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
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

Evergreen for inland San Diego, California
November 28, 2009 - I'm looking for an evergreen tree for my inland San Diego residence, 30 foot max height, growth speed is not important. I had decided on the carrotwood until I found your site and discovered the prob...
view the full question and answer

Planting Anacacho orchid tree in Llano, TX
October 05, 2011 - Re Bauhinia lunarioides: I'm trying to pick a good site in Llano Co for a 5 gal tree I received as a gift. Your plant database says part shade. The arid zone trees publication you reference in a...
view the full question and answer

Catalpa and maple with dying branches in Wisconsin
July 07, 2008 - We have a northern catalpa in our front yard. It's been there for about three years now and is probably 25' high. This year it appeared to be doing great. It flowered and then all of sudden last ...
view the full question and answer

Need help with my 25 yr old Mountain Ash in Clinton Township, MI.
July 11, 2011 - For the first time our 25yr old mountain ash tree has dying branches, we removed one branch and it seems to have spread to other branches? What should we do?
view the full question and answer

Would mountain ash (Sorbus sp.) grow in Michigan?
June 01, 2009 - I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan between Cedarville (Lake Huron) and Sault Ste. Marie (Lake Superior.) We would like to plant a Mountian Ash because we love birds and they love the berries an...
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