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NOTE: there is rarely any "standard" or "typical" look for a wood so take what's in this table with a grain of salt
the REST of the pictures on this page will give you a better overall feel for this wood

honey locust / Gleditsia triacanthos of the family Fabacea

3" x 3" flat cut, 3" x 3" quartersawn, 1" wide end grain, and a 1/4" x 1/4" end grain closeup.

Ring porous with a line of large earlywood pores 2 to 4 pores thick and with occasional pores multiples dropping off to slightly smaller pores in the latewood with fat vasicentric parenchyma changing to confulent parenchyma part way through the latewood. Rays, of varying thickness, are very obvious.

A very hard, durable wood. Another "locust" wood, black locust (Robnia pseudoacacia, also of the family Fabacea), has its own page on this web site. The two woods can sometimes be hard to distinguish via end grain characteristics but the face grains each have their own look and feel. Generally speaking black locust is yellowish/greenish and honey locust has a pink or orange tint, not yellow or green and the face grain in black locust tends to be straighter than the more often curved grain in honey locust.

Honey locust can also be difficult to distinguish from coffee tree, but see this:

COFFEE TREE / HONEY LOCUST
how to tell them apart


Another species in the genus Gleditsia, Gleditsia auqatica, is known as "water locust" and is reportedly difficult to impossible to distinguist from honey locust when in plank form (the TREES can be distinguished). You can see water locust on the "locust, misc" page.


my samples:


both sides of a sample plank of honey locust / Gleditsia triacurthos var inermis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of honey locust / Gleditsia triacanthos --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of honey locust / Gleditsia triacanthos --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


first face and the end grain of a sample of honey locust / Gleditsia triacanthos. This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION A


the second face, before and after sanding, showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above.


this sample was sent to me by Jean-Francois (Jeff) Audet and spent some time on my "mystery woods" page before being identified by the USDA as honey locust


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above. I note that both are upside down relative to the end grain shot. Apparently I sometimes take pics standing on my head.


both sides of a sample plank of honey locust / Gleditsia triacanthos --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was contributed to the site by Allan Tomaszek. Thanks Allan.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above




both sides and both ends of a sample piece of honey locust --- these pics are too yellow; they should be more reddish. I think that the "pith" area shown is not actually pith. I IS of course the center of the tree where the pith is but I think what this piece has is a growth anomaly at the heart. I point this out because I'm sure this piece IS honey locust and honey locust pith is much smaller than what is see as a white center area in this piece.


end grain closeup of the piece directly above --- color is accurate.


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above --- color is accurate


both sides of a honey locust sample plank --- had this just been handed to me unidentified, I would have guessed black locust, not honey locust.


end grain and end grain closeup of the sample plank directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above; this pic is slightly too red and it is inverted relative to the original


both sides of a sample plank of honey locust / Gleditsia triacanthos --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was contributed to the site by Eric Deutsch. Thanks Eric. The sawyer who provided Eric with this piece said it was coffee tree but my analysis, discussed in this thread: Wood Talk Online discussion is that it is honey locust. Later, the sawyer who sold it to Eric, when pressed, said that it could well be honey locust.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


a pair of pen blanks and an end grain closeup of the pair


a burl piece and a couple of little chunks contributed to the site by Tom Crespin, whom I thank. HUGE enlargements are present for all the pics of these pieces.


side grain and face grain closeup and a HIGH GRIT END GRAIN CLOSEUP of one of the chunks. The face grain show is a really good example of the kind of "feathering" that you get on a flat cut surface due to the ulmiform pore arrangement


a couple of closeups of the burl piece


UV fluorescence of the pieces


The Wood Book pics


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
honey locust (Gleditschia triacanthos) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for all 3 views. According to the wood book, honey locus is also called black locust, sweet locust, and three-thorned acacia, BUT it does give a separate page for black locust, which is normally the name used for Gleditsia pseudacacia.

web pics:


slabs


flat cut honey locust planks


both sides of a flat cut plank


quartersawn honey locust planks


bookmatched pair that is either a straight end grain shot or perhaps is cut at a slight angle off of perpendicular to the grown rings. Another possibility is that this is a crotch area where a brank enters the trunk. I don't know if the right side was moistened for the pic or perhaps is just the way the light is reflected that makes it look darker.


honey locust planks with closeups --- the first pic is of a bookmatched pair and the second pic is of two planks, only one of which is shown in the closeup


honey locust planks all from the same vendor


end grain


honey locust plank listed as "wormy"


spalted honey locust plank (well, OK, it's not VERY spalted, but there is a little bit there in the sapwood)


honey locust turning blocks


two views of some honey locust turning blocks from a vendor who exaggerates the color of the wood


three views of a set of turning stock


two views of a set of turning stock


honey locust small turning stock


honey locust bowl turning blanks


WOW --- what a beautiful honey locust bowl blank


two views of honey locust bowl blanks --- the actual color is probably not this rich


three views of a single honey locust bowl blank that has some crotch area --- all that nice swirly grain is going to make for a beautiful bowl


turning stock


honey locust crotch slabs all from the same vendor


listed as honey locust crotch but to me these look much more like black locust than honey locust


honey locust burl slab (well, it was LISTED as a burl but I don't see it)


honey locust mallet by Stephen Habets, whom I thank for the pic


spoons listed as honey locust / Gleditsia triocanthos


honey locust bowl, apparently turned thin and allowed to (or forced to) warp


honey locust bowls by Bryan Nelson (NelsonWood)


honey locust bowls turned and photographed by Tom Pleatman, whom I thank for these pics and other contributions to the site. Big enlargements are present.


honey locust bowls


turned box