Although trees provide shade, shelter, and beauty to your home or property, they can also be a contributing cause of illness to large animals such as horses, and cattle. Some trees are so poisonous they can result in anemia, kidney failure, and even cyanide poisoning for larger animals.
Although animals don’t usually eat the leaves or twigs of these trees, rain can wash the poison into their water sources. Watch out for fallen twigs and leaves, especially after storms. In order to protect your pets and livestock, stay away from planting these top 3 harmful trees.
1. Red maple (Acer rubrum)
Red maple trees, usually found in the northeastern United States, produce poisonous leaves that can harm horses. The leaves the red maple drops are poisonous for up to four weeks after falling. A horse that consumes these leaves may demonstrate signs of anorexia, pale mucous membranes, and red-ish-brown urine. The poison in the leaves can lead to acute renal failure which can kill horses.
2. Oak (Quercus species)
Oak trees, found in eastern Unites States, are poisonous to all large animal species: cattle, sheep, horses, and goats. However, oak poisoning is most common in cows and calves. The poison is found in the green buds that grow in the spring and in the acorns on the ground in the fall. Depending on the amount ingested, poisoning can lead to anorexia, dullness, and constipation. Cattle feces are often hard and covered in mucus. Later signs of poisoning include dehydration and hematuria. Horses may show bloody diarrhea. Death may occur within 3 to 7 days.
3. Box elder (Acer negundo)
Box elder trees are widespread throughout North America and found in many ranches and pastures. The seeds produced by this tree pose a fatal threat to horses. Ingestion of just 165 seeds could result in toxicosis. Ingestion of these seeds is associated with seasonal myopathy (a disease of muscle tissue), usually in the fall. Horses often become weak and reluctant to move. Muscle tremors are common and some horses may not be able to stand on their own. Death can occur within 72 hours of ingestion.
If you find any of these trees on your property and you fear for the safety of your pets or livestock, then please contact the tree removing professionals at Happy Tree Services and we can remove any unwanted trees or bushes.