Robinia pseudoacacia or Black Locust is an amazing tree. Let's do some inventory for how amazing this tree actually is.
- Nitrogen fixer
- Rot Resistant wood. Untreated Fence posts can last a century, yes, one hundred years.
- Is one of the hottest burning woods for woodstoves and fireplaces. Will produce 27.9 million Btu's per cord.
- Can be coppiced, or cut and it resprouts from the roots.
- Insects LOVE the flowers, especially our Non-native Honey bees.
- Humans love the flowers once introduced to them. Yes, they are edible. And delicious.
So, if this tree is so amazing why all the hate out there?
Why is this tree so aggressively sought after like it is a criminal?
Once again we have a plant with extraordinary benefits to humans, that we ignore wholeheartedly and instead choose to hunt it down and exterminate it because its happens to be growing out of its "native" range.
There is a popular saying for problems such as this: "First World Problems".
It is a first world problem because only a nation like us would complain (and try and exterminate) a tree that is so clearly a godsend to us in every way. Imagine, if you will, a village of people living off the land, burning wood for heat in the winter, building all of their fences and buildings without the use of wood from some faraway land. Do you imagine in your head they are cursing the Black Locust tree and spraying toxins on it in the name of saving the landscape? Or, do you, like me imagine the people thanking the Gods for such an amazing wood? I imagine that these villagers would have the sense to see the positives outweigh the negatives by a long shot and they wouldn't dare fight a COMPLETELY USELESS war against all Black Locust trees.
Maybe I am mistaken, but I think perhaps it is better to adapt to our environment instead of constantly trying to make our environment the same forever. We are like Sisyphus, endlessly doing something that will never work. Getting rid of Black Locust trees is our boulder and we will never get it to the top of the hill.
Human beings have one exceptional quality that I believe has allowed us to succeed in so many environments: The ability to adapt to our surroundings. With that in mind, maybe we make use of this tree and its qualities and quit whining about it! Perhaps we could have dazzling discussions all winter long near our wood stoves, about the potentials of human adaptation, while being warmed by Black Locust logs.
One thing is for certain: This is one amazing tree.