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
1 rating

Saturday - October 29, 2011

From: San Dimas, CA
Region: California
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Shrubs that non-toxic to horses but that they won't eat
Answered by: Anne Ruggles

QUESTION:

I am looking for a low maintenance, low water, green shrub that horses won't eat and will not be toxic to them. I want to hide my neighbors corral and keep down dust on my side. The horses have "leaned" over the pipe fence and almost pushed it over to get at my apricot trees.

ANSWER:

We understand why you might like to lessen competition for the apricots.

To start with, let’s address the issue of toxicity. There is a list of links to plants that are toxic to horses at this Mr Smarty Plants answer:

The Range Plants of Temperate North America is another excellent source of determining which plants are toxic to livestock.

There are several native shrubs/ small trees that might be good candidates.

One is:  is Fraxinus dipetala (California ash) is a small deciduous tree (up to 20 feet) with fragrant white flowers.  Here are photos and more information.

Another is:  Cercis orbiculata [syn. Cercis occidentalis var. orbiculata] (California redbud)  is a small tree (up to 15 feet) with pink blossoms in the spring.  Here are more photos and information. 

A third is:  Cornus nuttallii (Pacific dogwood) grows 15 to 40 feet high and has showy flowers.

Another good source of information is your local County Extension Agent. From the drop-down menu at the top highlight "Offices" and then click on "County Offices."  These folks will be able to help you determinw what will work best in your microclimate and with your soil type.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


California redbud
Cercis orbiculata

California redbud
Cercis orbiculata

Pacific dogwood
Cornus nuttallii

More Privacy Screening Questions

Shrub Recommendation for Chain Link Fence in DE
January 26, 2016 - What shrub would you recommend for covering a chain link fence and providing a screen between mine & my neighbors yard? They have kids, so it would have to be non-toxic. I'd like flowers/berries for ...
view the full question and answer

Large shrub or tree for front door in Houston
January 16, 2013 - I am in search of a shrub or tree to plant next to my front door. I want a showy medium sized shrub or tree (8 to 12 ft), decorative, and a privacy screen since my front door faces my next door neig...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrub/small tree for screen in southern California
August 06, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants - I would like to find an evergreen hedge, ~15-20' (or so) to screen a busy road (noise and visual). I'm zone 8b - 92539 (close to) - light snow in winter (to -25) and can ge...
view the full question and answer

Need trees to screen view of parking garage in Houston, TX.
December 29, 2011 - We live in Houston, TX with a beautiful lot except a 4 story parking garage has been built behind us. How can we screen this and the lights out of site. It looks terrible from the second story espec...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing evergreens for privacy in Center, TX
March 30, 2010 - I live in East Texas and am looking for a fast growing evergreen for a privacy screen around my backyard. The area gets partial sun and the soil has a lot of clay in it.
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