Honey Locust: A Fast-Growing Strong Plant

Honey Locust, which is one of the big trees admired for its appearance and shade, is a tree known for its rapid growth and its ability to hold its seedlings in place. It is also suitable for disassembly and replacement. Honey Locust is a fast-growing tree. Its scientific name is Gleditsia Triacanthos. Its homeland is the interior parts of the North American continent. They grow along streams in valleys. In this article, I will give you useful information about Honey Locust.

Honey Locust is a tree in the Fabaceae family. It can be sized up to 20-40 cm. Lives up to 300 years. It is a fast-growing, drought-resistant, decorative tree. It is not picky about soil, grows even in acidic soils. It is wind resistant. It likes the heat. It reproduces by seeds, cuttings, rooting, and grafting. The homeland of honey locusts is North America. It can be attacked by rabbits at a young age, but has few pests. Young leaves of the plant contain Triacanthine alkaloid and vitamin C. Their flowers contain enanthic ether, which gives them a distinctive scent.

Its flowers also contain 0.3 percent alkaloids. Its fruits and leaves contain ascorbic acid. The pod-shaped fruits of the plant contain epicatechin glycoside, saponins, and Olmelin, fustin, fisetin -flavonoid compounds. Its leaves, which contain Triacanthine alkaloids, are used in medicine because of their antispasmodic, blood pressure-lowering, and respiratory regulating properties. In high doses, Triacanthine is toxic.

With its yellowish-orange, autumn color, the plant emphasizes the change of seasons. The small and unpretentious, cream-colored flowers of the plant follow the 30 cm long bean-like fruits that hang from the branches during the winter. The 5 cm long sharp spines on the branches are hidden by the leaves in the summer and become more prominent in the winter when the plant is leafless. It is resistant to cold as well as heat and drought. It likes sunny places. It can also be grown in sandy, stony, calcareous soils with good drainage. It is produced by seed or cuttings.

Gleditsia Triacanthos, The Honey Locust

The height of the Honey Locust plant varies between 10 meters and 30 meters depending on its location. Its branches have dangerous thorns up to 5 cm long, thick, hard and pointed. It sheds its leaves in winter. Honey Locust trees are not very long-lived (ranging from 100 to 150 years). Its leaves consist of many mini-leaflets on long thin stalks. Its appearance is elegant. When the tree grows, the side branches of the branches that it extends to the environment are slightly bent down towards the ends, and the leaves also contribute to the drooping appearance. It is both beautiful in appearance and a good shade provider in summer.

It withstands winter cold up to -40C degrees. It is compatible with both saline soils and highly alkaline soils. Saplings planted in a place become extremely drought resistant after two years. It is necessary to make a good pruning, cut, and shorten the heavy-long branches of honey locust trees that are aging and the branches are getting thicker. Because heavy branches have the ability to break in strong storms. If pruning is not desired in the future, it should be well chosen where to plant it, and it should not be planted next to greenhouses, roadsides, and car parks.

The variety Gleditsia triacanthos var Inermis has no spines. Its leaves are simpler: The leaflets arranged on a single stem are larger. The leaves of the spined main species are filled with many thin side stems and mini leaflets on a stem. When the seed coats of Gladian trees, which can be 20-25 cm long and 4 or 6 cm wide, turn from green to brown, the inside is covered with a delicious jelly-like cooked.

Kids love to open the covers and nibble on the sweet jelly. When the seeds are completely dry, they become very shiny like brown and polished. Before it hardens, it is pierced from the ends with a needle, the thread is passed through them and the rosary is made. Its seeds disperse and germinate easily. Many or all of them will die if they are dehydrated in the summer. In wet areas and in places where the climate is not dry in summer, honey locusts can show invasive features. The seedlings grow very fast.

Reproduction is done with seeds due to the feature I wrote above and it is very simple. The seeds of the Honey Locust tree germinate very easily. You should sow the seeds during the winter or at the latest at the end of winter. All of the seeds waiting in the cold and wet soil will germinate in the spring. If you do not leave it without water, seedlings that develop from seeds reach 2 meters at the end of the second year. Its roots go very deep. There is no need to dig deep and remove all the roots while removing the seedlings. No matter how much the roots are damaged when removing, they will definitely hold when you plant. The best time to plant or remove honey locust saplings is at the end of winter.

