Black Locust Uses Guide: from Paving to Decking

April 23, 2024

Black Locust wood uses guide for all decking and paving projects with case studies and examples.

Did you know that Black Locust wood was used by pioneers to build ships, houses, and fence posts? Pioneers knew well enough to use a hardwood material that outshines all wood types due to its natural durability and hardness: Black Locust wood. Yet, Black Locust uses have never attained commercial status until today. In our Black Locust Wood Uses Guide you will learn all about this up-and-coming hardwood in modern sustainable paving and decking projects. 

Black Locust wood uses are meant for the exterior

Black Locust wood uses deserve to shine in exterior spaces. Black Locust lumber has an outstanding 50+ years of natural longevity without the use of ANY toxic chemicals. It is a type of wood that stays durable and has actually low maintenance needs when left natural. Take a look at this case study comparing Black Locust wood maintenance needs when treated with oils and when left natural. When left natural, the surface of the wood weathers and develops a beautiful silvery-gray patina which will have no effect on the durability of the wood itself. The silvery color of the natural wood is generally loved by architects and landscape designers.

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The picture above of a natural Black Locust lumber deck was taken 5 years after installation at the New York Botanical Gardens Native Plant Garden. 

Black Locust uses: paving

Black Locust use is growing in popularity for it being a green, renewable source of carbon-sequestering building material. Its historically proven natural durability allows for a use of sustainable paving material. ProFlow Permeable Pavers™’s light color and material properties are a cool alternative to concrete or brick paving systems that reduce the heat island effect. 

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ProFlow Permeable Pavers™ reduce stormwater run-off and are a sustainable permeable paving solution for landscape architecture.

The permeable paver solution replenishes groundwater systems and reduces stormwater run-off. It is a great replacement for poured asphalt driveways and walkways. Black Locust wood pavers are a popular choice for sustainable architecture projects such as NVIDIA Corporate Campus because of their outstanding natural beauty. 

Black Locust wood uses: decking

Black Locust wood uses extend to residential and urban green space decking projects as well. Since Black Locust wood is naturally durable, rot-resistant, and maintenance-free. It is not required to use toxic chemicals, oils, or any other additives to preserve its natural beauty. For this reason, the beautiful glass building of Brooklyn Botanical Gardens Visitor Center | Brooklyn, NYC incorporated numerous environmentally sustainable Black Locust features. The design of biodiversity in an urban public space earned an AIA NY State Design Award in 2013

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Naturally durable, rot-resistant, and maintenance-free Black Locust Decking at Brooklyn Botanical Gardens Visitor Center | Brooklyn, NYC

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