Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis ‘Shademaster’ – Shademaster Honeylocust
Botanical Name: Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis ‘Shademaster’
The Shademaster Honeylocust is a cultivar of the Honey Locust, Gleditsia triacanthos. This tree is found growing naturally in the eastern and mid-western United States. Gleditsia is named after a director of the botanical gardens in Berlin in the eighteenth century, Johann Gottlieb Gleditsch.
The name of the variety ‘Inermis’ means thornless. ‘Shademaster’ is a very popular thornless Honey Locust cultivar for planting as a shade tree in lawns. The very fine foliage allows some sunlight through to keep the turf healthy, while still providing dappled shade in landscapes. It is a seedless, deciduous tree with a rounded shape and an upright growth habit, growing to a height of 40-45 feet with a spread of 35-40 feet.
The leaves of the Shademaster Honeylocust are pinnately or bipinnately compound and a deep, rich green color. The ovate-shape leaflets grow up to 0.5 to 1.5 inches long. The spring flowers are inconspicuous and don’t contribute to the beauty of the tree.
This Honey Locust thrives in full sun. It is a tough and versatile tree that can adapt to many different soil types and pH conditions. It will flourish in urban environments – as a street tree, in a residential landscape, or in a park. It tolerates drought and pollution, as well as salt. ‘Shademaster’ will need training as a young tree to help develop a central leader.