Arkansas Tree Database

Honey Locust

Honey Locust

Scientific name:

Gleditsia Triacanthos


30'-75' tall by as wide, up to 100' tall


alternate, pinnately compound, 6"-8" long, with 18-28 leaflets or bipinnately compound with 4-7 pairs of secondary leaflets, with small rounded teeth


greenish yellow, inconspicuous


flat pod, 8"-15" long, flattened, often twisted, messy, browsed by wildlife for sugary pulp surrounding the seeds

Fall Interest:

clear yellow; deciduous


sun; adaptable


mites, cankers, web worms, borers


aggressive spreader and a problem for pastures because the thorns puncture tractor tires; good source of honey; not recommended for home landscapes; used for posts, crossties


thornless variety Gleditsia triacanthos f. inermis with no thorns and few or no seed pods; good shade tree and street tree; good for bees; 'Aurea' also tolerant of compacted soil


bark dark gray-brown and divided into wide, flat, often peeling ridges, with 3"-10" stout, branched thorns growing in clusters from trunk, twigs, and branches; Native Americans used dried pulp from pods for sweetener and the wood for bows; visited by bees and butterflies; native to Arkansas


Click thumbnail to enlarge images

Honey locust bark on trunk Honey locust trunk with branched thorns Honey locust branching habit, winter Honey locust branched thorn Honey locust flowers Honey locust flowers Honey locust foliage Honey locust leaflets in compound leaf Honey locust leaves, either bipinnately compound (above) or pinnately compound (below) Honey locust seed pod Honey locust seed pods Honey locust seeds in pod Honey locust tree, fall Honey locust tree, summer Honey locust twigs Honey locust bipinnately compound leaves arranged alternately on twigs, with thorns