Honey Locust: Description, Types, and Care Tips (Full Guide)

The honey locust, scientifically known as Gleditsia triacanthos, is a deciduous tree native to North America. One of the first things you’ll notice about this tree is its impressive size. Honey locusts can grow up to 100 feet tall.

Honey Locust Tree Plant Care

Caring for honey locust trees involves understanding their specific needs and providing the right conditions for their optimal growth. When it comes to sunlight, these trees thrive in full sun to partial shade.


Honey locusts thrive in full sun to partial shade, making them adaptable to various landscapes. These trees require at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily to flourish.


These resilient trees thrive in well-drained, moist soil. It’s essential to ensure that the soil provides adequate drainage, preventing waterlogging that can harm the root system.


Proper watering is essential for the health and vitality of honey locust trees. While these trees are relatively drought-tolerant once established.

Temperature and Humidity

Honey locusts thrive in various climates, making them adaptable to various conditions. Generally, these trees are hardy in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9, indicating their ability to withstand both cold winters and relatively warm summers.


Honey locusts generally benefit from a balanced fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. During the tree’s early years, a slow-release fertilizer with a ratio of 10-10-10 can provide the necessary nutrients for healthy root development.


Pruning is generally recommended to remove dead or damaged branches, enhance the tree’s shape, and improve air circulation. Regular pruning also helps manage the tree’s size, ensuring it fits harmoniously into its surroundings.


As deciduous trees, honey locusts naturally shed their leaves in the fall, entering a period of dormancy. During winter, it’s essential to provide them with adequate protection from harsh weather conditions.

Types of Honey Locust

Thornless Honey Locust The Thornless Honey-Locust, scientifically known as Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis, is a popular cultivar cherished for its lack of thorns.

Sunburst Honey Locust

The Sunburst Honey Locust, or Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis ‘Sunburst,’ is a cultivar renowned for its vibrant golden-yellow foliage. As the leaves emerge in spring, they showcase a stunning display of bright colors.

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