Characteristics of Honey Locust

Its homeland is the eastern parts of North America. They are densely branched, scattered-topped trees that shed their leaves in winter. It grows up to 45 meters tall, has triple bifurcated pointed spines on its trunk and branches. Its leaves are hairy. Its green-colored flowers are in the form of a bunch of 4-5 cm long. Its fruits are long. It is produced by seed. It has the ability to shoot. Since it is suitable for pruning, it is grown around the vineyard as a living hedge.

The plant naturally grows in North America but has become naturalized in much of the world due to its value as a landscape plant. It can grow 10 to 30 meters. The leaflets are 1.5 to 2.5 cm long and bright green in color. These turn yellow in autumn. The flowers emerge in clusters from the base of the leaf axils, are cream-colored, and have a strong scent.

The fruit is 15 to 20 cm long and pea-shaped. Its spines are 3 to 10 cm long. The flowers are hereditary. Seeds ripen in October and November. It can be seen along roadsides, parks, and gardens. It has been observed widely throughout the province. The genus name means “Johann Gottlieb Gleditsch” in Latin. German botanist who lived from February 5, 1714, to October 5, 1786. He is known for his pioneering work in plant sexuality and plant reproduction. The species name means “three thorns” in Ancient Greek. It refers to the spines seen on the trunk and branches of the species. Its dual pre-naming name is “Acacia Americana, Abruae folio, Triacanthos”.

The seeds can be consumed raw or cooked. In the early period, the taste of its seeds resembles peas. 30% of them are sugar. Young seeds taste like raw peas. The inner part of the fruit is sweet and can be consumed. The seeds are roasted and drunk as coffee. Its fruit is consumed as tea for the treatment of indigestion, measles, and colds. The juice of the fruit is antiseptic. It is also the antidote for child complaints. The bark is brewed and used in the treatment of dyspepsia. It has also been used to treat whooping cough, measles, smallpox.

Its habitat is in a scattered crested form. It is a large deciduous tree. It can reach a length of 45 meters and a trunk diameter of 2 meters. The tree lives an average of 150 years. In the beginning, the bark is soft thorny, and green, later on, it becomes hard thorny and ash gray in color. There are triple bifurcated pointed spines on the trunk and branches. Its green leaves are initially glabrous, later pubescent. The leaves turn yellow in the fall.

In the spring, sharp-smelling cream-colored flowers bloom from the base of the leaves. Its fruits in long capsules ripen in autumn. It has quality, durable, and easily processed wood. It was used in the postal service and trains, as it could remain intact for a long time. In the past, the hard spines of young trees were used as toothpicks. Because it grows thorny and fast, it is grown as a tight and impassable live fence on the garden edges.

A Scientific Study on the Germination Rates of Locust and Honey Locust

Black Acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia) and Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) are species native to North America and are widely distributed throughout the world for various purposes. These species are drought-resistant, light-loving, thorny, and medium to fast-growing natural leguminous trees. These species can be used in various fields such as firewood, timber, hedge, windbreak, erosion control, forage crop (leaf and fruit), and beekeeping. They also show prudent characteristics in adapting to deep and poor soils.

The propagation of Black Acacia and Honey Locust is usually by seed. However, since their seeds have physiological dormancy and hard shell characteristics, their germination is low. In researches to increase germination in seeds; Researchers (1981), applied to Acacia Mangium seeds for 10 minutes and obtained 83% germination in 100 C hot air, they obtained 92% germination values ​​by keeping the seeds in hot water for the same time and temperature.

Experts state that the Black Acacia seeds should be kept in boiling water for 10 seconds to 5 minutes and then kept in water at room temperature for 8-10 hours. Researchers (2009) obtained the highest germination rate (45.3%) in seeds that were kept at 60 C for 3 hours in temperature shock applications.

