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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - December 06, 2012

From: Arlington, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Trees
Title: Cypress poisonous to livestock from Arlington, TN
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Are green giant cypress poisonous to livestock?

ANSWER:

Before we could attempt to answer your question, we had to figure out what a green giant cypress is. Turns out the "Green Giant" is a trade name for Thuja standishii x plicata. The little "x" in the scientific name is our first clue that this is a cross or hybridization between two species of the genus Thuja and the family Cupressaceae. Most such crosses fall out of the expertise of Smarty Plants, which is the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they grow naturally. Crossing two plants always complicates knowing what the characteristics of the resulting plant will be. In our Native Plant Database there is Thuja plicata (Western arborvitae); if you follow the plant link you will see it does not mention any poisonous attributes. Neither this website nor that of Thuja occidentalis (Arborvitae) mention wildlife browsing these trees, which could indicate the spikiness of the plants discouraged browsing, so the cows might not even want it. However, just to make sure, we investigated the "sandishii" part of the Green Giant hybrid. This website from the US National Arboretum also indicates no poisonous parts of the plant, which originated in the Honshu and Shikoku islands of southern Japan.

If you wish to double check on our information, here is a list of websites listing poisonous plants:

Databases to search (by scientific name) for plants poisonous to animals:

The Merck Veterinary Manual

ASPCA   

University of Arkansas 
 
University of Illinois  (common names only)    

Toxic Plants of Texas

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina 

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

California Poison Action Line

FInding the plant listed is a good indication of toxicity. However, not finding the plant listed doesn't guarantee that it is non-toxic, but it increases the probability that it is. It is a good idea to check with your veterinarian.

 

 

More Trees Questions

Wild native trees with orange blooms
March 30, 2012 - What is the wild native tree that is blooming orange blooms - as you drive down the road thru Chappel Hill, and Brenham area. I've never seen these before when we went viewing bluebonnets - however,...
view the full question and answer

Conditions for growing Anacacho Orchid in Smithville TX
January 24, 2011 - What conditions (soil type, sun/shade, understory? etc.) to grow a healthy Anacacho Orchid tree? And what is the best size tree to plant?
view the full question and answer

Insect attack on bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
May 30, 2008 - Something is attacking the bur oak that was planted in 2007. Insects are not on the leaves, but the edges of some leaves look chewed back. Others look brown around the edges. Do you have any idea w...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Norfolk Pine suffering in Corpus Christi TX
August 02, 2011 - About ten yrs. ago I transplanted my Norfolk Pine into the ground in my backyard. With all the frosty weather of 2010/2011 the Spring brought a browning/dying of a lot of the Norfolk Pines in this are...
view the full question and answer

Grafting Shumard Oak to Decrease Acorn Bearing Age in New Orleans
September 23, 2010 - Can a Shumard Oak that is bearing acorns (30 yrs. old)be grafted to a seedling in order to decrease the bearing of the tree in a similar manner as grafting pecan trees? Can it be propagated by any me...
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