Sunday 8 May 2011

Deptford trees: Black Locust/False-acacia

Currently to be seen (and smelled) in glorious full flower on Ffinch Street and elsewhere.

I've never noticed this tree before, despite walking this street regularly. This year it seems particularly dramatic and aromatic.
Black Locust, or False-acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia) is a woodland species native to eastern and central North America; widespread as an ornamental; naturalised in southern and western Europe. It was introduced into Britain in 1636.

Like the London Plane, the Black Locust is tolerant of poor soil conditions and pollution. It has nitrogen-fixing bacteria on its root system; for this reason it can grow on poor soils and is an early coloniser of disturbed areas. Also the wood is extremely hard, resistant to rot and durable, so it is good for furniture, flooring, panelling, fence posts and even small boats.

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