The honey locust has been used as a shade and street tree for many years, as it transplants well at large sizes and offers light shade without overwhelming turf grass. But it has developed several insect and disease problems over the years that make it short-lived. Another downside? The trunk grows thorns that can protrude up to 12 inches from the bark and make this tree difficult to maintain and work around in the garden. If you must have a honey locust, plant a thornless variety and monitor it closely for diseases and insect issues.