FAST Blog: Family Homestead

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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Black Locust Beads


This week I've had the pleasure of working with an amazing wood, Black Locust.

Lansky World Legal making a start on the beads
 Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), as it has come to be called, offers AMAZING qualities. It's fast growing and fixes nitrogen, improving the soil as it grows. Because a locust's trunk contains mostly sapwood, it's strong. In drying, locust hardly shrinks. In stiffness, it outdoes hickory. Fighting decay, it outlasts white oak. Burned, a cord of black locust throws off the heat of a ton of coal. And machined and sanded, the wood takes on a high luster.

On the American frontiers people have found abandoned settlements where almost everything has turned to dust except the Black Locust fence posts still standing strong over 100 years later without ANY chemical treatments/preservatives.

It's such a wonderful wood to work with, having so many benefits and advantages I imagine many of you are wondering why you haven't heard of it before, why it isn't a mainstream timber any more?

The only answers are that it doesn't grow quite as large as exotic species, it isn't a "popular" wood so there is a lack of experience in managing and processing Locust forests. Lastly, in it's native range, the tree suffers from attack by the Locust Borer (Megacyllene Robiniae). None of these reasons should be holding back a tree with such potential, I will definitely be planting some on our land and encourage any one that strives for self sufficiency to consider Black Locust on their homestead

Beads finished up with an incredibly old Mora, ready to be pyrographed
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3 comments

  1. I loved learning about this wonderful wood. I love trees and it is a goal of mine to not only become extremely proficient in edible plant species but to also get to know trees so well I can tell each by trunk, leaf or fruit...and know all their properties and uses also. This was such a nice post in that regard! Thanks!

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  2. I had to look this tree up because I wasn't familiar with it - or so I thought. As it turns out, it is one of the main trees that were grown on the estate I grew up in Switzerland. I doubt the wood is used for anything at though and was probably chosen for its relative robustness and fast growing properties. The blossom is quite stunning actually. Anyway, it will be a good addition to your small holding.

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  3. Not a tree that I am familiar with, so it was a joy to visit and learn something new.

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We are always glad to hear your comments, thoughts and opinions :)

Etsy

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