False Acacia – Robinia pseudoacacia (Fabaceae)

Tree of the Week

10th April 2019 | Danny

Common Name: False Acacia

Scientific Name: Robinia pseudoacacia (Fabaceae)

False Acacia is a medium-sized deciduous tree that can grow up to 30 metres tall.


Leaves: The leaves are alternate and pinnate with 3-10 pairs of green-yellow oval leaflets growing up to 20cm long. Leaf stalks often have pronounced spines at their base.

Bark: Young trees have smooth bark that is a rich brown colour. As the trees mature the bark becomes deeply fissured with scaly ridges and grey-brown in colour.


False Acacia produce white, pea-like flowers with a yellow blotch in the centre. Flowers are strongly scented. They hang in clusters of up to 20cm long. Long seed pods around 8 cm long, containing 4-10 seeds. Spreads by suckers, less so by seed.


Native to North America. Brought to Europe in the 17th century as an ornamental tree and a source of timber.

Ecological importance

False Acacia is not particularly valuable to wildlife. However, the seeds do provide food for birds and squirrels. Birds may nest in the trunks of old trees as they are often infected by heart rot.

Associated pests & disorders

False Acacia Rust Mite

These mites are often responsible for extensive damage to nursery and specimen trees. Infestations cause shoots and branches to develop a dull, sticky appearance and the leaves to pucker and roll.

False Acacia may also be affected by a variety of root and butt rot fungi as well as Phytophthora.

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