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Are There Toxic Trees on Your Horse Farm?

The trees on your farm might be toxic to your horses. There are common trees in North America that can harm your equine friends. Check your property to be sure your horses don't have access to these trees:

Red Maple or Scarlet Maple

Red Maple or Scarlet Maple trees are toxic to horses.

The leaves of these beautiful maples are safe when they're on the tree. The fallen leaves, however, are harmful to equines. They cause severe anemia and kidney disease.

Cherry and Plum

Cherry and Plum trees are highly toxic to horses, producing cyanide.

The leaves, fruit, and seed pits of these flowering trees contain cyanide compounds, especially when they've been stressed by frost or drought. Eating these gives horses respiratory distress.


Oak trees are poisonous to horses and other livestock.

The acorns, leaves, buds, and blossoms of oaks are poisonous to horses and other livestock. They contain tannins, which damage the kidneys.

Black Walnut

Black Walnut trees can cause severe laminitis or founder in horses who are exposed to the tree.

Exposure to the wood of black walnut trees can cause severe laminitis (founder) in horses. The most common exposure is through shavings, but all equine contact with this tree should be avoided.

    Take a walk on your farm and survey the trees, watching for these dangers. Even if the tree is on the other side of a fence, the leaves, branches, and other parts of the tree can fall into the horse's area and create risk.
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