Experts obtained the highest germination values ​​in Galactia Regularis (Fabaceae), Lupinus perennis (Fabaceae) seeds at 80 C, and in Rhus Copallinum at 90 C for 10 minutes. Researchers (2009) obtained germination rates of 8.39-29.52% at different temperatures and times applied to caper (Capparis Ovata) (Capparaceae) seeds. This study was carried out in order to increase germination rates by applying different temperatures and times to Black Acacia and Honey Locust seeds.

Black Acacia (R. Pseudoacacia) and Honey Locust (G. Triacanthos) seeds were used as material in the research. The seeds extracted from their pods were first washed with water to remove empty, undersized, etc. grains. The thousand-grain weight of the seeds was measured as 15.6 g in Black Acacia and 165.7 g in Honey Locust. In order to break dormancy, the seeds were kept in the drying cabinet (ULM-800) at different temperatures (20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90 C) and times (10, 20, and 30 min).

Germination trials were performed in Petri dishes with 50 seeds for each treatment and 4 replications. Paper towels were used as a germination medium and pure water was used as humidity. Experiments were carried out in the germination cabinet by programming at 25 o C temperature, 70% humidity and 12 hours of light (fluorescent, 1500 Lux), and 12 hours of darkness. In the experiment, the seeds that did not receive any treatment as control were germinated at the same time in the germination cabinet with 4 replications. Germination counts started from day 7 and continued daily for 30 days.

The % values ​​obtained from the germination counts were subjected to angle transformation and the obtained data were analyzed according to the Random Blocks Trial Design in the MSTATC statistical package program. The differences between the means were grouped according to Duncan (5%).

Different temperatures and waiting times applied to the seeds of Black Acacia (R. Pseudoacacia) and Honey Locust (G. Triacanthos) had a statistically significant effect on germination. According to the general germination average, germination values ​​of 22.8% in Black Acacia and 13.2% in Honey Locust were obtained. Average germination values ​​varied between 7.5-71.8% according to different temperatures applied to the seeds of False Acacia. Accordingly, the highest germination rate was obtained at 90 C, and the lowest was obtained from the Control.

The germination values ​​varied between 16.9 and 25.8% according to the waiting times at the temperature, and the highest value was obtained at 20 and 30 minutes, and the lowest value was obtained at 10 minutes waiting time. According to the interaction of different temperature x waiting time, germination values ​​varied between 7.5 and 94.5%, and the highest germination value was obtained at 90 C for 20 minutes (94.5%) and 30 minutes (90.5%) were statistically the same included in the group. The lowest germination value was obtained from Control (7.5%).

Average germination rates of Honey Locust seeds varied between 6.8-19.3% at applied temperatures. The highest germination rate was obtained at 50 C, and the lowest germination rate was obtained from the Control, which was not treated. According to the waiting times at the temperature, the germination values ​​varied between 11.6% and 15.4%, and the highest value was obtained in 30 minutes and the lowest value in 10 minutes. According to the interaction of different temperatures x waiting time, germination values ​​varied between 6.8 and 25.5%, and the highest germination value was obtained from 50 C x 30 min, and the lowest germination value was obtained from Control.

In this study, the reason why the Black Acacia reaches the highest germination values ​​at high temperature (90 C) and at the optimal time (20 minutes), is that the seed coat thickness is thin and the seed size is small; It has been concluded that the reason why Honey Locust reaches the highest germination values ​​at a more optimal temperature (50 C) and longer time (30 minutes) than Black Acacia is due to its thicker skin and larger sizes (5-10 times). Although there are no similar studies with the same species in the literature, similar studies conducted in different species belonging to the same family and in different family species have obtained results that support our findings.

Possibilities of Using Honey Locust Fruits as Additives in Alfalfa Silages

Leguminous roughage is an important feed source and is widely used in the nutrition of ruminants and other animals in the world. The most important of these feeds is alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Alfalfa is dried and used as silage feed. As silage, alfalfa is classified as difficult to ensilage due to its high protein and mineral substance levels, low water-soluble carbohydrate (SÇK) content, and high buffer capacity.

