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
2 ratings

Wednesday - January 20, 2010

From: Las Vegas, NV
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Trees that aren't poisonous or don't have poisonous berries for dogs
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What trees are not poisonous or have poison berries for dogs?

ANSWER:

It is easier to make a list of trees that ARE poisonous or that HAVE poisonous berries than it is to find non-toxic ones since the non-toxic ones prevail. I suspect you are looking for a tree to plant in your yard that won't be harmful to your dog.  If that is so, I suggest you go to our Nevada Recommended species to find trees that are native to Nevada that are recommended for landscaping and are commercially available.   After you've found ones that you like, you can check them against several poisonous plant databases such as:

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina, Cornell University's Plants Poisonous to Livestock, the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System, the University of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants, Toxic Plants from University of California-Davis and Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List—Dogs from the ASPCA.

For instance, if you like Abies concolor (white fir), you will find that it doesn't appear on any of the toxic plant lists above. Actaea rubra (red baneberry), however, is on the Poisonous Plants of North Carolina database and Cornell's Plants Poisonous to Livestock, but not any of the others and it appears to be mildly poisonous.  Prunus virginiana (chokecherry) (or, at least Prunus sp., which includes peaches, plums, apricots and cherries) appears on all the above lists and is characterized as having major toxicity. So, the lesson here is that you probably should check more than one poisonous plants database.  Not finding a plant in one of the databases doesn't necessarily mean it has no toxic qualities, but it makes it less likely that it is seriously poisonous. However, finding a plant in all, or the majority, of the above, databases is a pretty good indication that the plant is seriously toxic and shouldn't be where it can be accessed by your pets or small, unsupervised children.

(Please note that the ASPCA's list is arranged by common names which are quite variable and therefore not easy to search.  The scientific names are there, although not as easily searched in the ASPCA's list, but are the most reliable name to use to find a plant in any database.)


 

More Trees Questions

Possible identification of Post Oak in New Braunfels, TX
January 27, 2006 - I live 6 miles north of New Braunfels in the Hill Country and own 5 acres of land. The property consists of many escarpment live oaks, texas persimon, and ashe juniper. I believe I also have some Te...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover under Spruces from West Chester PA
December 06, 2012 - Trying to get a native groundcover (or any grass/wildflower/fern) planting established under a small stand of spruces. Established stand (30+ years old), so lots of needles on ground. Just about tot...
view the full question and answer

Dirt around bald cypress in Lakeland FL
October 03, 2009 - Dirt around trunk of cypress.. Our tree is a Bald Cypress. We dug a hole to install a jacuzzi and put the dirt/clay around the trunk of the cypress to level the area out. I also laid several flag s...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Texas Mountain Laurel in Dallas
May 04, 2010 - I have a Texas Mountain Laurel that is about 3 years old. When I bought it 2 summers ago, it was about a foot high. Now it is over 6 feet. It seems to have grown so fast that the branches can't ke...
view the full question and answer

Best dogwood to plant in Dallas GA
June 13, 2010 - I am interested in how to select the best dogwood (Flowering) tree to plant in Dallas, GA 30157. The location receives full sun, the soil is typical GA clay/?. I found a list of 20+ Dogwood trees on...
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