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Black Locust – Robinia Pseudoacacia

The Black Locust is an invasive tree in Wisconsin that we are unfortunately seeing more and more of. This species has alternating pinnate compound leaves that are thin and elliptical in shape. It has white fragrant flowers. These trees also have extensive root systems that are very fibrous.

The most notable feature of this species is also the most unpleasant. Large thorns can be found along the trunk and sometimes extend all the way up to the tree’s branches. Similar to Aspen, they also reproduce by stump sprouting and form dense groves of clones. This allows them to spread quickly through an environment.

Forests, upland prairies, savannas, pastures, fields, and roadsides are all habitats that are all suitable for this species and therefore, are under threat. The spread of this invasive species can be controlled by burning or mowing younger shoots, but chemical treatments are much more effective. These treatments include basal bark spraying and stump treatments.

– Kate Handberg, GIS Manager