Robinia pseudocacia, also known as False Acacia or Black Locust, is native to eastern North America. It was introduced to Europe over 300 years ago where is widely planted and is an important commercial species. Robinia is virtually unknown in Ireland, except for ornamental varieties as garden trees.
In Ireland we presently have a very limited list of suitable species for afforestation, even prior to the recent loss of Ash (and Elm beforethat). The possibility of another species for afforestation is of enormous interest to Farmers and Foresters.
Robinia produces a naturally durable timber, suitable for use outdoors without any chemical treatment,its uses include: fencing, Garden Furniture, decking and exterior cladding. It is highly valued as fuel for wood burning stoves.
The common form of Robinia is of poor quailty in terms of straightness and is mainly grown for firewood.
"Shipmast" Robinia is a naturally occuring straight growing variety. There has been extensive reserarch particularly in Hungary selecting vigorous trees with good stem form and these are what we are interested in.
It is proposed to establish trial plantings of Robinia around Ireland to assess their early performance on a wide range of site types . One particularly site type for inclusion would be where diseased crops of Ash are being replaced.
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