The Larch…No, No, the Black Locust.

And I’m not talking about the low information voter.  I have these trees on my property…

DSC_6045 Black locust white flowers

They look pretty with the masses of white flower blossoms don’t they?  A day later (after some moderate winds) not so blindingly white.

IMG_0900 Black Locust trees bloom

There did the white blossoms go?

IMG_0899 Why I hate the black locust tree

Everywhere. Once off the tree, they rot fast, and stick to whatever they are rotting on.

The tree stands out so blindingly when the blossoms are at their peak but then I noticed as I biked around the town that I didn’t see any of these trees elsewhere in the area. So I did a little research.

Mass Audubon lists the tree as an invasive species. The USDA Forest Service notes it appears in second-growth forests in Massachusetts.

It’s prime useful characteristic is a rot-Resistance in contact with the ground, it is a hardwood and also burns well. I’ve burned it in my outside fire pit and it burns with a pungent odor and completely reduces to a fine ash.  I have read descriptions of the wood as “natures pressure treated wood” and prior to modern PT woods for use in contact with the ground was much prized for that reason. Especially fence-posts.

I think that is how my stand of Black Locust got here. My house is located on the former site of Sherrick Farm (our original house was built in colonial times, burned down in 2004) and the original fence separating the property was wood posts with attached rusty wire. The posts looked like trimmed tree trunks, de-barked. All gone now, the contractor who built the housing development where the farm used to be tore them all out. But the farmers from Massachusetts who discovered these trees in the Ohio river valleys sent some seedlings back home and that is where (I think) my unique stand of Black Locust trees come from.

But I still hate cleaning up the damn blossoms and stems, especially from the gutters!

About On the North River

Forty years toiled in the Tel-com industry, married for 36 years widowed at sixty-one. New girlfriend at sixty-five. Tea Party supporter. Today a follower of the God-Emperor Donald. Do like to kayak, cook, take photos, bike, watch old movies and read.
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2 Responses to The Larch…No, No, the Black Locust.

  1. Florin Jurcovici says:

    If you wait for a few weeks after the petals have fallen, the gunk they leave behind will mostly vanish on its own. The petals are very-very thin, and mostly made of water. Once the water evaporates, it takes very little for the remaining residue to decompose into dust which is swept away by the wind.

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    • In my experience when they hit the body of a car they leave a hard to remove brown stain. Also there are long woody stems that come off the tree in thousands and can slip into the gutters past the regular leaf barriers.

      Like

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