Honey Locust – Shademaster

Scientific name: Gledisia tracanthos var. inermis ‘Shademaster’

‘Shademaster’ Thornless Honeylocust or honey locust is a fast-growing, large deciduous tree with a graceful vase-shaped form like that of the American elm. ‘Shademaster’ is considered one of the best cultivars of honey locust and typically grows to 45 ft tall and 35 ft wide. The leaves are pinnately (paired leaflets on a stem) compound with leaflets that are light and airy, offering soft, dappled shade. The flowers are small and yellow, yielding few to no fruit. Most trees are essentially seedless; fruit are 10-inch-long seed pods.

Honey locusts are well-suited for lawns; the leaves emerge later in springtime and drop earlier in the fall, with tiny leaflets that do not necessitate raking. Mature bark is very dark and striking in the winter. It’s a great shade tree that can live 50-150 years or more. Because they tolerate adverse conditions like periods of drought, occasional flooding, and a variety of soil conditions they are a favored street tree. It grows well in full sun and typically in plant hardiness zones 4-9.

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