Almost everyone knows what white acacia looks like. And, despite the fact that in fact this plant belongs to the genus Robinia and has only a distant relationship with real acacias, the name is deeply rooted in the people than the real one. Because often this plant is also called robinia pseudoacacia or robinia pseudoacacia, as well as common robinia.
General Description of White Acacia
The birthplace of white acacia is North America, but now it is also found in Latin America, New Zealand, Africa, Australia and Europe. At the beginning of the 19th century, the seeds of this plant were imported into Russia, and already in 1859 the first publication on the beneficial properties of white acacia was published.
At home, the white acacia tree can reach 30 meters in height and about one and a half meters in diameter of the trunk. Spreading crown at the same time, may be twice as wide as a tree. The "umbrella" shape of the crown indicates that the plant is a savannah, adapted to a large amount of sun and a dry wind blowing from its side. With a thick landing of acacia, such a crown turns into a one-sided one, since one of its parts lacks light. And, of course, white acacia is very resistant to drought, otherwise it would not have survived in the savannah.
The combination of two properties such as drought and frost resistance makes this plant almost the most popular for parkland in the steppe zones of Russia and Ukraine. White acacia is even a symbol of the city of Odessa.
An ordinary role was played by the common robinia in 1930-50, when it was used to create forest shelterbelts. The powerful root system of the plant helped to prevent massive soil erosion, which was then threatened by plowing.
Robinia is also resistant to polluted, gassed urban air, and industrial emissions. It is this property that makes it the main "street" tree. White acacia survives even in heavily polluted centers of Russian large cities such as Moscow. Moreover, they even bloom successfully in such conditions.
In particular, this plant is an excellent honey plant. Bees are able to collect 400-600 kg of honey per hectare of robinia plantings. Acacia honey has a greenish-yellow color with a mild odor that does not tend to be sugared even with long-term storage.
But you should know that acacia berries are poisonous and inedible for livestock.
Landing and care
Since robinia are quite resistant and unpretentious plants, growing them is quite simple. Only two conditions are important - the abundance of the sun and the lack of groundwater in the place chosen for planting. If your site is located in a swamp or in a forest, then you will have to give up the idea of growing acacia.
White acacia is propagated by root offspring, as well as seeds. Moreover, the second method does not require as much time as it seems at first glance. First, before planting, seeds need to be treated with boiling water: put seeds prepared for planting in it for 5-10 seconds, and then tossed into cold water. This is done so that the outer shell of the seed cracked and they swell.
Seeds processed in this way should be sown immediately. This can be done in April in a box or in May in a greenhouse. For the growth of good seedlings, a high temperature of up to 20 degrees is required, and they must live in a cold spring in a greenhouse with small bushes of tomatoes. In the early to mid-June, plants are planted on a separate lighted bed.
Everyone knows that robinia are a bean plant, and therefore are in good symbiosis with bacteria that metabolize nitrogen from the air. Therefore, some gardeners believe that the plant does not need fertilizers. In general, if the seedlings are left on a starvation diet, they will still survive and even grow by 10-15 cm by the fall. But they will have to be grown for at least another two years. But few people want to wait these two years, do they?
For a good preparation of seedlings you need to prepare the soil well. Legumes are very fond of alkaline soil, therefore it is recommended to add a lot of compost to it and add ash. When planting seedlings between them, it is necessary to maintain a sufficient distance, the planting size should be equal to 30 * 30 cm. Young plants require regular watering, complex fertilizer, weeding weeds. If the summer is warm, then already in the fall many seedlings will be meter in height, and some will even give lateral branches. Such trees will already be ready for transplanting to a permanent place, but still you should not rush, it is better to wait for spring.
Propagation using root offspring is somewhat easier, but the same productive effect is not observed. To do this, dig a rhizome with a young plant and transplant it to a new place.
There is a third method of reproduction, quite effective - propagation by root cuttings. For him, in early May or in the middle of this month, you need to carefully dig out a few lateral roots of an adult plant. The diameter of the handle should be 5 mm of the upper part, and the length should be 20-25 cm. Small side roots cannot be removed. The selected root piece should be inclined to plant in a nutritious loose substrate. The upper section of the root should be sprinkled with crushed coal and placed at the level of the soil surface.
The magic of flowering acacia
If the weather is warm and humid, then new shoots will appear in 2-3 weeks.
All robinias must be transplanted in the spring, until the buds open. It is also impossible to squeeze the white acacia too deep, since there is a danger of aging. The ideal soil for this plant would be a combination of sand and compost with the addition of ash, dolomite flour, crushed limestone or slaked lime. We recommend reading material on plants with colored bark.