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

Trees that are non-toxic for horses
May 02, 2008 - 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.
view the full question and answer

Native alternative for Japanese Red Maple in Oklahoma
October 12, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I am looking for a native alternative to a Japanese Red Maple. I would like a small tree that I can put in my front garden that will not pose a security risk my being overgrown and ...
view the full question and answer

Locating a Western Soapberry Tree for Montezuma IN
November 20, 2009 - Hello, I hope you can help. We homeschool in Indiana (Dad is a native Texan, transplanted). We are looking for someone with a healthy, mature & fruiting Western Soapberry Tree..sapindus drumondii.
view the full question and answer

Walnut tree root coming through basement floor in Portland, OR
February 10, 2009 - I have a walnut tree root coming through my basement floor. I need advice as to what will it do to tree when I remove the root, like another root though a different part of my home. It is a large tree...
view the full question and answer

Non-native mimosa failing to bloom in Leitchfield KY
October 29, 2011 - I have a medium size mimosa tree here in KY that usually blooms beautifully; it did not bloom at all this year. It leafed out well, needs a few dead limbs pruned, but seems otherwise healthy. Please t...
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