Managing Robinia pseudoacacia (Black Locust)

We love robinias - they are nitrogen fixers and also great for bee forage, poultry forage, ground durable posts, shelter, ramial wood chip and firewood. They are amazing trees, if you have the time to manage them.

However robinia is a tree that requires careful management. This can be very easy if it is done annually, and can produce a  lot of resources. An amazing tree in permaculture systems with multiple outputs. The problem is we are not used to being sensitive to the growth habits of our trees and how to manage them in ways that work for us and the trees.

The downside of robinia is it's suckering habit. Not usually a problem in a forest garden as the suckers can be harvested as a resource, but problematic in some situations such as trying to establish a garden in an area where robinia has been planted.

Murray and Kay are working on a management  plan for all our forest garden support species but it isn't ready yet.  In the meantime we have heard of a way to get rid of robinia that is suckering, without using poisons

      • Cut the main tree trunks down and drill holes 2.5cm wide in the stump down to 25cm deep.

      • Immediately fill the holes ( important to do this immediately)  with a saturated solution of water and epsom salts.

      • Re fill the holes with water when they dry out and keep the stump covered with black polythene plastic to keep out  all light until the stump  dies.

      • Remove any suckers that appear and the roots  will not live long without photosynthesis happening.

      • It is not difficult to cut off the suckers if done as they appear so are still small.