Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - March 21, 2009

From: Parker, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Trees
Title: Trees for Parker, Colorado that will not harm horses
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

we are searching for trees that will grow well in Parker Colorado and not be poisonous to our horses

ANSWER:

The following trees grow in or adjacent to Douglas County, Colorado:

Betula occidentalis (water birch)

Cornus sericea ssp. sericea (redosier dogwood)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Juniperus scopulorum (Rocky Mountain juniper)

Pinus contorta (lodgepole pine)

Pinus flexilis (limber pine)

Populus angustifolia (narrowleaf cottonwood)

None of them appear in my favorite Toxic Plant databases (Poisonous Plants of North Carolina, Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock, Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System, University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants, or Texas Toxic Plant Database.

The Cornus sericea ssp. sericea (redosier dogwood) and the Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash) do both occur in the University of California-Davis Toxic Plants) database as possibly causing dermatitis in humans and Juniperus sp. is listed as being a gastrointestinal irritant of mild toxicity if the berries are eaten in large quantities.

Please note that Pinus ponderosa (ponderosa pine) is toxic to livestock, including horses.  If you decide to include pine trees, be sure it is one of the other species named above, not ponderosa pine.

You can see more choices if you go to our Recommended Species page and choose 'Colorado' from the map or pulldown menu.  You can then NARROW YOUR SEARCH by selecting 'Trees' under the Habit (general appearance) option.  If you see another tree that you like, you can check its possible toxicity against the databases above. 

Also, here are several databases that list plants, native and otherwise, that should NOT be included in areas with horses: 

10 Most Poisonous Plants for Horses from EquiSearch.com

Poisonous Plants from Trailblazer Magazine

Toxic Plants:  Horses from the ASPCA

Horse Nutrition:  Poisonous Plants from Ohio State University

You might also like to read Bulletin 415-Plants Poisonous to Livestock in the Western States from the USDA Agricultural Research Service. 


Betula occidentalis

Cornus sericea ssp. sericea

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

Juniperus scopulorum

Pinus contorta

Pinus flexilis

Populus angustifolia

 


 

 

More Trees Questions

Smarty Plants on women trying to conceive
July 10, 2005 - RE: Eucalyptus. Is this bad for women trying to conceive? The smell is very powerful.
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for a replacement tree for Hackberry tree in Austin, TX in Austin TX.
May 25, 2013 - We have a large hackberry tree in our front yard. We are cutting it down this fall. I would like to replace it with a tree native to this area..preferably something fast growing. What are your reco...
view the full question and answer

Edible forest garden for northern Minnesota
March 07, 2014 - I am planning an edible forest garden for northern Minnesota. Can you suggest a list of plants that are native to this area. We are in zone 3a or 3b. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Stressed Ashe juniper is dropping needles
May 07, 2015 - We have a large Ashe juniper tree in our backyard, at least 20 ft tall. This past winter/spring, several limbs have died and it's dropped a ton of leaves (clumps of "needles" really). Is it slowly ...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screening from Phoenix AZ
April 14, 2013 - I live in the center of Phoenix, Az. On the eastern side of my house we have some 2 story condos next door. The width of the side yard is about 12'-15' and it gets lots of shade. I also have my powe...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.