How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Locust, black locust—Robinia spp.*
Family Fabaceae (Pea family)

Plant identification

Locusts are fast-growing deciduous trees and shrubs. Leaves are divided into many rounded leaflets. Sweet pea-shaped flowers bloom in clusters from spring to early summer. Flowers are white or pink. Beanlike pods form after bloom. Locust leaves, seeds, and bark are poisonous if ingested. Trees have aggressive roots and often spread by suckers.

*Some species of Robinia are invasive weeds. Other types of plants may be better choices when planting.

Optimum conditions for growth

Locusts are good street trees if not planted near power lines or in narrow spaces. They do best in areas with full sun. They can tolerate poor soil and can survive on little or no water.

Leaves and flowering branches
Leaves and flowering branches of black locust

Pests and disorders of Robinia spp.



Environmental disorders

Parasitic plants



Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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