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Yellow Honey Locust GLEDITSIA TRIACANTHOS SUNBURST

Description & features

British Grown - The British Grown logo denotes plants and trees that have been both propagated and grown in the UK. Read more

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Bare root guide

Size and quantity

Photo
Size / Height
Price
Quantity
 
15L pot size / 1.75-2.75m
£60.00

All prices include VAT

All prices include VAT

All prices include VAT

All prices include VAT

British Grown - The British Grown logo denotes plants and trees that have been both propagated and grown in the UK. Read more

Product description

GLEDITSIA TRICANTHOS SUNBURST – Honey Locust or Golden Gleditsia

Characteristics

A member of the pea family, the honey locust is a tree which has delicate fern like leaves subdivided into leaflets. It grows with an open, spreading canopy and has attractive, fine, somewhat weeping foliage.

It is late into leaf and does well only in dry warm summers which can make it struggle in cool wet English weather. This is primarily a foliage tree having no flowers to speak of.

The parent is native to central North America and is spiny; ‘Sunburst’ is a decorative and very popular thornless selection of the honey locust with first yellow and later on light green leaves. The second flush around the beginning of July is also yellow. It is one of the prettiest yellow-leaved trees. Sunburst grows to a generally thornless, small to medium-sized tree to 8m (25ft).

Where to grow

Gleditsias are adaptable trees that can cope with a wide range of ground conditions, they do not however like permanently wet or waterlogged ground.

Did you know?

This is the closest substitue for Robinia pseudoacacia 'Frisia' (false acacia).  Although the yellow colour of the leaves does not quite match the vivid luminescence of Robinia Frisia it has considerable benefits in that is not so brittle, much more reliable and easier to establish.

 

Features

Mature height
Small - 5-10 metres
Spread
0-5 metres
Shape / habit
Round Headed
Open
Growth rate
Slow
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Difficulty / hard to grow
Medium
Evergreen / Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Summer
Autumn colour
Yellow
Leaf
Yellow
Foliage
Fine/Light leaf
Late to leaf
Moisture levels
Drought tolerant
Uses
Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
Small garden Tree
City/Urban Sites

Features

Mature height
Small - 5-10 metres
Spread
0-5 metres
Shape / habit
Round Headed
Open
Growth rate
Slow
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Difficulty / hard to grow
Medium
Evergreen / Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Summer
Autumn colour
Yellow
Leaf
Yellow
Foliage
Fine/Light leaf
Late to leaf
Moisture levels
Drought tolerant
Uses
Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
Small garden Tree
City/Urban Sites

Aftercare

Pruning Gleditsia Triacanthos Sunburst

Gleditsia triacanthos Sunburst can be trained as a central leader with a clear stem of up to 2m. This shouldn’t be an arduous task as it will naturally produce a vigorous leader stem. Established trees can be pruned but the well-spaced canopy rarely needs it.

What time of year should I prune? In Autumn once the leaves have fallen, if pruned earlier it will bleed.

For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.

Watering

The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.

Staking

If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.

Ties

Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


Comments

By Jennifer Lobb on 21/09/2013

We are having our Robinia removed shortly because of dieback.  Would the Gleditsia Triacanthos be a suitable replacement in the same area as the Robinia?  The tree firm said they would be putting poison into the centre of the remaining trunk once felled.  How long should we wait before replanting?

By Simon on 24/09/2013

Hello Jennifer,

Yes Gleditsia Sunburst is a good replacement for Robinia, as it doesn’t have some of the problems you find with Robinia, though it isn’t quite as vivid a yellow colour. As far as how long you need to wait before you replant, it depends on what the poison is and how close you are planting this one to the felled tree. If you are moving it away a couple of meters you should be find to plant anytime (though I would mix in some good compost to improve the soil.) If you want to go back in the exact same spot you would be better to get them to grind the stump out and put some new soil in.

Kind Regards

By Lydia Goodwin on 04/05/2015

We moved into our house almost 2 yrs ago and have 1/3rd ish acre
Garden with a feature mature honey locust of at least 30 yrs. it has gradually looked sicker and sicker and now looks dead. Not sure what type but it was very popular with the wild life. Another similar tree 2 doors away died before we moved in. I’m really upset as we love the tree and to look at the wild life in it wth a cup of tea in bed. Can we replace it with like for like or do you have any other suggestions please? I have little experience previously In gardens so would very much appreciate your knowledge and experience. Lydia Goodwin

 

 

By Simon on 18/05/2015

Hello Lydia,

Thank you for your e-mail. Are you sure it was the Gleditsia you had? The reason I ask is there is a similar tree called Robinia Frisia that is prone to dying suddenly. If it was a Gleditsia you would be better planting something different in the same spot. If it wildlife you are wanting to encourage I would recommend a hawthorn.

By Laura on 19/06/2016

Hi, I was wondering how close to my house I can plant a gleditsia sunburst. I have a wisteria tree that keeps getting blown over (bit of a wind tunnel) about 2 metres from my house and I’m wondering if I could replace it with this?

By Simon on 22/06/2016

Hello Laura,

I’m wondering if the location would be a bit cold for the Gleditsia, if it is subject to so much wind? With regards to distance from the house, it might be a little close. The rule of thumb is to plant half the ultimate height of the tree away from any structures about which you are concerned. There are numerous factors involved in the effect of tree roots on structures, from the type of soil to construction material, so there is no definitive answer on planting distances but if you want to be on the safe side, I would stick with a very small tree or shrub in this position.

By Heather Jones on 25/09/2016

Any suggestion to what I should plant under our Sunburst?
I’ve tried rhodos but they dry out and look stressed.
There are also peonies under the tree, they look great in the spring but no summer fall colour.

Heather Jones
Vancouver BC
Canada

 

By Simon on 27/09/2016

Hello Heather,

If your Gleditsia is newly planted, we recommend leaving a good metre (3ft) around the base clear of underplanting, weeds and grass for several years to allow the tree to establish free of competition. Rhododendrons are acid loving, so if your soil is not acidic then you will have trouble growing them. Shrubs with fantastic autumn colour include winged spindle, dogwood (cornus) and Viburnum. Hydrangeas would also give late season colour.

By Emma on 10/04/2020

We had to move our Gleditsia last year - late summer due to a land dispute. It was in a large pot over winter but with all the rain it was pretty much flooded the entire time. With it being late into leaf how can I tell if it is still alive? The end 30cm of each branch is a golden colour whereas the trunk and inner branches are silvery/grey. I can see no buds anywhere to show that leaves might start to show. Any help on identifying if it’s still alive would be great!

By Simon on 13/04/2020

Hello Emma,

The easiest way to tell if a tree is still alive is to gently scrape the bark on one of the branches with your thumb. If it is green underneath there is still life in the tree. If it is brown or white and dry underneath then the tree is likely to be dead.

By Shirley Jackson on 04/05/2020

Hi there
I have a Gleditsia in our garden which we planted about 3 years ago. I want to move it to a different part of the garden. When would be the best time to do that?
Kind regards
Shirley

By Simon on 04/05/2020

Hello Shirley,

The safest time to try and move it would be whilst it is dormant in the winter, although after being in the ground for 3 years it would be a risk.

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