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Honey Locust for Post?

hayray

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I did some research and on some forestry forum someone stated that they have several hundred honey locust post that have been in for 20 years now and that they last just as good as black. Has any of you had that experience? If so, can I put them in the ground green with the bark on. I have a grove of Honey locust growing on one of my farms but I don't have any access to black. I am looking for something free and easy but don't want to spend too much time making post, I am delivering hay every day right now and got to get some fencing up before hay season starts but if I gotta spend a lot of time then I guess I will just try to find some cheap cedar post if I can get them.
 

Jogeephus

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My grandfather used both red cedar and honey locust for posts. Don't know how the honey compares to the black but it must be about equal to the red cedar or I doubt he would have used them. edit - he used to make a form of root beer out of the seed pods. It was pretty good too.
 

HerefordSire

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Black Locust last a long time. Honey Locust less time but a long time. Osage Orange last a long time also. All three are on my land. The great thing about it is that the trees are always in the way (thorns) so cutting them assists in cow, human, and tractor tire health. It is an obvious double benefit. I wouldn't put these posts on the front pasture fence though unless I had to. If I had to, I wouldn't hesitate.
 

brandonm_13

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I was just reading in a book that said that honey locust rots quite a bit faster than black or cedar, but I've never used them. Only cedar.
 

alacattleman

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Jogeephus":1jcbvi9h said:
My grandfather used both red cedar and honey locust for posts. Don't know how the honey compares to the black but it must be about equal to the red cedar or I doubt he would have used them. edit - he used to make a form of root beer out of the seed pods. It was pretty good too.
black locust turn's too concrete after it cures....best put all the staples in youll need while its green, cause youll have to blast holes in em after they cure
 

Cowdirt

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hayray":3h0k1jti said:
I did some research and on some forestry forum someone stated that they have several hundred honey locust post that have been in for 20 years now and that they last just as good as black. Has any of you had that experience? If so, can I put them in the ground green with the bark on. I have a grove of Honey locust growing on one of my farms but I don't have any access to black. I am looking for something free and easy but don't want to spend too much time making post, I am delivering hay every day right now and got to get some fencing up before hay season starts but if I gotta spend a lot of time then I guess I will just try to find some cheap cedar post if I can get them.

Hayray; when you cut the honey locust tree you can tell if it will be good for post. A good tree will have a large amount of yellow heartwood. Younger (smaller) trees will have much less heart wood surrounded by white sap wood. The former type make very good posts. I would not put green posts in the ground. Best to cut them, let them season. The bark then comes off very easily. As someone stated, it's difficult to drive staples without bending them. There were many old honey locust posts still solid on my farm when I bought it that I'm sure were 30-40 years old.
 

mobgrazer

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I like using honey locust for posts. But I do let them age, debark the bottoms, and soak the bottoms in a rubberized asphalt sealer and burnt oil mix for a few hours. I have a few hundred that are 25 years old now and are rock solid.

I have never used green honey locust but cowdirt is right on looking at the amount of heart wood.
 

hayray

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Cowdirt":1dqm7791 said:
hayray":1dqm7791 said:
I did some research and on some forestry forum someone stated that they have several hundred honey locust post that have been in for 20 years now and that they last just as good as black. Has any of you had that experience? If so, can I put them in the ground green with the bark on. I have a grove of Honey locust growing on one of my farms but I don't have any access to black. I am looking for something free and easy but don't want to spend too much time making post, I am delivering hay every day right now and got to get some fencing up before hay season starts but if I gotta spend a lot of time then I guess I will just try to find some cheap cedar post if I can get them.

Hayray; when you cut the honey locust tree you can tell if it will be good for post. A good tree will have a large amount of yellow heartwood. Younger (smaller) trees will have much less heart wood surrounded by white sap wood. The former type make very good posts. I would not put green posts in the ground. Best to cut them, let them season. The bark then comes off very easily. As someone stated, it's difficult to drive staples without bending them. There were many old honey locust posts still solid on my farm when I bought it that I'm sure were 30-40 years old.


Thanks everyone for the advice. How long do think it takes to season them?
 

ERNIBIGB

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Never tried the Honey Locust for post. Around here if they ever come out of the ground we don't want to put them back in the ground somewhere else for fear they will sprout new growth.
 

Wewild

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I still have had a hard time driving staples in the locust post that still remain on what my Grandfather left. I recall him letting them cure next to the storm pit.

Some posts from the mid 50's were torn down a couple of year back. The barb wire was still there but in foul shape.

I wouldn't use locust today and I can't buy wire or staples like that today.

I can't say what type of Locust they were.
 

kossetx

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IMHO honey locust won't last long at all. It rots fairly quickly when it dies standing. <5 years to falling over. I would assume that in sometimes moist ground the rot rate would be much quicker.
 

