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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - March 28, 2013

From: Grants Pass, OR
Region: Northwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Memorial Tree Safe for Horses in Oregon
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hi! I just lost my 33 year old beloved mare, Glory! She was my childhood horse and we have had her basically her whole life. We are looking for a special tree out in the pasture for her! She is buried between her 2 sons who both have willow trees on top of them. We wanted something extra special for her but it has to be horse safe. Any suggestions? Thank you!

ANSWER:

As a horse-owner myself, I'm very sorry for your loss.  We're happy to help.

The tree you ultimately choose to memorialize Glory's final resting place will be largely a matter of personal choice, so rather than making a specific recommendation for a species to use, we think you would be better served knowing some trees to avoid.

First, do not plant any trees in the rose family.  This includes cherries, plums, apples, pears and several other common trees.  Under certain conditions, their leaves can be very poisonous to livestock.  Likewise, trees in the genus, Juglans, such as walnuts and butternuts should be avoided.  Neither yew trees (Taxus spp.) nor oaks (Quercus spp.) should be used.  Finally, some maples (Acer spp.), such as red maple (Acer rubrum) are quite toxic to horses, while others are not.  Other trees that are toxic to some livestock, but not necessarily horses include some pines (Pinus spp.), some firs (Abies spp.), hemlocks (Tsuga spp.), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), spruces (Picea spp.) and junipers (Cupressus spp.)

Some native trees in your area that might work for you are Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum), dogwoods (Cornus spp.), buckthorns (Frangula spp.) and Pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesii).  Before making a final decision, you should research online the tree you wish to use, check with your equine vet and ask some of your horse-owning friends about it.

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Are palm tree seeds toxic?
July 08, 2011 - Are palm tree seeds toxic to other plants? I have palm trees around my pool and it seems that nothing will grow very good where the old seeds are in the ground.
view the full question and answer

Is any part of Mountain Laurel poisonous to goats from Belton TX
May 02, 2013 - We are considering planting Mountain Laurel in a field where we keep goats. Will any part of the Mountain Laurel be poisonous if eaten by the goats? If it would be poisonous, could you suggest some o...
view the full question and answer

Is non-native Ixora poisonous to horses?
June 26, 2013 - My horse was eating an ixora bush at a park in south florida. Is the Ixora shrub poisonous to horses?
view the full question and answer

Is Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine) known to cause skin irritation
July 23, 2013 - Is Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata L.) known to cause a rash? We are trying to identify the source of a rash-after-gardening, and have not seen any of the big three (poison ivy, poison oak, poison suma...
view the full question and answer

Digestive distress from eating Lonicera sempervirens
February 23, 2006 - A friend of mine ate Lonicera sempervirens and it caused a burning sensation in his stomach. What may have caused this sensation?
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