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
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

Dead portions on oak tree in Hutchinson KS
August 22, 2011 - I have an oak tree on the property I just moved into. One tree is healthy, the other has a dead side or almost dead. It did have some new green leaves on the dead branches but not many. What should...
view the full question and answer

Striped caterpillars on Cornus sericea (redtwig dogwood)
September 07, 2011 - My red-twig dogwood has white/black striped caterpillars that congregate on the underside of the leaves and they are stripping the leaves. What can I do? They almost look like Monarch butterfly larvae...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of oak wilt or iron deficiency
September 04, 2007 - This spring my two oak trees, 4" and 7" in diameter, in my yard in Kyle started showing very light green leaves with green veins. I've been told this is chlorosis, so I treated them with a couple o...
view the full question and answer

Small to medium specimen native tree for Texas Hill Country
August 20, 2004 - Can you recommend a small to med. 'specimen' tree to plant near our patio? Full sun, drought tolerant, interesting during different seasons. Thought about Blanco Crabapple, Rusty Blackhaw, Smoke Tr...
view the full question and answer

Will Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) be toxic to chickens?
July 25, 2010 - We are considering planting Carolina Cherry Laurels around our yard for dense hedging purposes. We are concerned because we have a small flock of free-ranging chickens who eat every seed and leaf in ...
view the full question and answer

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