Black Locust

A black locust near SCL
Basic Information
Tree ID: 
Genus and species: 
Black Locust
This tree has five individual structures, each reaching about the same height. Standing across from SCL, the tree frames 230 Prospect street and offers shade to those leaving the parking complex behind the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics. A squirrel has been spotted on this tree and the surveyors are hoping it makes another appearance for their presentation.
Matt Muellner & Armaan Kalsi
Collected Data
Tree shape: 
Date of tree entry: 
27.00 m
Diameter at breast height: 
0.42 m

The bark is a dark grayish brown with deep vertical furrows. The bark may peel off in small scales, revealing lighter-colored bark underneath. The bark of this tree seems rougher than the bark of an average tree on campus.
Twigs & branches
The branches of this tree are slender and zigzag up into the air. They increase in density as altitude increases. They have a reddish-brown appearance and are not as rough as the bark of the tree. Although bare for most of the winter and spring thus far, black locusts will display green leaves in the spring and summer.
The foliage of black locust trees is green and pinnately compound. Leaflets range from 1 to 2 inches in length and turn yellow in the fall.
Reproductive Structures
The flowers of black locusts are typically white and appear clustered at the ends of branches. They are scented and attract bees as their primary pollination syndrome.
The fruits of black locusts take the form of slender pods that develop from the flowers. These began as green but become brown as they mature.
Natural range of distribution: 
The black locust is native to North America, but it has been introduced to other regions worldwide as an ornamental tree, for erosion control, and as a source of timber. In its native range, the black locust is commonly found in forested areas and along the edges of streams and rivers.
Origin, history, and uses: 

Native Americans used Black Locusts for several purposes including making bows, arrow shafts, and tool handles. European settlers utilized the durability of the wood for fence posts, railroad ties, and shipbuilding. It is currently most used for hardwood flooring, furniture, and decks.

The black locust is an early tree to get its leaves, typically in late April or early May. White flowers appear in late Mar or early June. Fruits appear in late summer and early fall. Senescence occurs early in the fall.

Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust). (2022). PlantwisePlus Knowledge Bank, Species Pages.

Wikimedia Foundation. (2023, March 30). Robinia pseudoacacia. Wikipedia. Retrieved April 23, 2023, from

Other information of interest: 

This tree has several structures. We are sure that these unite underground as one tree.

Media and Arts

Primordial Soup

By Armaan Kalsi

Through primordial soup and cosmic rays,

Life’s grand tapestry began its display.

From LUCA’s domain, a tale we’ve unfurled,

The wondrous story of life’s dance in the world.

Endosymbiosis, a union so rare,

Mitochondria thrived, as life’s power affair.

Mutations and drift, selection’s embrace,

Genetic reshuffles, evolution’s race.

Through punctuated equilibria’s rise,

Coevolution’s tango ‘neath azure skies.

Speciation flourished, adaptive radiations,

Phylogenetic trees, life’s foundations.

Homeobox genes, the ancient blueprint,

Evo-devo’s wisdom, morphological stint.

Exaptation’s gift, nature’s serendipity,

The beauty of life, in perpetual reciprocity.

A hundred words to capture the essence,

Of evolutionary biology’s luminescent presence.