Gleditsia triacanthos Linnaeus

Honey-locust, while native in western New York only, has been widely introduced as a hedge and ornamental tree, and is hardy and scattered through the state except in the mountains. The wood is hard, strong, coarse-grained, but not so durable in contact with the soil as is the black locust. Its habit of growing in open rather than forest situations gives its wood a knotty character.

Bark - on young branches smooth, grayish brown in color, with age becoming roughened into firm, broad, blackish ridges with edges that curve outwards.

Twigs - rather stout, smooth, glossy, zigzag; usually bearing stiff, sharp-branched thorns 3 to 4 inches long (lacking in most horticultural varieties), above leaf base (node).

Winter buds - terminal bud absent; lateral buds very small, not easily seen.

Leaves - alternate, simply or, more usually, doubly compound, 6 to 8 inches long; if singly compound, with 18 to 28 leaflets; leaflets usually even in number, elliptical, 1 1/2 to 2 inches long; if doubly compound, with 4 to 7 pairs of secondary leaf stems.

Fruit - a flat pod, usually twisted, reddish brown in color, 10 to 18 inches long, 1 1/2 inches wide, 2 to 3 in a cluster, ripening in late autumn but staying on the tree well into winter; each pod containing 10 to 20 brown oval seeds, 1/3 inch long. The fleshy part of the pod is sweet, hence the name "honey-locust."

Distinguishing features - branched, stout thorns; usually doubly compound leaves, with elliptical leaflets; large, reddish brown pod.

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