Contact Us Host an Event 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
36 ratings

Wednesday - April 30, 2008

From: jesup, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Fast-growing native trees that are safe for horses
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What trees can I plant that are fast growing for shade and, most importantly, safe for horses?

ANSWER:

Just about anyone we know who planted fast-growing trees was sorry later. You pay for speed in growth with weakness in structure. So, while we understand your need for shade, it will be better in the long run if you plant good, sturdy trees native to your area, and maybe put up awnings or an open structure for shade in the meantime. We did find a website, Fast-Growing Shade Trees for Georgia, from the University of Georgia Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Cooperative Extension Services with a list of trees they recommended as being able to grow fairly fast but still be good, long-lived trees. Some of their list were non-natives to North America, and at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center we only recommend natives, and, more especially, natives to the area where you live. You know they will grow well there because they ARE growing well there. They are already adapted to the soil, the moisture, the temperatures that they will be growing in. We could find no indication that any of the suggested trees would have any fruit or seeds that would be dangerous for horses. For information even closer to home, here is a contact page for the University of Georgia Wayne County Extension Service. There are phone numbers, addresses, websites and e-mail addresses, and they very likely have more information on trees appropriate for your area in Southeast Georgia. Contact some of the Native Plant Suppliers in your area for more information and sources of the trees you select.

TREES FOR SOUTHEAST GEORGIA

Taxodium distichum (bald cypress)

Acer rubrum (red maple)

Betula nigra (river birch)

Quercus acutissima (sawtooth oak)

Liriodendron tulipifera (tuliptree)

Quercus phellos (willow oak)


Taxodium distichum

Acer rubrum



Quercus acutissima

Liriodendron tulipifera

Quercus phellos

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Webbing on the bark of a hackberry tree.
October 03, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants. We have a large hackberry tree in our back yard that has what appears to be extensive spider webbing covering large areas of the bark at the trunk . . and extending well up th...
view the full question and answer

Is Texas Mountain Laurel Honey Toxic in Fulshear, TX?
March 11, 2012 - Toxicity of Texas Mountain Laurel HONEY I know the seeds and leaves of the Tx Mountain Laurel are toxic. But, is honey that comes from the Mountain Laurel toxic too? I heard that it is, but can'...
view the full question and answer

Susceptibility of Shumard oaks to oak wilt
March 25, 2006 - I have planted a red oak tree. I am still trying to locate the ID tag for the type. I planted it two or three years ago. I purchased the tree from either Lowes or Home Depot. Is there a type of red oa...
view the full question and answer

Watering newly-planted Afghan Pines
May 11, 2015 - I just planted some Afghan pines in Amarillo, tx (avg. rainfall about 2O in. Per year) What would be the appropriate amount of water and how often would I need to water during this time.
view the full question and answer

Distinguishing elm species from volunteers in yard
April 10, 2008 - What's the best way to distinguish young elm tree species apart from one another? We have a bunch coming up in our yard and we're trying to figure out if they are Winged, Cedar or American. Some of ...
view the full question and answer

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