Explore Plants

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
    
 

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 - 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

Beneficial characteristics of Phytolacca americana (Pokeweed)
May 21, 2013 - I have a surprise Polk weed plant growing in my back yard, does it have any beneficial uses,and if not, how best to eradicate it. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Plants for dog-safe privacy hedge in Missouri
July 03, 2006 - I live in Missouri and would like to put a "living fence" around my yard for some privacy. Ideally, I want something that is going to grow fast so that I don't have to wait years and years for my ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen pet-safe shrubs for house and screening in McKinney TX
April 15, 2010 - Looking for shrub, preferably evergreen, to plant near the house that can handle wet ground and is pet (dog, cat, horse) safe. The area became boggy after we had an underground water leak that is now ...
view the full question and answer

Suitability of Carolina Cherry Laurel for Bulverde TX
October 24, 2012 - The local Home Depot is selling Carolina Cherry Laurel Trees. They look beautiful. Is this a good tree for Bulverde TX..20 miles north of San Antonio? Can it survive? Will it be a high maintenance...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating skunk cabbage in Troy, NY
May 19, 2009 - My yard is overgrown with skunk cabbage. My question is how do I get rid of it?
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.