black locust, arguably the best homesteader tree

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by paulwheaton, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. paulwheaton

    paulwheaton Member

    I interview Alexandra King, Brian Kerkvliet and Mark Vander Meer about how awesome Black Locusts are.

    Good fodder for ruminants, excellent bee nectar, the best wood for outdoor furniture, fence posts, pole structures, and the handles for many tools. Fast growing and tolerates all sorts of awful conditions. And one of the very best firewoods.

    YouTube - paulwheaton12's Channel
  2. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member

    and it will put out high BTUs of heat, if fact wood stoves have been warped by over loading them with locust firewood.

  3. FreeNihilist

    FreeNihilist Well-Known Member

    I have to debate the safety or usage of black locust.

    There are several toxic components in black locust including the toxic protein robin, the glycoside robitin, and the alkaloid robinine. The toxins affect the gastrointestinal tract as well as the nervous system. Clinical signs can manifest as soon as one hour after consumption and can include depression, poor appetite, generalized weakness to paralysis, abdominal pain, diarrhea (which may be bloody) and abnormalities in the heart rate and/or rhythm. With sufficient amounts ingested, death may occur within a few days, although black locust is not always lethal. Some animals recover despite showing clinical signs, an indication of the dose-dependent nature of the toxin.

    Leaves, especially wilted leaves, young shoots, pods, seeds, inner bark are all poisonous. It may not kills the animals by eating a little but it certainly isn't good for them due to the toxic components and especially the nature of the toxic components.

    One MAY be able to safely feed locust to animals after proper cooking and processing as the toxins are denatured by heat but this is not entirely certain.

    Another issue is that even working with this wood may be toxic to humans and is reportedly carcinogenic.

    Overall, I feel there are much safer choices out there for animal forage especially, and general uses of trees.
  4. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    Toxic and the spines on the suckers are up to 1/2 inch long.
    (which are pretty hard on tractor tires.:gaah:)

    It was one of the first trees to be cleared off our farm. So I would also disagree that they are arguably the best homesteader tree.

  5. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member

    I have a few acreas of locust and I found that everytime I cut one,three would grow back in its place, I used to sell a lot to farmers for posts when we still had farmers, now it's all I use for firewood.
  6. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member


    We have a few "Honey Locust" in our wood lot. Which the pods is edible, unlike the Black locust, which is toxic. (IMO - do your own research folks. ;))

    I was always told the black locust was toxic to grazing animals - horses are extremely sensitive to it.

    So if I was going with a locust tree (which I'm not) I would go Honey not Black ... But that is just me. :D

    *I should add ... I did not watch the youtube 10 minutes and dial up ... not good ... but I will watch it later.
  7. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

    We have some locust here but I honestly don't know what type it is. It does make incredible fence posts. My grandfather said more than once that many of the pasture fenceposts we had (and still do have)in place were already there when they moved to this farm in 1928. They're not real good any more but they're still standing. I don't think the cows ever ate it to ammount to much (Andi's right about the spines) but they did shade under locust trees every day in the summer. And these were dairy cows we interacted with twice daily every day. We'd have known if something was amiss.

    For what it's worth, the inner wood is a dark yellow color.
  8. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    Yep. That's black locust. We have a bunch too and I always make sure I have some ready for the coldest part of winter. It's great for throwing on just before bed. I still have a nice hot bed of coals in the morning to get things fired up again.