I have a very large Honey Locust tree on the West side of my house. It is dropping leaves and has a lost more dead branches then the previous years. What problems should I look for and what can I do to save this precious tree?



Honeylocust trees are typically free of most serious pests. Review your irrigation schedule and make sure you are giving the tree enough water but also allowing soil aeration. Water less frequently but more deeply to accomplish both objectives. Deeper water every 3 to 4 weeks during hot summer months will help provide water to the tree that the surrounding lawn cannot steal from it. Honeylocust are not strong-wooded trees, and they tend to drop sticks as the tree grows larger and the inside branches are progressively more shaded. 

Some of the increase in dead wood under the tree may be normal. Honeylocust have thin bark, so southwest injury is always a possible problem for these trees. Southwest injury happens during winter as the sun hits the thin bark. Sap starts to flow as if it is spring, but then the winter night freezes the sap water, causing cell injury on that side of the tree. If this has happened, you'll see splitting on the trunk on the SW side of the tree. You cannot "fix" this problem, but avoid further damage by wrapping the exposed trunk during winter.

Posted on 1 Aug 2007

Maggie Wolf
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

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