A Greener Alternative to Tropical Hardwoods: Black Locust

A Greener Alternative to Tropical Hardwoods: Black Locust

Lauren Zerbey
Nov 29, 2011

Tropical hardwoods are often used for outdoor decks because they are naturally resistant to rot and insects. Lasting up to 50 years, they're often seen as a smarter choice over less durable woods or chemically-treated lumber. Unfortunately, the ways in which these hardwoods are obtained is not always the most sustainable. That's why I was excited to learn about Black Locust, a similar wood that can be harvested more responsibly.

Like Ipe and other tropical hardwoods, Black Locust has the beneficial qualities of being a dense wood that is rot and insect resistant and can last for several decades without any treatment. While harvesting practices have been questioned for woods coming from South America and other areas, Black Locust is a tree that can do well in the U.S. Historically treated as an invasive species, the quick-growing trees prosper in areas that other trees don't, making them a perfect choice for clear-cut forests or urban infill lots.

Read More: Why Use Ipe When You Can Have Black Locust? from the American Society of Landscape Architects

(Image: Black Locust Lumber)

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