Horses are fed leaves or branches from the toxic trees or shrubs as a treat by well-intentioned people (often visitors, guests or neighbors) who don’t know that they are toxic. It includes photos, symptoms to look for, how to control, and more. Perennials are plants that persist for many growing seasons. Losing a horse is heartbreaking and it’s especially so if all it would have taken is a little knowledge to prevent the loss. This one should be taken more seriously as it ranks in the 10 Most Poisonous Plants for Horses according to Equus Magazine. White and Red Clover. Other favorites such as lilies, milkweeds, delphiniums, hyacinths, daffodils, or butterfly weed are also toxic to horses. While the effect on the horse will depend on the amount ingested and the amount of toxin accumulated in the plant, most toxins primarily attack the major systems in the horse, such as the respiratory, cardiac and digestive systems. leaves on a fallen tree limb lying in a pasture or during the fall). Field Maple, Hornbeam, Hazel, Hawthorn, Beech, Bay laurel, Ramanas rose, Rosemary. Black Walnut: The bark, woods, nuts and roots of the black walnut tree contain a toxic compound. The toxic component is in the fresh leaves and flowers, but they lose toxicity when dried for hay. Trees and plants that are poisonous to horses can be very dangerous and identifying the harmful plants is paramount to keeping horses happy and healthy. It seems that weeds can grow just about anywhere. These provide important shade and shelter from the wind and are a nice addition to a natural setting. If you do plant trees, you’ll need to find a way to safely protect them, until they are large enough that they are no longer a tender snack. Does this … The seeds of the boxelder tree (Acer negundo) containing the toxin hypoglycin A have been associated with seasonal pasture myopathy in horses. While it is mainly found it Asia, it… Symptoms usually disappear within hours after the horse is removed from the shavings; however, laminitis can present further problems. Even though these trees are safe, a horse can still overeat bark, twigs or leaves, which can lead to colic. As we all know, horses will eat and eat and eat until there is nothing else to eat. There are numerous poisonous plants in horse pastures all over the United States. leaves on a fallen tree limb lying in a pasture or during the fall). Fallen and dead leaves remain toxic for about a month and cause severe kidney damage if ingested in large quantities. Horses are bedded on shavings from a toxic tree (especially black walnut). In the springtime, emerging leaves may taste fresher to your horse than a dry hay bale. Toxic components The buds, twigs, leaves, and acorns from oak trees can all be potentially harmful to horses if eaten. Yellow star thistle/Russian knapweed (Centauria spp.) It is utilized as a shade and ornamental tree and can also be found infrequently in many wooded areas. Annual plants are plants with a life cycle that lasts only one year. Maple Trees: Maple leaves are highly toxic, particularly when they are in a stressed state prior to dying (e.g. Nut trees that contain toxins harmful for horses include aesculin, found in the yellow (Aesculus octandra) and Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra) trees. Safe Trees Poplars Eastern or Canadian Hemlock (not water hemlock which is a plant and is toxic) Willow Staghorn Sumac (shrub) toxic plants and, using the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) tools on the following pages, develop a plan to prevent future exposure. Unfortunately, there are many large shade trees that are harmful to livestock like horses, cattle, sheep, goats and swine. It's a lovely spring-blooming perennial bulb, but it's deadly to horses. It is estimated that an adult horse needs to consume 1.5 pounds of leaves or more to become poisoned. To get a complete list of toxic plants in your area contact your local extension office. Demetrio Carrasco / Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images. Natural foragers, horses will graze the day away if you let them. They grow from seed, bloom, produce seeds and die in one growing season. The links in the following list will take you to descriptions of the trees for easy identification. “The oleander, a southern flowering shrub which is dangerously toxic, yet used regularly in commercial and home landscaping,” Johnson explained. Maple Tree. Lily of the Valley. Many plants are poisonous to equines; the species vary depending on location, climate, and grazing conditions.In many cases, entire genera are poisonous to equines and include many species spread over several continents. Losing a horse to tree poisoning is devastating, partially because we see trees as part of our horse’s natural surroundings. leaves on … Toxic Trees. 