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BRIEF: Can I plant these trees near my horses?


QUESTION:
I am planning to plant a few shade trees in my pasture. I have ruled out oak and cherry and black walnut, because I've heard they are bad for horses. What about maple (all varieties) and sycamore? what about weeping willow next to the creek, but on the other side of the fence?

ANSWER:

We know that red maple (also called swamp maple, soft maple or Acer rubrum) is poisonous to horses. As a matter of fact, we have an active research program on red maple poisoning. I am not aware of problems with the other species of maple. I don't think that weeping willow next to the creek, but on the other side of the fence, would be a problem.