Posted by: Lisa Pampuch | April 14, 2007

A decidely mixed blessing

This tree, which I believe is an Idaho Locust (Robinia ambigua), was planted in 1996 when my neighborhood was developed, and at the behest of the city – it’s a street tree.

Except for the few weeks – like now – in spring when it blooms, I despise this tree. It has thorny branches that want to cross and and thorny, vigorous, abundant suckers, both of which require lots of pruning. It sheds leaves all year round, not just in the fall, making a mess all year round.

I’m not alone in my feelings about this tree. Despite the city’s rules against it, most of my neighbors have removed these trees from the parking strip.

But, when it is in bloom, heavily laden with clusters of deep pink blossoms that hang from its branches like bunches of grapes, I have to admit, it is spectacular.

Idaho Locust bloom

Idaho Locust branches

Idaho Locust tree



  1. […] is the tree about which I was ambiguous, appropriately enough. Here’s a last look at it in what turned out to be its final […]

  2. Why take down a tree? It sits on the street, not in the back yard. But I guess its society today- if it doesnt “fit” the profile of easy, then its removed 😦
    It is a nice tree- I have two of them planted out of the way where cleanup is easy if it happens, but in full view for everyone to see that drives by

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