I began my travels by making a loop, going down Market Street to 17th, turning North towards JFK Boulevard, proceeded back West on the boulevard to City Hall, and began walking south on 15th.  After crossing back over Market Street, I found myself staring at a strip of Honey Locust trees situated closely to the street:

Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)

The Honey locust tree is mostly found in the moist soils of river valleys, east of South Dakota.  It is primarily native to central North America.  The trees can reach a height of 60’-80’ with some growing as high as 100’ in height.  The leaves are pinnately compound on the more mature trees, but bipinnately compound on newly planted, younger trees.  They are relatively small, growing 1”-2” in size and change from a bright green color in the spring to a yellow coloring in the fall.The trees feature flat legume pods that mature during the early fall months.  An easy way to identify the trees is via the thorns which grow out of their branches.  The thorns can grow up to 10 cm in length, and can be single or branched into various points.  The more mature the tree is the more brittle and tough the thorns become.  They are considered to be popular ornamental plants, which is why they are found throughout the city, as they adapt and thrive greatly in poor site conditions.  They greatly tolerate urban conditions, including compacted soils, salts from the roads, and climactic changes.  These trees align 15th street south of City Hall and provide shade for the numerous street cars and vendors that set up everyday! 

My journey next takes me down Chestnut Street in both directions; each of which will be displayed in the next two entries, stay tuned!

-JoeGal

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