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 - October 27, 2009

From: Waller, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Native trees safe for cattle in Waller TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a ranch where the pastures have no trees. Can you recommend native species which as safe for cattle and relatively maintenance free?

ANSWER:

To address the last question first, a tree native to your area should be pretty maintenance free, because they belong there. Look out into wooded areas around your pastures. You'll see a lot of fine trees and you don't see anyone out there maintaining them, do you? So, we will pick some trees to suggest that are native to the Waller County area, and then give you some databases you can check with for safety of those trees for your cattle. We are going to look at trees for East Texas, South Texas and Central Texas in our Recommended Species section, because you're kind of in the junction of the three. You can follow the same procedure, selecting for soil moisture, amount of sunlight and so forth. Here are our databases to search, preferably on the scientific name, on any trees you might want to plant where your cattle can get at them. Just as a caution, do not plant any members of the genus prunus, like wild plums, because their leaves, when they shrivel, are toxic. Also, you will notice we have listed no oaks, because eating too many acorns can cause livestock real problems, even death. 

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

Toxic Plants of Texas 

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System 

Trees for cattle pasture in Waller, TX:

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud)

Fraxinus americana (white ash)

Taxodium distichum (bald cypress)

Ulmus americana (American elm)

Ehretia anacua (knockaway)

Cotinus obovatus (American smoketree)

Ulmus crassifolia (cedar elm)

We checked all of these trees against the above databases, and found none of them on the lists of plants poisonous to livestock. Just because a plant is not on these lists does not mean it is guaranteed not to be poisonous, but these are all pretty common trees and would be listed if there were a problem.

Images from our Native Plant Gallery: 


Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Fraxinus americana

Taxodium distichum

Ulmus americana

Ehretia anacua

Cotinus obovatus

Ulmus crassifolia

 

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Controlling Tree Roots in Sewer Lines
July 16, 2014 - We had a leak with our underground pipes near the meter box - the pipes are at least a foot or more underground. My plumber poured table salt on the pipes to deter roots from a nearby tree from gettin...
view the full question and answer

More on preventing suckers on live oaks in Austin
August 01, 2010 - I just received an oak sprout answer id=6021. I have a followup question. Our sprouts are caused by the motte we live in - 12 live oaks on 1/4 acre. I understand we will have to hand dig 1000s of t...
view the full question and answer

Windbreak for Eastern Kansas
July 17, 2011 - I need to plant a fast growing windbreak near my lateral lines for a septic tank. We obviously can't have anything that would interfere with the laterals but I desperately need a North wind break. ...
view the full question and answer

Red maple a casualty of Hurricane Ike in Houston
November 21, 2009 - We have a 3 year old Drummond Red Maple, between the sidewalk and the street in front of our house, that fell during Hurricane Ike. We replanted it. I recently noticed that the bark is severely cracke...
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant Plants and moving Wax myrtles in Austin
April 30, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, What are the most fire resistant and drought tolerant plants for caliche soil in Austin area? I am considering relocating or removing my wax myrtle shrubs because they are ...
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