About Black Locust

Black Locust, Robinia pseudoacacia, a tree with many names, but with the same environmental attributes.

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Black Locust

The Black Locust, also known as, Robinia pseudoacacia, Robinia, Acacia, False Acacia, Salcam, is native to the United States but is plentiful globally. With its fast and easy growth habit, the tree’s ability to sprout new shoots by underground stems makes Black Locust a sustainable hardwood. The tree's deep root system helps control erosion and aids in rejuvenating soil as Black Locust is a nitrogen-fixing species. As a legume, its seed pods have the ability to fix nitrogen in the soil.

Durability

The wood is dense, durable, and resistant therefore ideal for a wide variety of outdoor applications. Black Locust’s qualities are due to the presence of tyloses and extractives. Tyloses are plant tissues that block cell vessels making them watertight. Extractives are compounds with anti-fungal properties found outside the cell wall of Black Locust that foster water resistance. If properly dried, it has excellent dimensional stability and minimal shrinkage. Black Locust has an extensive history of projects that document its durability.

Natural Alternative

Black Locust is a sustainable alternative to endangered tropical hardwoods, chemically treated lumber, and decay-prone woods. The harvesting of rainforest tropical hardwoods is unsustainable. Black Locust serves as an alternative to chemically-treated lumber, which is treated with a wide variety of Red List chemicals. Chemically-treated lumber lasts a fraction of the lifetime compared to Black Locust. Black Locust is an organic product- it does not require treatment or finishes to increase its longevity.

Characteristics

As Black Locust weathers, it develops a silvery-gray patina. The color is a result of natural weathering: U.V. rays, rain, snow and oxygen. There is not a known finish to eliminate U.V. deterioration for Black Locust or other wood species, U.V. wood treatments will only delay the natural patina of the wood. One of Black Locust's distinct characteristics is its ability to accept stain or paint.

Premium Grade

The grades are based on the percentage of clear, defect-free wood in the board. With Premium Grade, each piece is individually inspected to ensure premium quality, durability and appearance. Visually, Black Locust is known for its knots, mineral streaks, checks, minor grub holes, and bark insertions. To ensure superior appearances, only the most appealing pieces qualify as Premium Grade. Sound included knots, 3″ in diameter and less, minor mineral streaks and small bark insertions are admitted to highlight characteristics of the Black Locust species. Checks less than 1/12th of the board length are also admitted.

Technical Specification

No. 1 Grade

With No.1 Grade, each individual piece of Black Locust is carefully inspected to ensure quality and durability. Visually, Black Locust is known for its knots, mineral streaks, checks and bark insertions. All sound knots are admitted in this grade. All other characteristics that do not affect the durability of this product are also admitted — surface checks, mineral streaks, bark insertions, and grub holes. A popular product, without the premiere price.

Technical Specification

Site Furnishing Grade

Black Locust Lumber produces a unique grade for the site furnishing industry. Please contact a Black Locust specialist for more information.

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