Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2004
Publication Date: October 1, 2005
Citation: Burner, D.M., Pote, D.H., Ares, A. 2005. Potential of Gleditsia triacanthos f. inermis and Robinia pseudoacacia for livestock browse: biomass and foliar nutritive value. In: Multipurpose Trees in the Tropics: Management & Improvement Strategies. Arid Forest Research Institute, Jodhpur, India. Proceedings. pp. 399-406. Technical Abstract: The browse potential of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) and thornless honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos f. inermis) needs further study. Our objective was to determine effects of fertilization and pollard height on biomass and foliar nutritive value in separate studies of black locust and thornless honey locust in Arkansas, USA. Shoots were sampled monthly for two consecutive growing seasons to determine foliar and shoot biomass, shoot basal diameter, and foliar nutritive value. Black locust yielded more foliar biomass when pollarded at 50- or 100-cm (above ground) and fertilized with 600 kg P/ha, than at 5-cm with or without P, averaging 3.5 Mg dry matter/ha. Foliar and shoot biomass (B) of black locust was best estimated from basal shoot diameter (D) by the function B =aD**b. Allometry of foliar biomass was affected by harvest date but not by pollard height or P fertilization. Allometry of shoot biomass was unaffected by harvest date, pollard height, or P fertilization. Black locust foliar crude protein and digestibility (>170 and 534 g/kg, respectively) decreased as leaves aged, but still met or exceeded maintenance needs for beef cattle (Bos taurus). Thornless honey locust had less agronomic potential than black locust because of slow establishment, low foliar biomass (250 kg/ha), and a 2% reversion to undesirable thorny phenotype. Allometric relationships were not examined for thornless honey locust because of its poor performance. Black locust should be considered for livestock browse when drought induces semi-dormancy of herbaceous forages.