The honey locust tree (Gleditsia triacanthos) is native to central North America, but can be found throughout most of the country. It thrives in New York City with its high tolerance for compacted soil and salt. Because of these tolerances, it is often considered by the city for street tree plantings, and can be found commonly in road medians throughout the boroughs.


Honey locusts typically sprouts 1/2-inch long leaflets cloud-like clusters, which turn a bright golden yellow in the autumn. These smaller leaf clusters allow for greater air flow within the tree, which helps the honey locust thrive in windy conditions.


Honey locusts commonly have thorns growing on their branches and trunks. These thorns typically grow in dense clusters, and can reach lengths of up to 8 inches. One theory suggests that the trees evolved to produce these thorns to protect their foliage from the Pleistocene-era megafauna that ate their long seed pods.

At Arborpolitan, we see honey locusts frequently. They provide an interesting challenge for a tree climber, who has to navigate their branches while avoiding all the many long thorns throughout the tree. A few of us bring the thorns back home, taken from a day's work on a honey locust as a trophy to commemorate a hard-fought job. Though they sometimes present difficulty for us as tree climbers, we still jump on any opportunity to help preserve and shape these beautiful trees.

Aaron Smith
2017 Season So Far

Hello fellow tree hugging dirt lovers.

The year 2017 brought with it a tide change. Between certain political shake-ups and the release of Ed Sheeran’s track Shape Of You, its been an emotional one. The people of earth are likely feeling a striking sense of change, an urgency to engage, or a movement in their hearts upon hearing the unusual blend of tropical house, dancehall, and acoustic guitar strumming that Sheeran uses to evoke the sense of a budding romance.

In New York City, we’ve seen an extra rainy year following a late winter. This meant that there were less cases of insect infestations and more of fungal infections in our city’s trees. As such, we have been visiting trees all around the city to deep root feed. The year has not been completely without pests though. We have seen some increased scaling activity, and are keeping our eyes out for mites, adelgids, webworms, and lace bugs.

We also had our own Sonia design several of our client’s gardens, some of which can be seen above in mid-installation. Otherwise, we have kept busy with our typical work of pruning trees and planting new ones.

We’re currently looking towards our autumnal season, preparing to step up the amount of plant health care visits to help prepare trees and plants for winter dormancy.  Soon we’ll be seeing more cases of hemlock scaling, webworms, and needlecast. If you’re looking to plant a tree, sometime in the upcoming fall season would be an ideal time to do it, as it will give the tree an optimal time frame to establish it’s roots through winter dormancy and into the spring (and if you’re looking for someone to plant that tree for you, well, we could be that someone!).

Above are a few pictures of the 2017 team hard at work, with the occasional goof thrown in for good measure.

May the rest of our year be filled with friends, good times, and most of all, healthy trees.

Play us out, Ed.

Aaron Smith