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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - August 21, 2013

From: Kempner, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Trees
Title: Shade trees not toxic to dogs in Kempner TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr Smarty Plants, we are looking for shade trees to plant around our home in Kempner, Tx. I saw another family that asked a similar question but we have dogs and holly or oak trees are toxic (my pups eat everything). Can you recommend some pet friendly varieties to provide shade for my puppies? Our yard is high alkaline and full of limestone, we get a fairly common 10 mph wind, no trees yet and tons of sun. Thanks in advance for your advice!!

ANSWER:

The ASPCA Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List – Dogs doesn't list oaks as being toxic to dogs.  Certainly, they aren't to deer since they feast on the acorns and tender leaves.    However, Poisonous Plants of North Carolina, which is aimed at humans says that raw acorns can cause problem but  "causes only low toxicity if eaten".  Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants and Cornell University's Plants Poisonous to Livestock, which are focused on livestock, list it as toxic with horses and cattle being the most often affected.  The ASPCA list does say that Ilex opaca (American holly) and Ilex aquifolium (European holly) are toxic to dogs.  We can find you shade trees, however, that are neither oaks or hollies and are not toxic to dogs.

Ulmus americana (American elm)  Here is more information from Texas A&M's Tree Planting Guide.

Ulmus crassifolia (Cedar elm)  Here is more information from Texas A&M's Texax Tree Planting Guide.

Fraxinus albicans [synonym=Fraxinus albicans] (Texas ash)   Here is more information from Texas A&M's Tree Planting Guide.

Carya illinoinensis (Pecan)  Here is more information from Texas A&M's Texas Tree Planting Guide.

Juglans microcarpa (Little walnut)  Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants database says that Juglans nigra (Black walnut) is toxic to horses.  Here is more information from Texas A&M's Texas Tree Planting Guide.

Prosopis glandulosa (Honey mesquite)  Here is more information from the Texas Tree Planting Guide.

 

From the Image Gallery


American elm
Ulmus americana

Cedar elm
Ulmus crassifolia

Texas ash
Fraxinus albicans

Pecan
Carya illinoinensis

Little walnut
Juglans microcarpa

Honey mesquite
Prosopis glandulosa

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