Dead locust: why?

John_7700May 31, 2013

I asked earlier about my locust tree. I now think it's dead as it is the only tree in the valley that hasn't leafed out. Cut off some lower new growth shoots that I could reach and all were dry. The main branches have some light green when scraped.

It's been in the ground about here about 4 years and is about 12 feet tall. All sorts of new growth this winter. My question is why would it die? Especially with all the new growth. It has been a cold spring but not brutal. We'll want to plant something all again as it is a feature of the house and want to prevent a recurrence.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

why was a deciduous tree.. growing in winter ...

did you fertilize it last year??? lawn fert .. drought...

how about some facts ...

from what i understand.. much of CO is worse than MI in winter ... was it extraordinary in some way ????

what is the latin name.. perhaps i am thinking of some other locust ....


    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 8:10PM
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Ken, Thanks for your response. I'm probably academically wrong, but we saw a lot of branch growth in the spring that we don't notice when the leaves fall. Maybe it occurs some other time but winter. I'm probably exposing my ignorance.

I do not know the latin name. It does not have pods, has long magenta colored blossoms in the spring (normally) and green leaves. Did not fertilize last year. The area is in a bit of a drought but I have quite a bit of water. More moisture this winter than last. I am near four corners in what is essentially high desert, about 6k feet. Alkali soil.

I'm sure our winter is much milder than MI. A cold spring, freezing temps at night until a couple of weeks ago. I had ice on the lawn when I let sprinklers run all night (didn't get ice on the tree).

Picture attached. John

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 9:19PM
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Here is what it should look like.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Robinia hispida?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 12:29PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

I'm not familiar with robinia hispida but another possibility is purple robe locust. It's a late grower but maybe not this late? Not sure why it might have died though, they're supposed to be easy growers.... I would love to give one a try but suckers off the black locust roots (they're usually grafted) are supposed to be a real PIA.
Give it some more time is my thought.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 7:14PM
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I'm given to understand that the suckering of black locust understock is nothing compared to the nightmare of suckering from an own-root Purple Robe; not first-hand experience, just reports from friends who've grown it.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 8:07AM
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beng(z6 western MD)

I've got Robinia hispida, and it doesn't grow into a tree-form like that -- it's shrubby (and suckers profusely).

Looks like purple robe locust.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 8:46AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

John, that is some view you have.

I visited Colorado last year in the summer. It is a rough spot to grow trees. Snow, cold, dry, windy, ya got it! Do I not see another tree in the background. Is that natural or farmland?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 9:12AM
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