En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - February 19, 2014

From: Fontana, CA
Region: California
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Trees
Title: Evergreen trees for California that are non-toxic for dogs
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, we live in California, San Bernardino County and would like to know what evergreen trees are safe to plant in our backyard with 2 little dogs being around. I did quite some search online but everybody keeps talking only about plants safe around dogs not trees. Please please Help!Any answer will be very appreciated! Thank you!

ANSWER:

The American Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has a Toxic and Non-toxic Plant List – Dogs that includes both woody (trees and shrubs) and herbaceous plants.  You can check the list (searching with the botanical name) for evergreen trees you are interested in.   The first half of the list is the "Toxic" species; whereas, the second part of the list has the "Non-toxic" species.  Here are some native evergreen trees that that are known to grow in San Bernadino County and do NOT appear on the "Toxic" portion of the list:

Arbutus menziesii (Pacific madrone)  Here are photos and more information from Las Pilitas Nursery in Escondido and Santa Margarita.

Calocedrus decurrens (Incense cedar)  Here are photos and more information from The Gymnosperm Database.

Cercocarpus montanus var. glaber (Smooth mountain mahogany)  Here is more information from Texas A&M Aggie Horitculture.

Cupressus forbesii (Tecate cypress)  Here are photos and more information from Las Pilitas Nursery.

Juniperus californica (California juniper)  Here are photos and more information from Las Pilitas Nursery.

Juniperus occidentalis (Western juniper)  Here are photos and more information from TreeGirl.

Malosma laurina (Laurel sumac)  Here are photos and more information from Las Pilitas Nursery.

Morella californica (California wax myrtle)  Here are photos and more information from Great Plant Picks.

Pinus coulteri (Coulter pine)  Here are photos and more information from Las Pilitas Nursery.

Pinus jeffreyi (Jeffrey pine) Here are photos and more information from The Gymnosperm Database.

Pinus lambertiana (Sugar pine)  Here are photos and more information from Giant-Sequoia.

Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa pine)  Here are more photos and information from Virginia Tech.

Pseudotsuga macrocarpa (Big-cone douglas-fir)  Here are photos and more inofrmation from Las Pilitas Nursery.

Quercus agrifolia (California live oak)  Here are more photos and information from Las Pilitas Nursery.

Quercus chrysolepis (Canyon live oak)  Here are photos and more information from Las Pilitas Nursery.

Quercus wislizeni (Interior live oak)  Here are photos and more information from Cal Poly Urban Forest Ecosystem Institute.

Umbellularia californica (California laurel)  Here are more photos and information from Las Pilitas Nursery.

Washingtonia filifera (California fan palm)  Here are more photos and information from Las Pilitas Nursery.

There are other toxic plant databases that you can check as well.   Those are generally focused on toxicity to humans or livestock such as cattle or horses.   Use the botanical name to search for the tree in the databases since the common names are not as precise as the botanical names.  Here are a few of those:

University of California Safe and Poisonous Garden Plants

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

Cornell University's Plants Poisonous to Livestock and Other Animals

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants

North Carolina State University Poisonous Plants and Mushrooms

 

From the Image Gallery


Smooth mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus montanus var. glaber

Ponderosa pine
Pinus ponderosa

California live oak
Quercus agrifolia

California laurel
Umbellularia californica

California fan palm
Washingtonia filifera

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Wild plums for jelly from Conroe TX
December 18, 2012 - Do wild plum trees grow in my area? I want to get some next summer to make plum jelly.
view the full question and answer

Are Carolina Cherry Laurel seeds poisonous from Asheville NC
August 14, 2012 - I have a Carolina cherry laurel in my back yard that is dropping berries into my vegetable garden beds. May be a silly question, but will the berries poison the plants (and me) when I eat them?
view the full question and answer

Information on Royal Empress tree
May 01, 2008 - Would like to have some information on the royal empress tree; it is a non-native tree.
view the full question and answer

Cypress poisonous to livestock from Arlington, TN
December 06, 2012 - Are green giant cypress poisonous to livestock?
view the full question and answer

Wildlife garden for Austin
May 19, 2013 - I am trying to make my backyard more wildlife friendly. I have pecan trees for the canopy and some understory shrub/trees like rough leaf dogwood and redbud. I am having a really hard time finding sui...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center