Robinia (Black Locust / False Acacia)
The Robinia timber tree (commonly known as the Black Locust and less commonly False Acacia) is indigenous to the south-eastern region of the USA. It is the most frequently cultivated hardwood deciduous tree in the world and is generally planted with the aim to improve the soils nitrogen levels as well as to prevent soil erosion. The physical planting of Robinia forests however with the sole purpose to produce wood exists mainly in south-eastern Europe mainly being Hungary and Romania.The wood of the Robinia tree possesses excellent properties, especially with a high natural resistance to rot and decay. It is a medium-sized tree that is 12m to 25m (maximum 30m) high and has a diameter of 30-60 cm. The wood that is free of knots is relatively short and ranges from around 2m to 6m in length.The sap of the Robinia is often white to a light yellow and is very narrow in older trees. The heart wood is yellow colour to olive-green to light brown when fresh and with the affect of light will darken to a more golden brown or light brown in colour.The wood from the Robinia tree is heavy, hard and dense which is higher than that of oak or chestnut. It is also hard to split, tough but flexible and is easy to bend similar to ash or hickory. Once the timber has been seasoned, the wood will provide high stability. As the Robinia is straight grained, it is easy to work on with all hand and machining tools, it is also very easy to carve and turn. The chamfered ends of the wood are very durable; planed surfaces are dense and smooth and easy to work on further. The heartwood of the Robinia possesses a natural resistance to rot & decay as well as fungi and insects which means it is one of only a few kinds of trees growing in Europe to possess such qualities.
Summary of properties for Robinia Timber:
- Robinia Timber (Black Locust, False Acacia) is a very hard, dense and strong wood
- It’s ability to resist rot / decay is extremely good as well as having great weathering characteristics (it’s is frequently used as fence posts / grape vine stakes for its outdoor longevity (up to 40 years in the soil))
- Uses: Fence / Vine posts, flooring, furniture, architectural designs and play equipment
- Colour can range from a pale greenish-yellow to a darker brown which tends to darken to a russet brown with age
- The Grain is usually straight with a medium texture
- It’s workability means it responds well to both lathe turning and steam bending
- No characteristic odor
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