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
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

Time to trim oak trees in Austin
October 29, 2011 - We have several large oak trees in desperate need of a good trimming. Given that the trees have had a very stressful drought year, when would be the best time to trim them?
view the full question and answer

Leafing out problems with oaks in Towson MD
June 02, 2012 - 3 native 5-year-old oaks kept old leaves until March and are not leafing by the end of May. The few leaves that have emerged are shriveled. WHAT'S WRONG?
view the full question and answer

Possible freeze damage to Texas Persimmon in Fair Oaks Ranch TX
June 27, 2010 - I have a Texas Persimmon tree that is in a green belt. It has leafed out and flowered for the eight years we have lived here. This year it leafed out then the leaves turned brown and dropped. The top ...
view the full question and answer

Law against planting cottonwood in Madison WI
October 08, 2013 - I was told that there is an ordinance against planting cottonwood trees in Madison, WI. Is this true?
view the full question and answer

Search for Silver Magnolia from Coram NY
July 11, 2012 - Hi, 20+ years ago I purchased a small tree labeled Silver Magnolia from a catalog. It was a sapling about 8 inches high when I first received it but amazing! The bloom the first year was as big as my ...
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