Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:35 pm
Location: Minneapolis

What tree is this (has thorns)?

I just moved and want to find out what kind of trees I have growing around the house and along the fence. Since this is the beginning of April in Minnesota they have not yet started to bud (leaves or bloom). I say trees because they seem to have a more tree like definition. Most are only about 1/2" - 1" in diameter base and about 6-8 feet high; a few have 1-1/2" - 2-1/2" diameter base and 12-18 feet high. I am not sure how to attach any pics here as I am sure that would be helpful. THORNS: The branches come out from between two thorns. Where there is no branch looks like a triangular set of three nubs (between two thorns). The thorns are about 1/2 - 3/4" long and each set of two seem to be spaced about 2-4" apart. SEED PODS: A couple of trees have one or two seed pods hanging frome a branch. The seed pods are about 1/2" wide and 3" long with about 10 seeds in the pods. Impossible to tell the original color of the pods (they look like a couple that did not fall from the tree last autumn?). Any help trying to identify these trees would be greatly appreciated. Thanks much!! :D

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1152
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:26 am
Location: North Carolina

More then likely a variety of hawthorn, which one I don't have a clue.

Senior Member
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:31 am
Location: Shenandoah Valley

Perhaps a redbud

I think it may be a redbud. Crataegus fruits are pomes. Cercis on the other had will have pods as described and the small spiney thorns.

Cool Member
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:15 pm

Could be another...

Might take a peek at this line drawing of black locust, Robinia pseudoacacia: []
Has thorns, pods. Stays dormant a long time. WOW. What a URL!

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Greener Thumb
Posts: 1938
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:13 pm
Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

yeah, leafbuds between paired thorns sounds like black locust.

The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7492
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

Describes honey locust, too...


This one refers to the thornless "var. inermis" throughout the text (the one most commonly for sale, but look at that last image on the bottom right. Does that look thornless? :shock:


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Greener Thumb
Posts: 1938
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:13 pm
Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

honey locust gets those 'eccentric' thorns, though, and black locust is always in pairs around the leaf scars...honey locust (the original kind) are definitely NOT thornless, ha! they're special favorites of mine, got one planted from wild-collected seed in a pot, maybe close to ten years old now.

those are the two main locusts in my mind, but it memory serves, one of the less-common ones, like maybe clammy locust, gets thorns of some sort, too. black locust usually grow out of their thorns, too, seems to be a protective measure for the young; old trees usually don't have any thorns.

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