Robinia pseudoacacia (Black locust) the problem and available solutions

Grant Martin - Rhodes University

Robinia pseudoacacia is a deciduous tree indigenous to North America that was probably introduced into South Africa via the horticultural industry.

Having already established in all nine provinces, it is regarded as one of our most difficult invaders to control as it suckers profusely and readily produces copious numbers of seed.

Not only is it a prolific water user, capable of invading pristine environments, but it is also poisonous to both humans and animals.

Thorny, dense thickets and difficult to navigate mountain terrain make mechanical and chemical control options inadvisable.

The aim of the study is to investigate possible biological control options for the management of the tree.

Three of these insects have already established on R. pseudoacacia populations in Europe and have proved to be damaging, they include a gracillarriid leaf- mining moth (Phyllonorycter robiniella), a cecidomyiid gall midge (Obolodiplosis robiniae) and the locust borer (Megacyllene robiniae forster.

The Locust borer is only known to attack R. pseudoacacia and its cultivars and appears to be the most damaging and promising agent for biological control.

For more information please see the fact sheet below:

Black locust (Crobinia pseudoacacia)

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