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
1 rating

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

What fertlilizer for live oaks under drought conditions?
July 01, 2011 - In your June 7 answer about helping live oaks survive the drought, you state that additional fertilization may help as well. What kind of fertilizer to you recommend and how should it be applied? Th...
view the full question and answer

White pine insect problems
October 08, 2009 - We live in The Woodlands TX. Some of our large pine trees have leaking sap and one is dead. What can we do to save the one's still alive?
view the full question and answer

Fast growing native trees for Austin
June 15, 2006 - What are your suggestions for a fast growing native tree that will do well in the clay soils of North Central Austin? I just had a 30 foot hackberry tree fall and would like to restore some shade to m...
view the full question and answer

Windbreak for Eastern Kansas
July 17, 2011 - I need to plant a fast growing windbreak near my lateral lines for a septic tank. We obviously can't have anything that would interfere with the laterals but I desperately need a North wind break. ...
view the full question and answer

Live Christmas tree in Katy, TX
March 16, 2010 - My husband is really bent towards having a live "Christmas tree" in the front yard. I hate to use anything non-native so I am looking for a native Texas juniper shrub or a small tree that can be tri...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center