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TT: locusts


A wee bit ago, Ron wrote about honey locusts:

> But they are covered with such enormous and formidable thorns
> and they proliferate so rapidly and with such reckless abandon
> that I sometimes despair of ever getting any other tree species
> established before my whole place becomes one giant
> impenetrable briar patch.  If ever a tree species has
> benefitted from selective breeding for thornlessness, surely it
> is the honey locust.

Ahhhhh, but in the big city, things are different.  This must be
a discussion on pioneer species; certainly, any tree that re-
seeds itself naturally amongst all this concrete and crap must be
considered a pioneer...  We humans slave and sweat to put in a
few Oak trees, while other (tree) species are happily doing their
own grunt work.

Thank goodness some species like it in the city.  It's a real
asset in vacant lots and other "brown areas," although we have to
be careful of problems such as "storm damage" and "invasive
roots."  They provide all those wonderful benefits we attribute
to trees (shade, cooler air, wildlife, etc), so to say they
shouldn't be there just because of thorns would be the height of
Our best native warriors in Baltimore are (more or less in order
of proliferation):
    1) mulberry
    2) honey locust
    3) black locust
    4) silver maple
    5) black cherry

I have one area that we planted three times, only to have the
trees vandalized by "somebody."  But surprise:  there were seeds
in our mulch!  Now, after all our fruitless labors, there are
several large, health black locus volunteering on the site. 
Their thorns protect them from "somebodies," and they are well
adapted to harsh urban soil!

In Baltimore, we say "Right tree, right place."  (I don't claim
that phrase, many folks/ cities say it!)  Applied here, it must
means "Your bane is our...." (Alright, that was so tacky even I
couldn't finish it!)

Hmmmm, I've never been too fond of "seedless" cultivars either. 
Any takers?

Sorry, I got verbose,