Plant Encyclopedia

Shademaster Honeylocust

Gleditsia tricanthos inermis ‘Shademaster’

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Shademaster Honeylocust, large tree with tiny green leaflets

Discover More Information On Shademaster Honeylocust

For those wanting the perfect lawn tree, you may find it with the Shademaster Honeylocust (Gleditsia tricanthos inermis ‘Shademaster’). This tree species will grow into a beautiful rounded shape, and it produces green leaves throughout the summer. Once the fall season arrives, those leaves turn into a golden-yellow color. With widely spaced branches and small leaves, this tree adds some attractive shade to your landscape. However, the darkness is not too deep that grass or other plantings cannot grow under the tree.

Plant Attributes

The Shademaster Honeylocust is known for its dark green foliage throughout the year. Its pinnately compound leaves turn to a beautiful yellow hue during the fall. This tree does not produce any fruit or flowers.

Honeylocust trees are native to North America, and they are chosen for their hardiness in most conditions. The Shademaster variety is hardier than most trees, and they do not have large seed pods or sharp thorns like other honeylocusts.

Other shade trees will produce dense foliage that needs to be cleaned up in the fall. However, with the small leaves, this tree does not create a substantial leaf drop in the autumn. When you do need to clean up, don’t expect to break out the rakes.

Landscape Use

The Shademaster Honeylocust is a popular shade tree known for its delicate, fern-like appearance that can cast a dappled shade. This species is an open deciduous tree with an upright spreading habit of growth. With its fine texture, the tree will make a great accent feature for any landscape. The Shademaster is bred to be extra hardy, and it can adapt to several types of environments. Since it is not affected by street pollution, soot, or salt, this tree is also an excellent choice if you need to add a landscaping element to a busy street.

Planting & Care

When it reaches full maturity, the honeylocust tree will grow to about 45 feet tall and spread to 40 feet. Since the canopy of foliage sits high above the ground, these trees are not the ideal species to plant underneath power lines. As the tree matures, the lower branches can be removed to create a canopy for traffic underneath the tree. This honeylocust will grow at a fast rate. Under the best conditions, the honeylocust tree will live up to 70 years or more.

This tree needs to be grown in full sunlight, and it can adapt to both moist and dry areas. In most situations, these trees will do fine under the typical home conditions. The Shademaster Honeylocust is not particular to any pH or soil types, and it can handle environmental salt. In city environments, this tree species is tolerant of urban pollution.

This Shademaster Honeylocust is a low-maintenance tree, and it is best pruned in the late winter once the severe weather threat has passed. Some of these trees will grow as central leaders, but other trees will need pruning to develop upright and codominant branches. When you form the tree in an upright manner, it is more desirable for parking lots and street plantings. You should train the branches when they are young. The tree must be developed into a central trunk with vertical, spreading branches spaced several feet apart from the trunk. Pruning can help with the development, and these prunings should be spaced several years apart. Damage from winter storms can also be prevented with proper pruning techniques.

Additional Information

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Shademaster Honeylocust


This fast-growing shade tree will make a perfect addition to a sunny backyard or other landscape. Since it has tiny leaflets, this tree does not cast dark or heavy shade like other large tree species. Those small leaflets allow you to make fall cleanup less of a hassle. Many of the leaves will blow away or decompose into mulch. Unlike other honeylocusts, this cultivar does not produce seeds or thorns. When you need a unique shade tree for your outdoor spaces, make sure to choose the Shademaster Honeylocust.

At Arbor Valley Nursery, you can find this species of honeylocust. The Shademaster Honeylocust is a popular tree for many landscapers. If you want to purchase this variety or want to find another tree for your landscape, make sure to contact us. We are here to answer all your questions about trees, shrubs, and plants. For those who want to learn more about our inventory, please fill out the contact form.

Plant Features

  • Botanical Name: Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis ‘Shademaster’
  • Mature Height: 50 – 75 feet
  • Mature Spread: 25 – 40 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Partial Shade
  • Soil Type: Widely Adaptable
  • Moisture: Moderate, then Low
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Foliage: Deciduous
  • Foliage Color: Green
  • Fall Color: Yellow
  • Pollinator Friendly: Yes

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