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

Thuja arborvitae not thriving in Austin
November 04, 2010 - I planted 5 giant thuja arborvitae two years ago. They have grown six inches and aren't doing that well. I live in Austin Texas and it was a hot summer. I water them 2x a week, now 1x a week. They a...
view the full question and answer

Wispy plant to put behind a waterfall
May 30, 2008 - Needing a 10-20ft wispy ______ to plant behind our waterfall to help block out road noise. We live in Austin. I've looked at the Mexican weeping bamboo but are there other options?
view the full question and answer

Growing live oaks from acorns
January 25, 2010 - What is the best way to grow Live Oaks from acorns?
view the full question and answer

Pruning smoketree in New Jersey
May 29, 2009 - How far from ground level do I prune a relatively young Smoke tree to get the bush effect?
view the full question and answer

Mulching in deep shade in Round Rock TX
June 22, 2010 - Central Texas: Problem is deep shade and high temps. I noted your advice about danger to the tree when planting beneath shade trees, but wonder if there is a substance - perhaps pine needles - that co...
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