Locust, Black (Robinia pseudoacacia)

Locust, Black is a domestic hardwood


Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is sometimes called yellow or post locust. This species grows from Pennsylvania along the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia and Alabama. It is also native to western Arkansas and southern Missouri. The greatest production of black locust timber is in Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia. Locust has narrow, creamy white sapwood. The heartwood, when freshly cut, varies from greenish yellow to dark brown.


Black locust is very heavy, very hard, very resistant to shock, and very strong and stiff. It has moderately low shrinkage. The heartwood has high decay resistance.

Primary Uses

Black locust is used for round, hewed, or split mine timbers as well as fence posts, poles, railroad crossties, stakes, and fuel. Other uses are for rough construction, crating, and mine equipment. Historically, black locust was important for the manufacture of insulator pins and wooden pegs used in the construction of ships, for which the wood was well adapted because of its strength, decay resistance, and moderate shrinkage and swelling.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.