False acacia is the most widespread invasive alien broad-leaved tree species in Bulgaria. It is a 15-20 to 30 m tall, deciduous tree. Saplings have smooth bark and in mature trees the bark has deep ridges. The leaves have a long stem, which ends in a leaflet and has many laterally placed pairs of leaflets along it. The flowers are white and form long, pendant racemes (flower clusters). They have a strong, pleasant aroma. The fruit are long legumes with dark brown, hard seeds.
The species is native to Eastern North America. It was brought to Bulgaria in the mid 19th century. After 1888 massive cultivation as a decorative tree began in parks and gardens, along alleys, boulevards, etc. This continues until today. The species can be seen along roads, railroad tracks, cemeteries and is distributed up to an altitude of 1000 m a.s.l.
False acacia is one of the least demanding species in terms of soil and climatic conditions. It is hardy in very low temperatures and tolerates air pollution. This is why it has taken over great territories, leading to the destruction of native vegetation and the irreversible loss of local species. The bark, leaves and seeds of false acacia are toxic to humans and animals.
False acacia is used for soil stabilization. It has strong timber and is sought-after in the woodworking industry. Beekeepers like it, because of its nectar-rich flowers. Despite this, its spread must be controlled and limited. We must not allow false acacia to enter into natural habitats and protected natural territories, which conserve valuable, native plant species, because it threatens to replace them and gradually cause their extinction.
Limiting this species requires much effort and funds. It must be removed from arable land, pastures and meadows, cemeteries and archeological sites. Cutting only stimulates the development of the species. Special measures must be taken in the fight against false acacia!
More information about False Acacia, Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)