honey Locust
Morton Arboretum: Honey Locust
Fifty Trees of the Midwest app for the iPhone, The Education Store
Native Trees of the Midwest, The Education Store
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store
ID That Tree, Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube playlist
Woodland Management Moment , Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube playlist
Honey Locust, Native Trees of Indiana River Walk, Fort Wayne-Purdue University

Wendy Mayer, FNR Communications Coordinator
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Lenny Farlee, Sustaining Hardwood Extension Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


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