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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - May 13, 2010

From: Nashville, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Fast growing shade trees safe for livestock in pasture in Nashville GA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I would like a list of fast growing shade trees that are safe for cows and horses in a pasture.

ANSWER:

We are going to give you a list of links to some databases on poisonous plants, and then choose some shade trees native to the Berrien County area of Georgia, USDA Hardiness Zones 8a to 9b, having first checked the lists to make sure none of those trees appear on the lists. You can always refer back to the poisonous plants lists if you need to choose more plants. One thing we can tell you without looking, don't plant anything in the Prunus genus. This includes wild plums, as well as cherries, and other members of that genus. The leaves, particularly shriveled leaves, seeds and twigs are all poisonous to livestock. We also would not suggest retaining any of the shrubs from the Ilex, or holly genus. Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) commonly appears in fields in the Southast; while birds safely eat the berries, the whole plant is mildly toxic. We certainly won't suggest any of those, and hope you don't have any already there. Since there may be other plants in your fields, including escaped non-natives, that would be harmful to your animals, we suggest you contact the University of Georgia Extension Office, Berrien County, for poisonous plants they know to be located in your area.

Databases with information on poisonous plants for livestock:

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 

Shade Trees Native to Berrien County, GA:

Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)

Liriodendron tulipifera (tuliptree)

Magnolia grandiflora (southern magnolia)

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)

From Our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Liquidambar styraciflua

Liriodendron tulipifera

Magnolia grandiflora

Platanus occidentalis

 

 

 

 

 

 

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