5. But, what this all means, is that any tree that’s growing within a horse pasture should be safe to eat. This tree and its leaves become extremely toxic when they wilt. Red Maple Tree:This is a common medium size tree with green leaves and red stems. Fortunately, horses will naturally avoid consuming vast amounts of poisonous plants however, some plant species may appear palatable and a small amount of a toxic plant may cause poisoning. If there is plenty of other food, such as grass or hay available, your horse probably won’t touch any of the trees within its reach. Horses are primarily exposed through black walnut shavings mixed in with other shavings as bedding. Some horses love the taste of willow, staghorn sumac, and a few others. Generally, the top portion of the plant dies back each winter and regrows the following spring from the same root system. For additional information on Standlee Premium Western Forage, visit www.standleeforage.com. Clinical signs of toxicity include depression, lethargy, increased rate and depth of breathing, increased heart rate, jaundice, dark brown urine, coma and death. They probably don’t taste good, and if better food is available, the horse won’t touch them. If you do wish to plant trees for shade or windbreak in or near your pastures, you might consider the following: Any variety of maple, other than red--as long as it hasn’t hybridized with red maple. Choose plants for your horse’s safety: There are several species that are poisonous to horses such as yew, laurel and privet. If you notice your horse is sampling the greenery, be sure it isn't gorging itself. More research is necessary to determine the feed value and even the toxicity levels for horses. Bedding made of shavings derived from black walnut wood is dangerous and … Horse chestnut (Ohio buckeye), whose scientific name is Aesculus Hippocastanum or glabra, is one of those trees which is toxic to your horse. Lookup which plants and weeds are poisonous to horses using our easy toxic plants lookup tool. The tree is dangerous and poisonous when growing, the seeds, sprouts, and leaves all have toxins. When their regular forage is gone, horses tend to find anything else that might be good (or bad, for that matter) to eat which includes trees and plants that can be toxic and harmful to them. Ragwort. This is one of the types of plants that horses often find unpalatable, but will eat if necessary. ID: Yellow … But then again, so will I. In horses, as little as 30 grams of green leaves can be lethal. Mild to moderate cases of buttercup ingestion results in digestive disturbances such as diarrhea and colic. Sometimes it’s simply not practical to cut all the trees down that may be toxic. And of course, you'll want to plant trees that are safe if they are eaten. Also known as: Barnaby's thistle. The Buttercup causes oral irritation when chewed, and horses rarely consume the plant because it is unpalatable. This article was written by Dr. Tania Cubitt. Tree and shrub fodder as a sole diet is not suitable for horses. And, in the autumn leaves on the ground may be attractive to some horses. White and red clover. Katherine is an avid horseback rider and trainer who contributed to The Spruce Pets for over 12 years, publishing 400+ articles. If you plan to plant for a windbreak, it’s probably best to plant the trees on the outside of your pasture fence, just beyond your horse’s reach. Here are a few tips to controlling them in your pastures. Buttercup causes oral irritation when chewed, and horses rarely consume the plant because it is unpalatable. Other factors that can affect toxin level include stage of growth, season and fertilization, part of the plant eaten, as well as boredom, age and general health of the horse. All parts of the jimsonweed plant are poisonous to horses and humans. Buttercups: The Buttercup causes oral irritation when chewed, and horses rarely consume the plant because it is unpalatable. The leaves are very toxic to horses, but they can recover depending on the amount eaten. Bead Tree (China Ball Tree, Paradise Tree, Persian Lilac, White Cedar, Japanese Bead Tree, Texas Umbrella Tree, Pride-of-India, Chinaberry Tree) | Scientific Names: Melia azedarach | Family: Meliaceae Found all over, rhododendron is an ornamental shrub also known as Mountain Laurel. The good news is that most are unpalatable and horses tend to selectively graze around them and never consume them. Jimsonweed: Jimsonweed can be recognized by its distinctive tree-like shape, white or purple trumpet-like flowers and prickly seed capsules. There are many plants that have been identified as being toxic to horses. Because most of these toxic trees don’t taste very good, horses will leave them alone. The following plants can produce good hedges in their own right or as creative mixtures for non-toxic hedges and trees safe for horse enclosures. Also, if these plants are in hay fields and get mixed into hay bales, it becomes more difficult for horses to eat around them. Buttercups are a type of plant that is toxic to horses when the fresh flowers and leaves are ingested. Instead, be vigilant for opportunities or situations that might lead to your horse ingesting any part of a toxic tree. Most poisoning cases have involved horses eating young, immature leaves in the spring and/or freshly fallen acorns in the autumn, as these contain the highest concentrations of condensed and hydrolyzable tannins. Besides adding beauty to your farm property and ambience to your pastures (what’s nicer than a few horses grazing happily under a single large tree? But, during drought, when pasture grass is sparse, your horse might snack on the trees despite the taste. Clinical signs of exposure include depression, lethargy, laminitis, swelling of the lower limbs, and increased temperature, pulse, respiration rate, abdominal sounds, digital pulse and hoof temperature. Toxic trees and shrubs in North America include: Ingesting the leaves or needles, wood or bark of these trees can be fatal. Maple Trees: Maple leaves are highly toxic, particularly when they are in a stressed state prior to dying (e.g. Not to be confused with a sweet gun, Maple trees tend to have smooth bark and less defined notches in the leaves. Chances