Black Locust…Its’ What’s For Dinner

We have a large, old locust tree growing by the garden.  Really, it’s not doing well but it still flowers every spring and throws shoots from its root system.

Locust1I was recently listening to a podcast indicating cows would benefit from pastures planted with as many as 30,000 black locust and black walnut trees per acre.  Chew on that.  Now, I’m not talking about grazing under trees, I’m talking about grazing the trees themselves.  This blog does a good job of explaining and illustrating the concept.

I thought a little verification was in order.  As I said, the black locust throws up a number of shoots on a regular basis.  Since the pastures (including the yard) are being rested between grazings a number of trees have grown about a foot tall.

Locust2Here is another example from a different place in the yard.  Notice the short thorns.

Locust4I identified a couple of trees and turned the cows in while we clamped our bull calf.  It was like the cows had their radar turned on.  The almost sprinted over to the poor locust tree before moving on to a small stand of Johnson grass.  The tree was the first choice.  No wonder I don’t see them sprouting out in the pasture.

Locust3Now we’re looking at transplanting all the shoots we can find to a protected part of the pasture so we can allow them to develop.  Maybe I should plant them at the base of that dry hill…or in rows on contour to the hill.  Either way, I have sufficient confirmation that I’m willing to continue the experiment and propagate more trees.

Speaking of tree propagation, the chestnuts I harvested from Eileen’s house are sprouting in the garden.  Hope more show up.

Chestnut

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