Gleditsia triacanthos

Family: Honeylocust

Honeylocust has proven to be one of the most easily-grown street trees, growing rapidly to 10m with limited irrigation. It can be easily managed with pruning in most urban conditions. G. triacanthos will tolerate some winter waterlogging, but grows best on well-drained sites in a complete pH range.

There is a very successful planting of Honeylocust in Clifton Hill, on the Spensley Street roundabout. There are 3 trees planted together, and the upright trunks form an ideal central focal point. Above car height, the trees are horizontally-branched and provide an excellent canopy over the street. These trees are probably ‘Shademaster’.

‘Shademaster’ There are many cultivars of Honeylocust grown in North America, but Shademaster has proven to be one of the best. It forms a central leader more readily than cultivars including ‘Moraine’ and ‘Imperial’. Some trees sold as Shademaster in Australia have fruited heavily, but the true Shademaster should only occasionally fruit, if at all. Honeylocusts should be dioecious, but this trait seems to be unstable in this genus. Shademaster produces deep green, finely dissected foliage in mid-spring. The foliage holds without damage until late autumn, and turns a rich yellow before dropping.

‘Limegold’ An excellent replacement for the overused ‘Sunburst’, showing much better branch attachment and form. Originally, ‘Sunburst’ was introduced as a large hedging plant, but ‘Limegold’ has been selected for its excellent pale foliage colour and improved tree characteristics.

Typical mature height: 20m

Useful in: broad streets, roundabouts 

Sites for best growth: all well-drained sites