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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - May 26, 2009

From: Murrysville, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Trees
Title: Looking for a tree not toxic to horses in Pennsylvania.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I'm sending a tree as a gift and I need to know what I can get that is non toxic to horses. Can you please suggest a few.

ANSWER:

A tree is a very thoughtful gift; one that keeps on giving.

You didn't mention the environment where this tree is to be planted which makes it hard to suggest a particular one.  So this is going to be a two step process; first, find the name of a suitable tree, and then determine if it is toxic to horses.

To find a tree, go to  to our Recommended Species page and select Pennsylvania on the map; you will get a list of 135 commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in Pennsylvania. Go to the "Narrow Your Search" column where you can become more selective.

You see that you have several parameters from which to choose. Choose Pennsylvania  for the state, Tree under "Habit", Perennial under "Duration",  Sun under "Light requirement", the appropriate moisture for your site under "Soil moisture" (I chose moist), and you can ignore "bloom characteristics" for now.  Click the "Narrow your search" button and you will get a list of 36 plants that meet these criteria. Clicking on each plant name will bring up its NPIN page that describes the plant's characteristics.

You can modify your listing by changing the choices  for "soil moisture" and "light requirement" to match the location where the tree will be planted.i

Once you have found some plant names, go to our Suppliers Directory to locate businesses in Pennsylvania that have these plants for sale.

 As to the question of toxicity, I've listed several toxic plant databases below.  You can check for the tree you have selected on these lists. Please note that the absence of a name  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  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 plants poisonous to horses.

Equisearch.com

Trail Blazer magazine

ASPCA

Ohio State University

 

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Disagreement on amending soil for planting from Austin
September 01, 2012 - In today's newspaper column, you answered a question about transplanting a redbud. You said to follow the instructions on the WFC web site, except you recommended adding compost to the backfill soil....
view the full question and answer

White ash trees with bunched up leaves from Nevada TX
June 09, 2012 - I have very young white ash trees (3' tall planted this winter) The leaves are crippled not opening up bunched up together and have a white powder. Is this aphids mites or what. Only on one tree. Th...
view the full question and answer

Pruning wax myrtles from Austin
March 29, 2011 - I've got some wax myrtles that have grown up in the last 10 years on my property line, completely volunteer. My neighbor has begun to grumble about too much shade on his yard. I'd like to trim them ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen for privacy in Pennsylvania
September 10, 2008 - I would like to plant a tall, thin evergreen in my yard (the taller and thinner the better). Privacy is a goal, so we're looking for dense branches. The area gets full sun, and the soil in this area ...
view the full question and answer

Blackening of top growth of yaupon in Sunrise Beach TX
June 09, 2010 - My question regards a Will Flemming yaupon which I am thinking may be within your scope of expertise. These were recently planted under windy conditions, then hit with a neighbors antiquated jet type ...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center