Rachy Ramone's picture

False Acacia in winter

Observed: 12th January 2013 By: Rachy RamoneRachy Ramone is knowledgeable about PlantsRachy Ramone’s earned reputation in PlantsRachy Ramone’s earned reputation in PlantsRachy Ramone’s earned reputation in PlantsRachy Ramone’s earned reputation in Plants
Upright, fairly congested branches.
Bark looks just like willow
Spines on twigs
Spines on twigs
Description:

Although the bark looks just like Willow, the spines give this one away.
They are short but very sharp, appear in pairs, and have tiny buds at their base. It's much easier to see the spines than the buds, but as the spines make for an easy ID, that works out quite well!
Also known as Black Locust (but has nothing to do with either locusts or Acacias!). Bark and leaves are toxic, but apparently the wood makes very good firewood, burning hot and slow.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which False Acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia) interacts

Comments

dennis trunecka's picture

Robinia pseudoacacia.

Many of the older roadside trees in my area has vicious thorns on the suckers.

Rachy Ramone's picture

Thorns on suckers:

Hi Dennis, are they definitely Robinia? We have some roadside trees with staggeringly vicious thorns, and they are Cockspurthorn.

Or could it be the other one with pinnate leaves, Gleditsia triacanthos, which has massive spines?

Robinia have double spines - ie in pairs (you probably already know this) whereas the two I've mentioned have single spines, if that helps.

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

dennis trunecka's picture

Thorns on suckers.

There are many Robinia pseudoacacia on verges beside roads in Southampton that were probably planted in the 1930s - not the modern yellow cultivars. I am sure this is what they are as there is one sporting mistletoe (Viscum album) right outside the house of a member of the Southampton Natural History Society.
The Council have cut some down as large branches tend to break off mature trees. This causes suckers to come up. Perhaps not everyone would call the spines "vicious" until scratched by one!

Rachy Ramone's picture

Apparently...

...any sort of damage or disturbance to the roots can also cause suckering - and that includes mowing, if they are in grass.

Presumably your road-side trees are constantly being disturbed by heavy traffic, possibly road works etc.

Oh, I would certainly call the spines vicious, don't misunderstand me! Even humble brambles can be vicious...

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY