Utah Division of
Forestry, Fire & State Lands

Utah Department of Natural Resources

Pioneer Honey Locust - Salt Lake City

Click on photo for gallery.

Common Name Pioneer Honey Locust
Species Gleditsia triacanthos
Address 979 East 800 South, Salt Lake City
City Salt Lake City
Year Planted 1849
Height 50 Feet
Spread 38 Feet
Circumference 141 Inches
DBH Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) is the standard forestry measurement of the tree's trunk diameter at 4.5 ft from the base.
Name of Nominator Irvin Hull (Zenda)
Date Rated
Ownership Private: Christine Ashworth

The appearance of honey locust on the Utah scene at an early date indicates that many of the early trekkers brought seeds from its native habitat in eastern America in their pioneer wagons. The seeds germinate readily here and it is quite possible that some of the fine specimens now standing on our streets first thrust their heads above the ground that historic spring of 1849, or at least by the spring of 1850.

The species is very thorny but the pioneers had the thorn-less variety also. Many of the heavily spined ones have been done away with through the years and most of the ancient ones remaining are devoid of the hostile thorns. Honey locust is singularly free from pests in Utah and only slight objections to them for use on the streets is heard.

The large size at maturity is their chief drawback, as it makes them unsatisfactory on narrow streets. Some people do not like the litter caused by the long, curled brown pods although others consider these ornamental and that they repay in novelty for the task of raking at the end of autumn.

Honey locust is graceful and impressive in its silhouette, and in summer is clothed with delicate pinnate leaves which give an effect of laciness all over the crown. Their shade is of light density and the flickering sunlight which filters through the fine leaves is beneficial to the lawns below. The thorn-less honey locust was a favorite here since the pioneers brought seed in the first wagon trains.

Author Zenda Hull