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

Thursday - July 05, 2012

From: Okeechobee, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Trees
Title: Fast-growing, Horse-safe Pasture Tree for Okeechobee, FL
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I'm looking for a fast growing tree to plant in pasture that's safe for horses.

ANSWER:

Because horses are famously adept at finding ways to hurt themselves or make themselves sick, we're always careful how we answer questions like yours.  Even seemly innocuous objects can harm horses in certain situations. 

In addition to protecting your horses from your trees, you should give some consideration to protecting your newly-planted trees from your horses until the trees are large enough to withstand the rubbing and chewing that will very likely occur.

First, it's important to know what you very definitely do not want in your pasture or along your fencelines.  Keep no species of cherries or plums (Prunus spp.) anywhere near your pastures.  In certain circumstances the foliage of these trees can be fatally toxic to horses and other livestock.  Avoid most nut-bearing trees as they can cause colic and sometimes other maladies.  Red maple (Acer rubrum) should be avoided due to toxicity.  Though it's doubtful that Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) grows in your area, it should also be kept out of your pastures.

Pines (Pinus spp.) are generally safe and fast-growing as is American Elm (Ulmus americana).  However, it would be a very good idea to ask your equine vet about any guidance he or she can give you.  You might also talk to other horse-owners in your area for their recommendations.  Finally, Equisearch has published some excellent guidelines that might be helpful.

 

More Trees Questions

Identity of Hercules Club from Lathrup Village MI
October 12, 2009 - Thought the shrub was Hercules Club but when looked at photo on line, totally different leaf. Mine has palmate leaf rounded at the tips, spines that are short but substantial. Branches arch somewhat a...
view the full question and answer

Pacific dogwood not fruiting
September 30, 2009 - We have a beautiful Pacific Dogwood in front of our balcony. In some years it has fruit (berries) but has not for the past two years. When it does, it becomes a magnet for Northern Flickers. Is the pr...
view the full question and answer

What plants to put under an oak tree in Clover SC
January 30, 2010 - I have a 70 year old oak tree in my backyard and have tried to grow grass out from it with no success. I'd like to just plant some shrubs and make it a natural area now, but need advice on what I ca...
view the full question and answer

Twig girdlers attacking an Elm tree in Wimberly, TX.
October 27, 2009 - I was looking at my small 6' cedar elm and noticed that four (4) 1/2" limbs have circle cuts a 1/8" wide completely around them and they are dead. Is this some insect or maybe a bigger critter? I h...
view the full question and answer

What is causing leaf drop on oak in Morgan Hill CA?
June 23, 2010 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants: We have a large, young Valley Oak (about 20 yrs) which is dropping leaves even now in early summer. I have a feeling that the problem might be an invasive weed that is flourishi...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center