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
2 ratings

Sunday - April 05, 2009

From: Little Silver, NJ
Region: Northeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Native evergreen tree for horse pasture in New Jersey
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I just pulled out a laurel that was hiding a stand pipe in our horse paddock. We had trouble this winter with the horses eating it when there was little grass to graze on. Can you suggest an evergreen that is not toxic to horses?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants found several native evergreen conifers that grow in New Jersey that are not toxic to horses and one native evergreen that is NOT a conifer and is safe for horses.

Ilex opaca (American holly) is the one evergreen that is not a conifer.  It is not listed as toxic to livestock, but both Poisonous Plants of North Carolina and Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System lists the berries of Ilex opaca as mildly toxic to humans when consumed in large quantities.

None of the conifers listed below appear on the two toxic plant databases above or in Mr. Smarty Plants' other two favorite toxic plant databases—Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock and University of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants Database.

Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar)

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae)

Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

There are also several pines that are suitable, e.g.,  Pinus echinata (shortleaf pine), Pinus strobus (eastern white pine), Pinus taeda (loblolly pine) and Pinus virginiana (Virginia pine).

If you decide you want a different tree that isn't evergreen, you can find native trees in New Jersey by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH on our Native Plant Database and choosing 'New Jersey' from Select State or Province and 'Tree' from the Habit (general appearance) option.  You can check them against the toxic plant databases listed above to see if they are safe for your horses.

You might also be interested in visiting the following links about poisonous plants and 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


Ilex opaca

Chamaecyparis thyoides

Juniperus virginiana

Thuja occidentalis

Tsuga canadensis

Pinus echinata

Pinus strobus

Pinus taeda

Pinus virginiana

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

pruning crape myrtle (ugh, non-native)
March 05, 2012 - We would like to plant a Dynamite Crape myrtle in front of our front window. They grow 20' to 30'. Can I trim it each year to about 15' to 20'? Should we plant it approximately 5 feet from the ...
view the full question and answer

Need plants to provide a privacy screen in Cedar Creek, TX
March 31, 2015 - We need to screen out neighbor's house. What can we plant (fast growing tree or hedge) in partial shade? Area is dry in summer, but does get soggy during heavy rain. We live east of Austin in Cedar C...
view the full question and answer

Leaves dropping on evergreen sumac in San Antonio
January 11, 2012 - I have a large evergreen sumac in my back yard that started off as a small shrub 10 years ago. This summer the leaves turned red and now have dropped off. Is the plant dead? It sent out two smaller pl...
view the full question and answer

Tree with tap root for small area
August 24, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I'm looking for a tree with a tap root to plant for shade on the side of my patio. i have about a 4 foot area to plant in and it's 8 feet to my neighbors house. ..maybe somet...
view the full question and answer

Small to medium drought-tolerant trees for Southern California
June 01, 2012 - I am looking for drought tolerant trees to line one side of our 70 foot driveway. We live in Southern California. Currently, we have queen palms, but I would like something more native or drought to...
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