Honey locust with decline


Active Member
Hi all, so I’m in SE Wisconsin, I had a client call about her dying ash tree and found this honey locust with quite a bit of dieback and thinning. I saw a small amount of root damage, but nothing I would attribute to this much dieback to...does anyone have thoughts on this. In my observations, honey locust are some of the most hardy trees i come across...thanks as always for any help!



Well-Known Member
Yeah, looks like quite a bit of lawnmower damage. Honey locusts here in Nebraska are always like that... in need of pruning and deadwooding if you want to keep them looking nice. Lots of scrambling around, but usually plenty of high TIPs to help, unlike those nasty Siberian Elm trees. Locusts barberchair if you just look at them crosseyed during the cut. To me, that one looks pretty typical of what we see around here, maybe a bit worse from the lawnmower damage.

"Ash tree? No, it's a Honey Locust. No, that one is not a pine tree, it's a Juniper. No, that's not an Oak tree, it's a Maple. No, that's a Boxelder, not a Walnut. Look, can we discuss what needs to be done, and worry about the game of musical tree species some other time?"
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Most well-known member
Is it dieback or just defoliation? Plantbug-leafhopper complex can do it as can honeylocust mite which emerges very early.

Those surface roots are susceptible to repeated broadleaf herbicide applications to the lawn over the years as well.

Can't tell but thyronectria canker can go after locusts when stressed as well.

Get a big ass mulch bed around that dude.
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Very stable member
Find out what kind of herbicide the lawn is being treated with. Could be Metsulfuron-methyl damage. The unnaturally green and weed free lawn around the tree and the rest of the yard may be a telling point.


Active Member
Thanks for the help guys! I'll ask some more questions and see if I can get to the bottom of this. It's pretty rare to see an unhealthy honey locust around here so I'm pretty curious to see about finding out what's up here.