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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Wednesday - May 06, 2009

From: McAlpin, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Are Black Olive trees safe to have in pastures in Florida
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I am trying to find out if Black Olive trees will be safe to have in our yard and/or pastures. We raise cattle, goats and horses. We need to find some good shade trees that are safe for our animals as well as having low water requirements..our soil is clay and sand mostly.

ANSWER:

Since you live in Florida, Mr. Smarty Plants is assuming that the the Black Olive you are referring to is Bucida buceras (gregorywood) . See images. Some consider it a native to the US, but others do not. It is a 40 to 50-foot evergreen tree with a smooth trunk that supports strong, wind resistant branches.

As to the question of toxicity, I've listed several toxic plant databases below.  You can check for Black Olive on these lists. Please note that the absence of Black Olive from these lists does not guarantee that it is non-toxic to horses, but not finding it on the lists makes it less likely to be toxic.  To search the lists, I recommend using the scientific name  (Bucida buceras) since those names are generally standard, whereas the common names often vary in spelling and usage.

Universtiy of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants Database

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University's Plants Poisonous to Livestock and other Animals

Texas Toxic Plant Database

Additionally, here are databases that are specific for poisonous plants to horses.

Equisearch.com

Trail Blazer magazine

ASPCA

Ohio State University

 

 

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