I have no experience with honey locust personally, but I have heard that the seed pods are like candy. But what do you mean by "thorny locust"? because the thorns on a honey locust are just crazy.
Gotcha, I am not sure what the odds are on the seedlings remaining thornless, genetics is not my strong suit. But if I was gonna plant a smallish native tree for wildlife I would just plant persimmon seeds. But if you want some honey locust go for it. They are some cool trees.
I've had great luck with a mix of triclopyr and diesel fuel sprayed on the trunk. If the bark is "skin like" and not scaly it will work without ringing. Much faster than squeezing around them with a chainsaw in hand and you don't get a medusa of sprouts along the drip-line. Kills the whole root system. In the vast number of them I have to fight I target ones that make seed first. Anything too small to make pods gets left until the next time through. Stop the spread first.I'm not familiar with Thornless Honey Locusts, but my farm has both Thorned Honey Locust and Black Locust. They spread like nobody's business, and you can't just cut them down b/c they will then grow as suckers off the root stock, let alone the main stump. Currently, we are girdling and spraying the cuts on everyone we run across which is everywhere. My grandfather stopped cutting the farm's fields about 20 years ago, and all of our pastures are becoming a mix of cedar and locust trees. My uncle was just cutting them down without spraying, and he started a mess that we are now having to correct.
Your cousin is correct, the deer and birds eat the pods. In our case, the bad outweighs the good of food - there is plenty of other good trees such as oaks, persimmons, chinquapins, etc that aren't a problem like locust trees.
We have sprayed the trunks as well. We are using Remedy and Diesel mix. Just from our observations the ringing/girdling along with the spray works quicker than spraying alone. We are still cutting down ones that are in the roads/areas we want to drive a truck or tractor, and spraying the stump. We've had success with both of these options.
We have zero success with just straight cutting them down, or girdling without the chemical spray.
Between the locust trees, sericea lespedesa, fescue, multifloral rose, and eastern red cedar, we are having a blast *eye roll*. We will most likely never be able to completely abolish all the invasive species (native and non-native) as we butt up against unmanaged public land. Our goal is more akin to selected management, keep the "unwanteds" out of areas we are managing, and letting nature do her thing in all other areas.
We use Tordon the same way. Just apply it to the smooth bark of a tree.I've had great luck with a mix of triclopyr and diesel fuel sprayed on the trunk. If the bark is "skin like" and not scaly it will work without ringing. Much faster than squeezing around them with a chainsaw in hand and you don't get a medusa of sprouts along the drip-line. Kills the whole root system. In the vast number of them I have to fight I target ones that make seed first. Anything too small to make pods gets left until the next time through. Stop the spread first.
If you ever find yourself out and about with a bottle of Tordon and stumble upon a yucca, we have had success pouring it in the center of the crown and get a pretty good kill.Great info in this thread. Going to get after my honey locusts shortly armed with info from here. Nasty suckers.
Found this link on controlling yuccas which I am also blessed with lol. Going to mix this triclopyr up with diesel and commence to killing yuccas and locusts come May.