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Unique Advantages Of Having Honey Locust Tree Planted In Your Wildlife Nursery

Investing in a honey locust tree (Gleditsia triacanthos) for your wildlife nursery has several unique advantages. Not only is it a source of Honey Locust food and shelter for many animals, but it is also tolerant of difficult growing conditions, provides Shade and beautiful foliage, and has interesting bark and leaves. Let’s take a closer look at each of these five benefits:

1. Food and Shelter for Animals

One of the primary reasons to plant a honey locust tree is for the food and shelter it provides to wildlife. The trees are loaded with nutritious pods that are favored by deer, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, opossums, quail, and wild turkeys. The pods are also an important winter food source for many birds. In addition to the pods, the leaves of the tree are browsed by deer and rabbits, while the twigs are eaten by rabbits, beavers, mice, voles, and porcupines.

2. Tolerant of Difficult Conditions

Honey locust trees are very tolerant of difficult growing conditions. They will grow in just about any type of soil – including poor-quality soils – as long as the soil is well-drained. They are also drought-tolerant once they are established, making them an ideal choice for areas that experience periodic droughts. These trees can also tolerate salt spray from roads and urban pollution, making them ideal for planting near busy roads or in city parks.

3. Provides Shade

Another advantage of planting honey locust trees is that they provide a welcome Shade on hot summer days. The trees have a denser canopy than most other trees, making them excellent choices for shading patios, decks, pool areas, or playgrounds. They can also be used to help extraordinary homes and buildings by shading west- or south-facing walls.

4. Beautiful Foliage

In addition to providing Shade, honey locust trees also have beautiful foliage that adds interest to the landscape throughout the growing season. The compound leaves are made up of 20 or more small leaflets that give the tree a delicate appearance. The leaves are bright green in spring but change to yellow or chartreuse in fall before dropping from the tree.

5. Interesting Bark

The trunk and branches of honey locust trees have an interesting texture thanks to the thin layers of reddish-brown bark that peel away from the underlying woody tissue. This tissue is sometimes referred to as “Dragon’s skin” because it resembles the scales on a dragon’s back.


As you can see, there are many reasons to consider planting a honey locust tree in your wildlife nursery! These unique advantages make this species an excellent choice for anyone looking for a versatile tree that provides food and shelter for animals while also adding beauty and interest to their landscape.

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