For this reason, it is sometimes necessary to use additives to ensure fermentation during the silage of fodder crops rich in protein and mineral substances and poor in carbohydrates. For this purpose, different additives are used, but mostly additives to fill the insufficient level of carbohydrate in the environment. Grain grains, molasses, grape pomace, sugar, etc. are mostly used as a source of carbohydrates.

On the other hand, as an alternative to these, the fruits of some trees with high sugar content and cheap come to the fore for this purpose. One of these products is the Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) plant, which is in the natural flora of many countries and has a high carbohydrate content. Honey locust is a plant rich in water-soluble carbohydrates (122.3-152.2 g/kg DM) and tannins (27.8-148.2 g/kg DM). It has been reported that a mature honey locust plant can produce around 87 kg of fruit per year.

Honey locust fruits, which are similar to carob, are consumed by ruminant animals because of their high sugar content. In addition, it is reported that due to the high level (27.8-148.2 g/kg DM) tannin content, 11,12 it prevents the loss of nitrogen in the form of ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) by binding the proteins in the structure of the feeds in the silos, thus reducing protein loss in silages. The prohibition of the use of some silage additives due to health risks has brought about the use of alternative and natural silage additives that are not harmful to the environment, human, and animal health. In this context, the use of honey locust fruit, which has high tannin content, as a silage additive has come to the fore.

Honey Locust fruit additive increased the useful material content of alfalfa silages and decreased the HP content (P<0.01). In parallel with the increase in the GM ratio added to alfalfa, the NDF and ADF contents of the silages decreased significantly (P<0.01). Here, it is thought that the degradation of cell wall components in silages is effective as a result of the low NDF and ADF content of GM and also that GM accelerates the activity of lactic acid bacteria in the environment as a carbohydrate source.

As a matter of fact, experts reported that the decrease in NDF and ADF contents of silages was caused by carbohydrate sources increasing the number of lactic acid bacteria in the silage medium, as well as some anaerobic bacteria, and accelerating the degradability of NDF, ADF and crude cellulose in silages. Similar findings were seen in 32 separate studies. Addition of GM to silage significantly increased the tannin content of silages (P<0.01). The increase in tannin level was 2.01 times. This increase in tannin level showed parallelism with the findings of researchers working with grape pulp in alfalfa silage.

It is reported that Honey Locust fruit provides easily fermentable carbohydrates required for lactic acid bacteria fermentation 5 and with its high tannin content of 5.11, it prevents the conversion of proteins in the environment into ammonia during fermentation, causing the pH levels of alfalfa silages to decrease. The silage pH levels obtained by adding apple puree to alfalfa and adding grape pulp to alfalfa silage were found to be similar to the results of the research. The NH3-N content of alfalfa silages varied between 6.11 and 3.54 g/kg DM within the total nitrogen content, and the lowest was detected in alfalfa silage with 100 g/kg GM added (P<0.01).

The addition of GM to alfalfa increased the lactic acid content of silages, prevented proteolysis by decreasing the acetic and butyric acid content, and as a result, there are many research results that reduced the NH3-N content of silages. In addition, the tannin in the structure of GM forms complex compounds with soluble proteins in environments close to neutral medium (the beginning of ensiling), thus preventing the degradation of proteins by microorganisms, causing a decrease in ammonia concentration in the silage.

In this way, the loss of nitrogen in silages is prevented and the quality of the silage increases. The degradation of proteins in the silage depends on the protease in the plant and the enzymes produced by the microorganisms in the siloed environment. It is reported that the activities of protease enzymes in the plant are at an optimum level around pH 6, and the enzyme activity decreases significantly at low pH. In short, it can be said that silage of alfalfa material together with GM will yield high-quality silages with high lactic acid content and low butyric acid and ammonia nitrogen content.

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Savaş Ateş

I like eating honey a lot. We have a huge interest in bees and how they make honey. I have visited honey farms. I have talked to a lot of honey sellers. I read a lot of books about them. I want to share my knowledge with you.

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