The Q&A Archives: Locust Tree

Question: What are the negatives for using the twisty baby globe locust tree in a small space? What does it need to be healthy and how close to a building can it be planted?

Answer: Your tree, Robinia pseudoacacia 'Tortuosa', is a slow growing, small sized locust, with twisted, contorted branches. All locusts require full sunshine, need very little water, and will grow well in poor soils. Even with its small mature size, you can expect to deal with aggressive root systems, brittle wood and lots of suckers. It's an interesting tree but should not be planted near a building or in a small space. A better choice would be a Contorted Filbert (Corylus avellana 'Contorta'). This tree is better behaved, will stay small, and will provide the interesting branch pattern of the locust tree.

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