Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)

Honey locust is a deciduous, spiny tree. It spreads rapidly from seed. Abundant in Namoi and Upper Peel River catchment areas.

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How does this weed affect you?

Honey locust spreads rapidly from seed capable of out-competing and replacing native vegetation. The plant can form dense thickets, particularly along waterways, preventing stock access to water. The sharp barbs on its branches can also injure wildlife.

What does it look like?

Honey locust is a deciduous tree up to 20m tall with distinctive spines on its trunk. Originally grown as a garden plant or fodder tree. 

Leaves are in the form of leaflets which are soft to touch. Distinctive spines growing from the trunk and limbs can be more than 5 cm long.

It flowers during October – November when the creamy, yellow flower stalks hang down then produce long brown pods. 

Where is it found?

Honey locust infestations occur in many regions of NSW including along the coast from the Queensland border to Greater Sydney; along the Northern and Central tablelands and also in the North West and Central West regions. 

It is native to North America.

It is often found growing along waterways.

Maps and records

  • Recorded presence of Honey locust during property inspections (Map: Biosecurity Information System - Weeds, 2017-2022)
    These records are made by authorised officers during property inspections under the Biosecurity Act 2015. Officers record the presence of priority weeds in their council area and provide this to the NSW Department of Primary Industries. Records reflect the presence of the weed on the date of inspection.

  • Estimated distribution of Honey locust in NSW (Map: NSW Noxious Weed Local Control Authorities, 2010)
    Map shows weed distribution and density estimated by local council weeds officers in 2010.

How does it spread?

Honey locust spreads by seeds being washed downstream.

More information

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Control

Herbicide options

WARNING - ALWAYS READ THE LABEL
Users of agricultural or veterinary chemical products must always read the label and any permit, before using the product, and strictly comply with the directions on the label and the conditions of any permit. Users are not absolved from compliance with the directions on the label or the conditions of the permit by reason of any statement made or not made in this information. To view permits or product labels go to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority website www.apvma.gov.au

See Using herbicides for more information.


Fluroxypyr 200 g/L (Comet® 200 herbicide)
Rate: 500 mL per 100L of water
Comments: Foliar application, up to 2 m in height.
Withholding period: Do not graze failed crops and treated pastures or cut for stock feed for 7 days after application. See label for further information.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Fluroxypyr 200 g/L (Comet® 200 herbicide)
Rate: 1.5 L per 100 L of diesel
Comments: Basal bark application. Plants up to 10 cm basal diameter.
Withholding period: Do not graze failed crops and treated pastures or cut for stock feed for 7 days after application. See label for further information.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Fluroxypyr 200 g/L (Comet® 200 herbicide)
Rate: 3 L per 100 L of diesel
Comments: Basal bark application. Plants 10–20 cm basal diameter.
Withholding period: Do not graze failed crops and treated pastures or cut for stock feed for 7 days after application. See label for further information.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Fluroxypyr 200 g/L (Comet® 200 herbicide)
Rate: 5 L per 100 L of diesel
Comments: Basal bark application. Plants above 20 cm basal diameter.
Withholding period: Do not graze failed crops and treated pastures or cut for stock feed for 7 days after application. See label for further information.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Fluroxypyr 200 g/L (Comet® 200 herbicide)
Rate: 5 L per 100 L of diesel
Comments: Cut stump application.
Withholding period: Do not graze failed crops and treated pastures or cut for stock feed for 7 days after application. See label for further information.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Fluroxypyr 333 g/L (Starane™ Advanced)
Rate: 300 mL per 100L of water
Comments: Foliar application, up to 2 m in height.
Withholding period: Do not graze failed crops and treated pastures or cut for stock food for 7 days after application. See label for more information.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Fluroxypyr 333 g/L (Starane™ Advanced)
Rate: 900 mL per 100 L of diesel
Comments: Basal bark application. Plants up to 10 cm basal diameter.
Withholding period: Do not graze failed crops and treated pastures or cut for stock food for 7 days after application. See label for more information.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Fluroxypyr 333 g/L (Starane™ Advanced)
Rate: 1.8 L per 100 L of diesel
Comments: Basal bark application. Plants 10–20 cm basal diameter.
Withholding period: Do not graze failed crops and treated pastures or cut for stock food for 7 days after application. See label for more information.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Fluroxypyr 333 g/L (Starane™ Advanced)
Rate: 3 L per 100 L of diesel
Comments: Basal bark application. Plants above 20 cm basal diameter.
Withholding period: Do not graze failed crops and treated pastures or cut for stock food for 7 days after application. See label for more information.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Fluroxypyr 333 g/L (Starane™ Advanced)
Rate: 3 L per 100 L of diesel
Comments: Cut stump application.
Withholding period: Do not graze failed crops and treated pastures or cut for stock food for 7 days after application. See label for more information.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Picloram 44.7 g/L + Aminopyralid 4.47 g/L (Vigilant II ®)
Rate: Undiluted
Comments: Cut stump application: Apply a 3–5 mm layer of gel for stems less than 20 mm. Apply 5 mm layer on stems above 20 mm. Stem inject application for trees: Make a series of cuts 15-20 mm deep around the trunk using an axe or saw. Space cuts evenly with no more than a 20-40 mm gap between them. Apply a 5 mm layer of gel over the lower surface of the cut.
Withholding period: Nil.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Triclopyr 240 g/L + Picloram 120 g/L (Access™ )
Rate: 1 L per 60 L of diesel (or biodiesel such as Biosafe).
Comments: Basal bark application for plants with stems less than 5 cm diameter at the base. Liberally spray the bark around the stem from ground level to 30 cm high, wetting thoroughly to the point of runoff. Cut stump application for plants with stems over 5 cm in diameter. See label for information about using biodiesel.
Withholding period: Nil
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


