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
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

Need suggestions for plants to form a privacy hedge in Charleston, WV.
April 05, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Pants, I live in zone 6 and an looking for an evergreen privacy type hedge that grows no taller than 10'-12'. I am not interested in any boxwood type of hedge. The evergreens would be ...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for plants for a privacy screen for a pecan orchard in Chappell Hill, TX.
September 21, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, My family has just begun converting our land in Chappell Hill, TX (Washington County) into a pecan orchard. We had to clear a lot of the overgrowth around the edge of the proper...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen for privacy screen in Northern California
October 19, 2012 - Hello, My neighbor just logged their property and we need a very quick growing evergreen shrub/tree (for privacy of ugly cabin) that grows to at least 10' -15' tall. We live in northern Cal. about ...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for pool from Southlake TX
April 21, 2012 - I have a row of 7 live oaks that help block my neighbors two story house. Unfortunately, there is a gap between each tree of about 8 feet wide and 15 feet tall (from ground to the first branches/ leav...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a barrier hedge
October 13, 2008 - Is there a native hedge I can plant to provide privacy? I have hostile neighbors behind me and would rather plant a hedge than put up a fence. I looked through the Virginia native species and didn'...
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