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
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

Alder native to Central Indiana
May 30, 2006 - I am trying to find out whether there exists a plant named Alnus rugosa. I bought a plant recently that said Speckled Alder, Alnus serrulata (rugosa), but have been unable to determine if this is a c...
view the full question and answer

Native plants of Taos and Los Alamos NM from Houston
April 07, 2012 - Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, can you recommend a guidebook for the native plants of the Taos/Los Alamos region? (I'm most interested in forbs.) I'll be headed there in May--is there anything I should es...
view the full question and answer

Transplant time for small smoke tree from Battle Ground WA
June 01, 2014 - When do I transplant a smoke tree that is still young, about a foot high? It is too close to a fence, which I fear will be a problem as it gets big. I live in Battle Ground, WA which is zone 6.
view the full question and answer

Need to identify Cherry laurel varietyin Bee Caves, TX
March 29, 2016 - I recently had cherry laurels installed in my yard for privacy. Unfortunately, the landscaper does not know what type of cherry laurel they are. The tag from the tree says Che-Com which to me might in...
view the full question and answer

Food Allergy to Beautyberry or Persimmon?
October 22, 2015 - I think I might have a food allergy to Beautyberry or American Persimmon, eaten Saturday at the North Carolina Great Dismal park. These were the only strange foods recently, though I've had persimmo...
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