Gleditsia triacanthos inermis (Thornless Honeylocust) is a deciduous tree belonging to the Fabaceae family. It is a cultivated variety of the native Honeylocust tree (Gleditsia triacanthos) and is known for its absence of thorns, making it a popular choice for landscaping.
Size and Appearance: Thornless Honeylocust is a medium to large-sized tree that can reach heights of 15-25 meters (50-80 feet) with a spread of 12-18 meters (40-60 feet). It has an upright and spreading canopy with a rounded or irregular shape. The tree has an open and airy growth habit.
Foliage: The foliage of Thornless Honeylocust is bipinnately compound, meaning that the leaves are divided into smaller leaflets that are further divided. The leaves are bright green and fern-like in appearance. They provide a dappled shade due to their open structure, allowing some light to filter through.
Thornless Variety: Unlike the native Honeylocust tree, which has sharp thorns on its branches, Thornless Honeylocust is a cultivated variety that is thornless. This characteristic makes it more desirable for landscapes, especially in areas where thorny trees may pose a safety concern.
Fall Color: In the autumn, Thornless Honeylocust foliage turns golden yellow, adding a vibrant splash of color to the landscape.
Adaptability: Thornless Honeylocust is known for its adaptability to various soil types, including clay, loam, and sandy soils. It can tolerate a range of soil pH levels and is relatively drought-tolerant once established. It prefers full sun but can also tolerate some shade.
Thornless Honeylocust is commonly used in urban and suburban landscapes as a shade tree, street tree, or ornamental tree. Its open canopy allows for filtered sunlight, making it suitable for planting near buildings or in parking lots. The absence of thorns makes it safer and easier to maintain compared to the native Honeylocust variety.
It's worth noting that while Thornless Honeylocust is generally considered non-toxic, the seeds and pods of the tree contain tannins and can be mildly toxic if ingested in large quantities. It's important to prevent children and pets from consuming the seeds or pods.