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Biosecurity duty

The content provided here is for information purposes only and is taken from the Biosecurity Act 2015 and its subordinate legislation, and the Regional Strategic Weed Management Plans (published by each Local Land Services region in NSW). It describes the state and regional priorities for weeds in New South Wales, Australia.

Area Duty
All of NSW General Biosecurity Duty
All plants are regulated with a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk they may pose. Any person who deals with any plant, who knows (or ought to know) of any biosecurity risk, has a duty to ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable.
Central Tablelands
Exclusion zone: whole region except for the core infestation area of the Capertree Valley and Orange urban areas
Regional Recommended Measure* (for Regional Priority - Containment)
Whole region: The plant should not be bought, sold, grown, carried or released into the environment. Exclusion zone: The plant should be eradicated from the land and the land kept free of the plant. Land managers should mitigate the risk of the plant being introduced to their land. Core infestation area: Land managers should mitigate spread from their land. Land managers reduce impacts from the plant on priority assets.
Central West Regional Recommended Measure* (for Regional Priority - Asset Protection)
Land managers should mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land. Land managers should mitigate spread from their land. The plant should not be bought, sold, grown, carried or released into the environment.
Hunter Regional Recommended Measure* (for Regional Priority - Asset Protection)
Land managers should mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land. Land managers should mitigate spread from their land. The plant should not be bought, sold, grown, carried or released into the environment. Land managers reduce impacts from the plant on priority assets.
North Coast
Exclusion zone: whole region excluding the core infestation area of Richmond Valley Council, Ballina Shire Council, Clarence Valley Council (Mann catchment), Lismore Council, Kyogle Council, Byron Shire Council and Tweed Shire Council
Regional Recommended Measure* (for Regional Priority - Containment)
Whole region: The plant or parts of the plant should not be traded, carried, grown or released into the environment. Exclusion zone: The plant should be eradicated from the land and the land kept free of the plant. Land managers should mitigate the risk of the plant being introduced to their land. Core infestation area: Land managers should reduce impacts from the plant on priority assets.
North West
An exclusion zone is established for all lands in the region, except the core infestation area comprising the Gunnedah Shire council; Narrabri Shire council and Tamworth Regional council
Regional Recommended Measure* (for Regional Priority - Containment)
Whole of region: The plant should not be bought, sold, grown, carried or released into the environment. Exclusion zone: Land managers should mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land; the plant should be eradicated from the land and the land kept free of the plant. Core infestation: Land managers reduce impacts from the plant on priority assets
Northern Tablelands Regional Recommended Measure* (for Regional Priority - Containment)
Land managers should mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land. Land managers should mitigate spread from their land. The plant should not be bought, sold, grown, carried or released into the environment. Notify local control authority if found.
*To see the Regional Strategic Weeds Management Plans containing demonstrated outcomes that fulfil the general biosecurity duty for this weed click here

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For technical advice and assistance with identification please contact your local council weeds officer.
For further information call the NSW DPI Biosecurity Helpline on 1800 680 244 or send an email to weeds@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Reviewed 2022