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

pruning Chinkapin oak, Loquat and Monterrey oak trees
December 07, 2012 - What is the best time to plant a 45-65 gal. Chinkapin oak tree in Pflugerville. Also, when can i prune fig trees, Loquat trees and a Monterrey oak. Thanks for the information.
view the full question and answer

Mexican sycamore for Briarcliff, TX
August 11, 2009 - I would like to plant a sycamore in my yard. I have searched and do not see info on the Mexican sycamore on this website. Is this not recommended in Central Texas for planting? I cannot find the Am...
view the full question and answer

Live oaks dropping brown leaves
August 02, 2014 - We have three live oaks and one of them has been dropping quite a few brown leaves over the past two weeks. I looked at pictures of trees with oak wilt and ours do not look like the pictures. I als...
view the full question and answer

Planting fruit and nut trees in Mason County, TX
March 02, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have 36 acres 15 miles west of the city of Mason TX. I wish to plant one acre plots of sustainable organic crops that are long term and hardy. (cost and effort not an iss...
view the full question and answer

Time to transplant shade tree seedlings from San Antonio
September 28, 2013 - What month do you transplant shade tree seedlings in San Antonio, TX<
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