ABOUT ACACIA WOOD
Robinia pseudoacacia is a medium-sized deciduous tree native to the southeastern United States
The wood is extremely hard, being one of the hardest woods in Northern America. It is very resistant to rot, and durable, making it prized for furniture, flooring, paneling, fence posts, and small watercraft. Wet, newly cut planks have an offensive odor which disappears with seasoning. Black locust is still in use in some rustic handrail systems.
In the Netherlands and some other parts of Europe, black locust is one of the most rot-resistant local trees, and projects have started to limit the use of tropical wood by promoting this tree and creating plantations. Flavonoids in the heartwood allow the wood to last over 100 years in soil. As a young man, Abraham Lincoln spent much of his time splitting rails and fence posts from black locust logs.
Black locust is highly valued as firewood for wood-burning stoves; it burns slowly, with little visible flame or smoke, and has a higher heat content than any other species that grows widely in the Eastern United States, comparable to the heat content of anthracite. For best results, it should be seasoned like any other hardwood, but black locust is also popular because of its ability to burn even when wet. In fireplaces, it can be less satisfactory because knots and beetle damage make the wood prone to "spitting" coals for distances of up to several feet. If the black locust is cut, split, and cured while relatively young (within 10 years), thus minimizing beetle damage, "spitting" problems are minimal.
Locust railing In 1900, the value of Robinia pseudoacacia was reported to be practically destroyed in nearly all parts of the United States beyond the mountain forests which are its home by locust borers which riddle the trunk and branches. Were it not for these insects, it would be one of the most valuable timber trees that could be planted in the northern and middle states. Young trees grow quickly and vigorously for a number of years, but soon become stunted and diseased, and rarely live long enough to attain any commercial value.