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Robinias are commonly known as avenue trees or from parks. However, they are increasingly finding their way into domestic gardens. After a short time, a stately robinia grows from a seedling.

In a nutshell

  • Robinia are very fast-growing
  • almost all parts are poisonous
  • Growth dependent on location
  • do not place great demands on care
  • Robinia is self-fertilizing

Robinia grows fast

The black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), also known as false acacia or "false acacia", grows to impressive heights of between 20 and 30 meters with a crown diameter of up to 10 meters and more. This tree is very common in parks and avenues, and it is also very popular with beekeepers. In forestry, it is valued for its very rapid growth. The robinia is particularly strong-growing when it is young. However, it decreases over the years. The annual increase is as follows:

  • 100 to 120 cm in the first 10 years
  • from the 10th year 25 to 50 cm
  • from the 40th year 20 cm

The root system can also assume large proportions. In a loose substrate, it can reach depths of seven meters and more. The robinia usually forms a taproot. On the other hand, in denser soils, the robinia tends to have shallow roots. The entire root system has an extremely soil-firming effect.

Notice: Robinia is a very solid wood with excellent technical properties. The kiln density is 730 kg/m³. The wood of the robinia is one of the heaviest and hardest woods in Europe.

conditions for growth

Robinia are hardy and relatively robust. However, they need optimal conditions to grow healthily and quickly. Only then can they reach such impressive heights in such a short time.

The site

The climate and negative environmental influences can significantly affect how a black locust grows, mainly height growth. Please note:

  • Place: bright, sunny, sheltered from the wind
  • Soil: loose, well aerated, rich in nutrients, sandy to loamy
  • acidic to alkaline pH no problem
  • upgrade very heavy soils with sand or organic compost
Robinia pseudoacacia, black locust

A black locust also grows well in a gravel bed, but then relatively slowly. Even a place in the shade does not prevent the tree from growing, but then rather restrained and not so high.

Tip: When planting new trees in the garden, it is important to remember that these trees require a lot of space. Accordingly, sufficient distance to buildings and neighboring properties must be maintained. Information on this can be obtained from the regulatory offices of the municipalities and municipalities.

Relatively easy to care for

When it comes to care, fertilizing and watering, the robinia has very low demands. However, please note:

  • only fertilize when young
  • best time from spring to autumn
  • Relatively low water requirements
  • insensitive to heat and drought
  • Water thoroughly immediately after planting
  • keep young trees moist in severe heat and drought
  • no waterlogging

Although robinias are hardy, they are very sensitive to late and early frosts. Trees that have just been planted should receive additional protection from a layer of mulch or brushwood.

Notice: The white flowers, clustered together in clusters, smell of bergamot and are an excellent pasture for bees. They have a very high sugar content. The honey is light to slightly yellowish and very liquid. It is offered under the name "acacia honey".

Black locust with white flowers

Robinia is "self-fertilizing"

As already mentioned, additional fertilization is only necessary at a young age. With increasing age, black locust trees are able to obtain nutrients from the soil and absorb nitrogen from the air. This is possible because the so-called legumes live symbiotically with nodule bacteria. With the help of these bacteria, they can bind atmospheric nitrogen. It is then released to the surrounding area. This property is particularly beneficial on soils that are low in nitrogen.

Notice: Robinia are very stubborn, even after being felled or cleared, they keep budding again and again.

frequently asked Questions

Can robinias also be cultivated in pots?

There are numerous cultivated forms, including smaller ones. These are well suited for keeping bonsai in the bucket. The crown should be thinned out every few years and the roots should be cut when repotting young specimens. The site must be sunny and sheltered from the wind. Furthermore, it must be watered and fertilized regularly every other week. It is advantageous if bonsai soil is mixed into the substrate.

Are false acacias poisonous in all their plant parts?

The seeds and leaves are poisonous and the bark is highly poisonous. Only the flowers are not poisonous. Gloves should be worn when handling these growths and a breathing mask when cutting. The parts of the plant are equally poisonous to humans and animals. The first symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, tachycardia and cramps appear just four hours after consumption. In the worst case, it can lead to death, mostly deadly for animals.

What should be considered when planting a false acacia?

In advance, it is important to find out about the requirements such as space, soil and maintenance measures. Of course, the choice of variety also plays a role. If there is little space, cultivated forms are a good alternative. In addition, all official regulations must also be checked in order to avoid later disputes. Of course, it must also be considered that the tree is poisonous. So if pets and small children have access to the garden, these trees are rather unsuitable.

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