8 Types of Locust Trees (with Pictures)

Locust trees are prominent and fast-growing flowering plants that belong to the Fabaceae family. They are easily identified with their beautiful lace-like pinnate leaves that fall like grapes from long branches. Their drooping plumes (racemes) of sweetly scented white flowers look so much like sweet peas.

These splendid trees can be found in bushes, gardens, and parks all over the world.

Types of Locust Trees

Without mincing words, here is a list of types of Locust trees you could find in various places:

  • Black locust tree
  • Honey locust tree
  • Carob Tree
  • Twisty Baby
  • Bristly locust tree
  • New Mexico locust tree
  • Skycole locust tree
  • Purple-robed black locust

1. Black Locust Tree (Robonia pseudoacacia)

When it comes to its sweet perfume, black locust trees are irresistible and amazing. This could explain why most garden visitors ( especially where black locust trees are planted) find this tree more appealing.

This has arguably made this tree one of the most popular locust trees found in parks, and gardens around the world. It has a very decorative shape on its branches, trunk, and foliage. Its trunk, which is usually large, grows straight and then branches off with balance and elegance to create what looks like large fronds of foliage.

Black locust trees can grow around 25 meters and have a diameter of about one meter. Some grow exceptionally tall, ranging from 40 to 50 meters with a diameter of 1.5 meters.

2. Honey Locust Tree (Gleditsia triacanthos)

The honey locust tree is prominent in landscaping as a result of its huge size, which is attained in a short period, due to its rapid growth. The tree is approximately 70–100 feet tall, with feather-like compound leaves that offer valuable shade in Park areas.

The leaves of honey locusts are too tiny to be picked and too small to produce clogs in drains and sewage systems. This is essentially beneficial for cities and towns since it entails less clean-up and lowers the costs of maintaining an area. This particular advantage has contributed to the widespread of honey locust trees in most urban areas.

This tree is native to eastern America and requires rich, wet soil to grow rapidly, unlike the black locust tree. Although they may thrive in less perfect conditions, pests and diseases usually pose a threat, especially when there are high salt levels in the soil, a low pH, and a lack of moisture.

To plant this kind of locust tree, one needs to have enough space to enable sun shade and also an enormous hole dug for the roots of the plant.

3. Carob Locust Tree (Ceratonia Siliqua)

Carob is a green dioecious tree with a wide crown that reaches up to 10 meters in height and has a thick trunk that sustains great thickness sometimes. The bark of the Woody branches is scabrous, and brown, while the young stems are brown-reddish.

A species of the Carob locust, the baby black locust, grows to a height of approximately 5 feet.

4. Twisty Baby (Robinia pseudoacacia)

The twisty baby locust tree is a perfect tree for a little garden or landscape. Its foliage and embroidered leaves make it a perfect choice for individuals with small yards.

The description is of a twisty bay, a zig-zagging branch that forms large shrubs with awesomely thick and rick-drooping pinnate leaves of rich green color that look like they are hanging from the branches.

The ensemble is very fascinating and can lift any garden with its presence. The trunk and branches often form interesting and artistic shapes; while the flowers come in small racemes of nicely perfumed white flowers.

One who desires to plant can grow this plant into a small tree, and such a tree could look great in a small and orderly urban front garden. This tree adapts to a wide range of soil types, including poor soil and clay, when planted.

5. Bristly Locust Tree (Robinia Hispida)

This tree is also known as rose acacia or moss locust. It has a variety of shrubs that have very lush, deep to dark green leaves with round leaflets and pink to purple flowers that come as clusters of fairly small but eye-catching racemes.

This locust shrub takes its name from the fact that when the pods come in late summer, they are covered by a bright red “beard ” that makes them stand out in any garden and add that unusual touch to your green spaces Mostly brownish branches give this plant its Latin name.

This plant is covered with bristle hair, which makes the tree uniquely attractive. This plant propagates very fast and can be easily invasive making it difficult to grow in Midwest states( except Missouri).

6. New Mexico Locust tree (Robinia neomexicana)

This plant is a smaller tree in the Fabaceae family that thrives in mountainous regions across the Southwestern United States such as Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico.

New Mexico locusts can be seen in pure stands located in forests and woods. It can grow and rejuvenate an environment after a fire due to its strong root system.

In terms of growth, this tree grows to about 16 to 32 feet (5 to 10m). Spring and summer seasons bring out the beautiful fragrant purple-pink clusters of flowers on this tree. These attractive flowers attract honey bees that are looking for nectar. The flowers usually grow on reddish-purple branches that have spokes at their base.

7. Skycole Locust Tree (Gleditsia triacanthos f. inermis ‘Skycole’

Skycole Locust tree grows exceptionally fast and is found in several parts of the United States. Its strong wood and dense foliage give it an edge over most locust trees. Although it can thrive in most locations it grows exceptionally well in adequate sunlight and woodlands. In some instances, it might also adapt well across streams.

This tree grows within the range of 40–50 feet. In terms of width, the black locust tree can spread up to a whopping 25 feet. It is mostly deciduous and hardy and Is considered a fast-growing legume with multiple qualities that enable it to sustain itself in poor soil conditions, high salt levels, drought, and pollution.

Skycole locust tree features tiny green leaves with a mild tinge of blue. The leaves can grow up to 25 centimeters and are usually compound. The plant also produces scintillating white flowers with a dash of pink and purple. Flowers may be found hanging in a cluster measuring between four and twelve inches in length.

8. Purplerobe Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Purple Robe’)

This tree is one of the most outstanding and prettiest locust trees, with leaves that tend to change according to the different growth stages. In the blooming stage, you will find bright green leaves with a tinge of purple. And again, when it is completely formed, you will find bronze-colored leaves.

The flowers of the tree are appealing and offer an excellent contrast to the pinkish and purplish shades.

8 Types of Locust Trees – FAQs

What is the best locust Tree?

The imperial body locust is considered the best locust tree.

Where do locust Trees grow best?

Honey locust trees perform best under full sun on limestone soils or in rich, moist bottomlands.


These trees have exceptionally wide canopy coverage. They can grow up to 75 feet (22 meters) tall and provide shade up to 40 feet (12 meters) wide. They are widely spaced, with branches and pinnate leaves that provide plenty of shade in hot summers. These trees are suitable for dappled sunlight, which enables them to grow well in their shadows.


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