En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Friday - May 02, 2008

From: Ponder, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Trees that are non-toxic for horses
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Ponder, Tx. We have some acreage and horses and wish to plant trees to afford some shade for the horses. Can you tell me what trees are toxic to horses.

ANSWER:

This is not the first time we've been asked about toxicity of plants for horses. Please see this excellent previous answer on some plant lists with poisonous plants listed. We are going to find some good trees for shade in Denton County, north central Texas, and then check them against the lists of poisonous plants to make sure you're getting accurate information. None of the plants we are going to suggest appeared on the three lists in the referenced previous answer. There is no information in our Native Plant Database to indicate that any of them are toxic to horses or any other animal. We were going to suggest a couple oak trees, but this Equine Health website says the acorns, when eaten, are dangerous for horses. And we eliminated one tree, Ulmus americana (American elm), because it is susceptible to disease. You don't want to go to all the trouble of putting trees in the ground, and then see them go down with disease, if you can help it. This left us with three trees, all deciduous, that are considered good choices for your area and not believed to have any toxicity for horses. Remember, you are not only going to need to allow years for these trees to grow to shade size, but also they may need to be protected from the horses themselves when they are small.

Carya illinoinensis (pecan)

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)

Taxodium distichum (bald cypress)


Carya illinoinensis

Platanus occidentalis

Taxodium distichum
 

More Trees Questions

Pecan tree dropping limbs in Grand Prairie, TX.
September 04, 2012 - Our 15 year old pecan tree is losing it's limbs. The tree and its leaves look healthy with no signs of bugs or mites, but all the limbs are drooping and breaking off. The tree did have a bumper crop ...
view the full question and answer

A tree to replace a pin oak in PA
January 25, 2011 - My 120 yr old pin oak has root and butt rot, 5 of 13 roots dead by pressure testing. I am in Pittsburgh PA. I want to plant a root rot resistant tree, either evergreen, fir or deciduous. The tree is 9...
view the full question and answer

Decline of pollinating bees around Mexican plums
March 19, 2007 - Dear Dr. Smarty Plants While out working in my yard (about nine miles southwest of the Wildfower Center) this morning, I became aware that there was no sound of bees buzzing. I checked our Mexica...
view the full question and answer

Installing limestone walkway around trees from Pflugerville TX
June 28, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants:I wish to install a limestone walkway in my front yard, however, there are some roots(~ 1.25 inch) in the designated area. Will this hurt or kill the tree if I cut these away? T...
view the full question and answer

Native landscaping plants for Sherman, Texas
December 19, 2007 - We are starting from scratch on landscaping our new yard. We live in Sherman, TX and I would like to use plants and flowers that are native to Texas and have a good chance of surviving. What are you...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center