are if your horse snatches a mouthful of red maple or oak leaves while trail riding, it won’t be harmed. Many of these trees, bushes or shrubs won’t be attractive to your horse. Horses have the plant material baled into their hay, and they eat it that way. Making sure your pastures are full of things your horses want and need, rather than a playground for weeds, takes care and planning. We also recommend the following trees as they provide good shelter and shade for horses. Prevent animals from grazing on dead or wilting plants as they may still be toxic. Nightshade Family: The nightshade family contains many toxic plants, including horse nettle, black nightshade, bittersweet nightshade, some species of groundcherry, and even tomatoes and potatoes. ; Oleander: Highly poisonous, as it can cause the horse to suffer … The leaves, stems, pods and fruits can be used as a supplement to their other feed. Buttercups: The buttercup species (Ranunculus species) includes several annual and perennial plants which are commonly found in overgrazed horse pastures. While ragwort has a bitter taste and is rarely eaten by horses when it is growing, when it … Farm and stable owners should take precautions to remove red maple trees and avoid the leaves in hay and pastures. Certain drugs will also be used to stabilize the heart. 7. The toxin behind the slobbers, slaframine, is … But, you may want to check that there are no trees that are actually toxic to your horse. Oleander (Nerium oleander) – This tree or large shrub contains cardiotoxic compounds that are poisonous to humans, dogs, cats, horses, cattle, sheep, goats, llamas and birds. Fall is a pretty time of the year; however, falling leaves and other parts of some trees can pose a potentially deadly threat to our horses. There are many ways you can control weeds on your horse property. Generally, horse owners don’t plant trees in pastures for this reason. Since shade is important for all animals as protection against summer's heat, removing poisonous varieties of shade trees like red maple, oak, cherry and plum trees from your pastures or paddocks can leave you with a dilemma. Star-of-Bethlehem is a pretty flower that grows in certain parts of the United States that is toxic to horses. There are various trees and shrubs that horses can safely browse. The adverse effects to the horse range widely with the amount of ingestion and often the environmental conditions the plant was grown under (drought typically increases the poison concentration in some plants). Horse Friendly Shrubs & Trees. © 2020 by Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc., an Active Interest Media company. Jimsonweed has a foul odor and taste, and horses rarely consume it if they have other quality forage. If you suspect your horse has eaten parts of a toxic tree, call your veterinarian. Jimsonweed can be recognized by its distinctive tree-like shape, white or purple trumpet-like flowers and prickly seed capsules. The plant affects the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract. Maple leaves are highly toxic, particularly when they are in a stressed state prior to dying (e.g. Learn how to create a happy, healthy home for your pet. Let’s take a look at some of the most common trees and plants poisonous to horses. Black walnut trees are among many cultivated trees that are toxic to horses. The protection needs to be safe for both horses and the tree. Common Plants Poisonous to Horses. Many pastures included forested areas. cherry (black cherry, chokecherry, and fire cherry) peach and plum trees, Here you will see what plants are poisonous for horses that are commonly found in fields and meadows: Black wattle or Australian acacia: Causes anorexia, muscle weakness, depression and cramps. Unfortunately, toxic plants may be found in pastures and along trails and although a well-fed horse is seldom attracted to these plants, the fact that horses, by design are grazing animals, can lead to accidental ingestion of these plants. However, in pastures that are overgrazed, horses might start to nibble at some of these toxic plants. Others nibble out of habit or curiosity, rather than hunger or taste. Slobbers or Slaframine Poisoning in Horses, The Best Feeds for Helping a Horse Gain Weight, 14 Winter Care Tips for Horses and Ponies, Bringing Your Horse Home - the First Days, How to Tell If a Horse Is Lame on a Front or Back Leg. Horse chestnut trees typically bloom first in spring, making them a tempting choice to chew on before other plants are flourishing. Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org. The effects can happen between a few hours or a few days. ; Acorns: Only poisonous for horses in large amounts, but they can cause cramps, constipation, abdominal pain and kidney damage. But, if it gets bored or hungry, to satisfy its need to graze, your horse might try chewing on tree bark, branches or leaves. Some clinical signs of poisoning include dilation of pupils, diarrhea, loss of appetite and loss of muscular coordination. Clinical signs of buttercup poisoning include increased salivation, decreased appetite, colic and diarrhea. Clinical signs of poisoning in horses include a weak, rapid pulse, dilated pupils, dry mouth, incoordination, diarrhea, convulsions, coma and sometimes death. Since the bark and nut hulls from the black walnut are toxic, these trees should be removed from horse pastures as a precaution. Horses and horse owners both love trees near pastures. 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