Honey Locust

A significant problem with using Woodfinder is that many vendors are listed for woods that, upon further investigation, they do not offer.  I don’t know if perhaps once they did and they didn’t update their listings or if some vendors use a standardized list of woods that include most everything conceivable with the idea that once you land on their page you will find something you want to buy even if you didn’t know it beforehand.  It happens to me all the time!

Uses

In its native range, there is a specialty market for Honey Locust furniture but this is not likely to be exported outside the native range of the tree.

Honey Locust is also used in its native range for utility purposes, including fence posts because of its resistance to rot.

Honey Locust is favored, again almost exclusively within its native range, for small specialty turned objects such as pens and bowls crafted by hobbyists.

Aside from the value of the wood, the seeds from the prolific seed pods are a favored food source for many domestic and wild grazing animals.

Historically, the legume pulp found inside the pods was used as a sweet food by Native Americans.  They were also able to brew a type of beer from this sweet pulp.

Sustainability

Honey Locust is not listed as being in any way threatened or endangered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendices nor does it appear on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Honey Locust is not subject to special restrictions by any United States government agency.

I realize that inherent in working with wood is the killing of a part of the natural world that may be slow to return and if I become deeply concerned about this fact, I will have to find a new hobby.  I hope that such a time does not come to pass or at least not any time soon.  I am also very confident that the vendor from whom I purchased my stocks of Honey Locust sourced their material legally and responsibly.  In part because I am concerned about legally and responsibly obtained wood, I am reluctant to buy from sellers outside of well-established and known vendors.  I am highly unlikely, for example, to purchase exotic wood from auction sites, such as Ebay, because of uncertain sourcing and documentation, as well as the potential, even likelihood, of material being misidentified in order to achieve a higher selling price.

Reverse Small Honey Locust Bowl

Reverse Small Honey Locust Bowl

However, due to the commercial scarcity of some domestic woods, resorting to auction sites such as Ebay or Etsy may be the only way to obtain some desirable domestic, or in some cases exotic imported, species that are not routinely commercially harvested.  The potential risks of buying in these marketplaces have to be balanced against the desire to work with a specific species of wood.  That is inherently an individual decision.

I also realize that many, if not most, wood workers do not have endangered species lists memorized, therefore I think it worthwhile and important to do even a small amount of research before purchasing any lumber, domestic as well as imported, to be certain of the potential impact you are having, even in a small way, on threatened or endangered populations.  This information is easy to come by and takes only minutes to locate through any Internet search engine, including those you can access on your phone as you are standing in the lumber yard or store.  Unfortunately, you simply cannot count on a vendor to tell you a product they are selling is endangered.

Health Hazards

No specific allergic or other negative health reactions have been documented in response to exposure to Honey Locust wood or dust.