Black Locust Trees of JP

Black locust trees (Robinia pseudoacacia) are an invasive species in Massachusetts, but it is difficult to dislike them this time of year, when the trees perfume the air with a jasmine-like scent. The trees can no longer be legally planted. Older trees can be found in yards, but most of these trees grow in minimally-maintained spaces.

Black Locust flowers: white
Black Locust flowers


Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood has many black locust groves. They can be easily spotted this time of year as not many other trees are in flower.

Black Locust with VA Hospital and North American Indian Center in background
Intersection of South Huntington and Heath Streets, near the end of the E line
Black Locust along Orange Line
Black Locust along Orange Line
Black Locust on Ballard Way
Black Locust on Ballard Way (another in the far background)
Black Locusts on Call St
Black Locusts near intersection of Call and McBride streets

Black locust trees are rarely found alone. They spread through root suckers, forming genetically-identical colonies. They can also spread by seed. This colony near the corner of Lamartine and Green streets has 11 trunks.

Black locust grove along Lamartine St, looking up at the canopy
Black locust grove along Lamartine St
Black locusts along Amory St
Black locusts along Amory St
Twisted black locusts along Centre St
Twin black locust trunks on Centre St
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