Purple Robe Locust - any experiences-good bad or indiferent?

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by vcallinan, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. vcallinan

    vcallinan Active Member

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    Location:
    East York, Ontario
    Hi there, we just planted a Purple Robe Locust. It flowered beautifully in the pot and seems very healthy. There was some die back after a wicked windstorm knocked it about before we planted it. But, it's in the ground now and getting acquainted to its new home.

    We're in East York/Toronto Ontario - Zone 5b. The tree is hill facing north, it gets full sun in the morning and late afternoon/evening with a mix of dappled and full shade during midday/early afternoon. Currently a scrubby willow will protect it from too much sun and wind, but the willow is on it's last legs.

    The nursery expert said it was a hardy, unusual tree that will love our locale. There doesn't appear to be much information about the Purple Robe on the net, other than it's a big tree with pretty flowers. Any experiences about this tree would be much appreciated....vc
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Patented in 1964, quite common by the 90s. Like other locusts, it can be brittle. Shouldn't need any shade. Search USPTO web site by PP2,454 for detailed description, if interested.
     
  3. vcallinan

    vcallinan Active Member

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    Thanks Rob, the search for PP2,454 on the USPTO site wasn't successful. Any tips on bringing it up?
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  5. vcallinan

    vcallinan Active Member

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    Thanks Rob, got it!
     
  6. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    I've grown 'Purple Robe' both on the Valley
    floor and in the mountains near Yosemite.

    I have not seen the suckering from this
    tree that Locusts in other areas can have.
    The amount of light for your tree is really
    no different than what mine gets in the
    mountains. Yes, the wood is brittle but
    as long as the tree gets some cold and
    wind protection the wood only becomes
    an issue on end branches of dormant
    wood that is easily (a ladder will come
    in real handy) pruned out and then new
    growth can regenerate from the live wood.
    In cold regions this tree can be slow to
    grow at first until the roots adapt. Mine
    at a higher elevation just sat in the ground
    for four years and then started growing.
    The only other concern is that the roots
    can be invasive so we try to plant these
    a nice, safe distance from any homes or
    any other dwellings. Aphids can be a
    minor nuisance depending on your area
    right before and during when these are
    in bloom. In more temperate areas with
    some soil alkalinity issues we will see
    more chlorosis to the leaves on average
    than cooler, more acid soils, areas will
    generally see. The longer blooming period
    than other similar Locusts and the coloring
    of the flowers makes this one of the better
    ones to grow and have.

    Jim
     
  7. vcallinan

    vcallinan Active Member

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    Sorry to take so long thanking you, Jim - your information is very helpful, as always. The tree seems to be taking to it's new location extremely well, there was no dieback at all. Thanks again.
     
  8. alisonmurray

    alisonmurray New Member

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    Re purple robe locust

    I live in cambridge ont and two years ago planted a purple robe locust, My gran from Scotland used to tell me about how beautiful they were. She was right.This is the second year and it has tripled in size. It was 10ft high with three little sticks off the main branch it is now at least twenty feet high and 15 ft wide. I have it near my house so it doesn't get wind. I have had no breakage as it is protected. It is the most beautiful tree I have in my yard, lovely blooms in late spring and very airy in the summer. It seems to like water in the dry part of the summer but I read that this was only till it established itself. I'm thinking of buying another for the bottom of my yard but was worried about the wind. where did you buy yours I'm having troble getting another one

    Alison
     
  9. corky163

    corky163 Member

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    Hi allisonmurray.... I live in KW - Have you found a retailer who deals with this tree. Looking to find/purchase one but have not had any success.

    Also - does this tree have thorns similar to the black locust or bear any type of fruit?
     
  10. bdeakins

    bdeakins Member

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    Location:
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    I live in Boise Idaho and I have two purple robe locust which I planted 4 years ago. They have grown quite quickly and are approximately 30 ft high. They are beautiful in the spring but this time of year (August) many of the leaves suddenly turn yellow and fall off causing quite a mess. Following this time, the small, spiny branches where the leaves were seem to die and fall off causing another mess. So, the question is, do I need to do something to prevent this from happening? The soil here is very clayish and high in alkiline. Has anyone else had this experience and what did you do to solve it other then replace them with less messy trees? -bdeakins
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Check watering, they may be drying out.
     
  12. bdeakins

    bdeakins Member

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    Thanks Ron. They do seem to get plenty of water. -bdeakins
     
  13. C in Mississauga

    C in Mississauga Member

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    I live in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and two years ago we planted a Purple Robe Locust in our back yard. Were amazed and delighted with the beautiful fragrant blossoms. This year it's rapid growth triggered some alarm when we began to find a number of tiny sprouts in our back yard, which were connected to many foot long roots. We had not been advised of this potential by our nursery, so inquired and realized that this tree could soon be a problem in our 52' width suburban back garden. In addition we are bordering on a newly naturalized city path way on two sides of our property.

    We decided to uproot the tree and destroy it. Now, three weeks later, I have discovered multiple sprouts interconnecting back and forth across my lawn with 1 1/2" diameter roots.

    In order to eradicate this plant from my property, and potentially the city's, I will be excavating as many roots as possible now and digging them up for the foreseeable future. Does any one know if this the the surest and most expedient way of managing this situation?
     
  14. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    Location:
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    Robinia is very throughly naturalized in Southern Ontario anyway. Your effort to keep it out of the city's naturalized path is commendable but not really worth the effort. If you really want to eliminate the tree, treat the root sprouts with Round-Up (painted on so as not to kill the surrounding vegatation). With your current method, everytime you cut and remove a portion of root, you're stimulating any remaining root in the ground to generate its own sprouts. Judicious cutting of the sprouts will also work but take longer....both are easier then digging out an entire root system.

    Robinia sp. are known for the suckering habits and are good colonizers on disturbed sites because of that. They are also somewhat intolerant of shade so tend not to spread into sites with an already established tree canopy. They have their place, perhaps not in a small suburban lot though.
     
  15. WestieW1

    WestieW1 Member

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    I'm having the same problem with my Idaho locust. It has too many yellow leaves for this time of year Aug/Sept. None of my other trees' leaves have even started turning yet.What is the problem and how do I correct it?
     
  16. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Check soil moisture.
     
  17. WestieW1

    WestieW1 Member

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    Thanks, Ron B. I'm located in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah and we've had an unusual amount of rain this year, but I'll try running the hose at a very small trickle for a while around the tree. I did note that the yellowed leaves have dark spots on them. Is that an indicator of something else??
    Thanks all!!
     

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