Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Thursday - April 15, 2010

From: Killeen, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Fruit trees non-toxic to dogs that will grow in Killeen TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Central Texas and I'd like to know if there is any fruit tree that is non toxic to dogs that will grow well in my area. My dog eats everything in sight. Thanks!

ANSWER:

First, we need to tell you that most of the fruits you would find in a grocery store are non-native to North America and so hybridized that their origins are murky, at best.  Things like apples, oranges, peaches all are native to other parts of the world, many of them China. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are dedicated to the use, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants are being grown. There is one genus of fruits, Prunus, that has 32 species native to North America, and 17 to Texas. The fruit on many of these can be used to make jellies, even wines. There is just one little catch, from our Native Plant Database:

"The seeds, twigs, and leaves of all Prunus species contain hydrocyanic acid and should never be eaten. Leaves are particularly high in this toxin. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a person’s age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plant’s different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil."

Over time, we have accumulated a list of databases with plants poisonous to animals (and people, too, of course). So, when you are interested in a plant, native or non-native, you can go to these databases and check on the specific plant. It will be easier if you have the scientific name of the plant, but the lists will all accept common names as well.

Here is a list of websites on poisonous plants to which you can refer when choosing plants:

Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List—Horses 

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 

Toxic Plants from the University of California-Davis

Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants from the Universtiy of Pennsylvania

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

ASPCA list of Plants Toxic to Horses

Horse Nutrition: Poisonous Plants from Ohio State University Extension Service

10 Most Poisonous Plants for Horses from Equisearch 

PullmanUSA - plants poisonous to both cats and dogs

 

 

More Trees Questions

Removal of burned tree stump from Weir TX
September 24, 2012 - Hello, I am the community manager for Country Glen, LLC In Weir, Texas 5 miles north east of Georgetown Texas. Simple question I need to remove a large Arizona Ash that was burned buy fire I need th...
view the full question and answer

Damaged oaks from Hurricane Ike in League City, TX
August 25, 2009 - After hurricane IKE, one of our oak trees (in front yard) was partially uprooted from the ground. We did place it back, and tie it down with supports. Further, we inserted fertilizer spikes, and give ...
view the full question and answer

Long term effects of pesticide from Lubbock TX
March 20, 2013 - I have 9 western pecan trees about 20 years old. Trunk sizes is from 18" to 39". I used a product Bayer Tree and Shrub, applied to the trees. I wonder what it will do to the trees. I talkd to Bayer ...
view the full question and answer

Existing live oak taking over in Monahans TX
March 22, 2011 - I have just purchased a home with a huge Live Oak tree in the front yard. The previous owners have over the years allowed the sucker roots to grow unchecked. The tree is shading most of the lawn (di...
view the full question and answer

Yard Trees for Burleson, TX
July 24, 2011 - We need to replace 2 mature pear trees in our front yard, north side of the house in Burleson, TX. We are looking for faster growing trees that will last for decades that resist disease in clay soil....
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.