Cowdirt

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kossetx":2cudclzz said:
IMHO honey locust won't last long at all. It rots fairly quickly when it dies standing. <5 years to falling over. I would assume that in sometimes moist ground the rot rate would be much quicker.

If there is any size (heartwood) to one of those that are standing or leaning; take a chainsaw and try cutting it. Your chain will probably need a good sharpening when you're through. I'm not assuming or guessing; I have several on my farm. Cut them when the sap is down an let them season; remove the bark and you have a good post.
 

john250

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ERNIBIGB":3u0ij2xq said:
Never tried the Honey Locust for post. Around here if they ever come out of the ground we don't want to put them back in the ground somewhere else for fear they will sprout new growth.

I hate the honey locust tree. They thrive here. Making a post of them would require removing all those thorns. And, their growth habit doesn't really produce great posts. Mine tend to branch about 4 feet out of the ground.
The worst mistake I ever made, other than my wife, was to make posts of green locust. They have been rotting off ever since. That was yellow (same as black) locust.
A yellow locust post, cured a year or so and debarked is the longest lasting post you'll find. We have some 50 years or more old. And when they are done as posts, you can cut them up for firewood which will melt your stove.
 

hayray

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john250":3fuouwls said:
ERNIBIGB":3fuouwls said:
Never tried the Honey Locust for post. Around here if they ever come out of the ground we don't want to put them back in the ground somewhere else for fear they will sprout new growth.

I hate the honey locust tree. They thrive here. Making a post of them would require removing all those thorns. And, their growth habit doesn't really produce great posts. Mine tend to branch about 4 feet out of the ground.
The worst mistake I ever made, other than my wife, was to make posts of green locust. They have been rotting off ever since. That was yellow (same as black) locust.
A yellow locust post, cured a year or so and debarked is the longest lasting post you'll find. We have some 50 years or more old. And when they are done as posts, you can cut them up for firewood which will melt your stove.
That is interesting about the black locust used green. I had been told by several people that they used them green. Now I am wondering because I actually was getting ready to cut some black locust tomorrow. What time of year did you cut them? I have heard that you should cut post before the sap starts flowing? I can get a small amount of Osage Orange but not enough for what I need.
 

Cowdirt

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hayray":2pe23btd said:
john250":2pe23btd said:
ERNIBIGB":2pe23btd said:
Never tried the Honey Locust for post. Around here if they ever come out of the ground we don't want to put them back in the ground somewhere else for fear they will sprout new growth.

I hate the honey locust tree. They thrive here. Making a post of them would require removing all those thorns. And, their growth habit doesn't really produce great posts. Mine tend to branch about 4 feet out of the ground.
The worst mistake I ever made, other than my wife, was to make posts of green locust. They have been rotting off ever since. That was yellow (same as black) locust.
A yellow locust post, cured a year or so and debarked is the longest lasting post you'll find. We have some 50 years or more old. And when they are done as posts, you can cut them up for firewood which will melt your stove.
That is interesting about the black locust used green. I had been told by several people that they used them green. Now I am wondering because I actually was getting ready to cut some black locust tomorrow. What time of year did you cut them? I have heard that you should cut post before the sap starts flowing? I can get a small amount of Osage Orange but not enough for what I need.

Hayray, I think in Michigan it would be okay to cut now. In TN, it's getting a little late in my opinion.
 

dyates

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I've always heard it's better to cut them when the sap is down, but I've not noticed any real difference. The sapwood will rot off either way. They will tend to split more if cut when the sap is up. Water runs down the split and stands inside the post, causing rot. If you must cut green, I've found that putting one of those truss plates on top of the post will prevent most of the splitting. I also set them upside down, especially if they have limbs cut off. This will prevent water from running down the pith of the limb. My favorites are the ones that are big enough to split. They will last longer than you will. They are really much easier to split than you would think. I start a "split" with the chainsaw and start driving in wedges, moving down the post each time. If the heart is doty or rotten, they must be split to last and some won't last then. I'm about to cut some myself. Some are huge trees and will probably make 25 or more posts each. I almost forgot, it is a must to remove the bark from the portion that will be underground. Also, if they have bracket fungi (toad stools) don't plan on making many posts.
 

hayray

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Thanks for the replies, I was wondering how it was to split some because since I originally posted I cut a bunk of black locust that are too big to be practical but after trying to split a few telephone poles with little success I was wondering how the black locust was. I am clearing some trees on some farms I have just leased and found now a few black locust. What is the easiest way to get the bark off. The guy at the hardware sold me a draw knife but I was wondering if there was a easier way.
 

dyates

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Iron digger, aka spudbar. With post laying flat, strike just on the edge of the post, driving the edge between the bark and the wood.
 

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