Blueberry bushes and horses - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-12-2019, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
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Blueberry bushes and horses

Does anyone have any thoughts about whether blueberry bushes would do a decent job of keeping my horses out of our tiny streams? I haven't ever actually seen a bluebrry bush in person so I don't know, but the tree guy we hired suggested planting them, just for the fruit. I was wondering if they might also serve the purpose of keeping the horses out. FWIW none of our horses like blueberries -- they just spit them out when we gave them to them.
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-12-2019, 02:15 PM
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If horses want to go somewhere, a blueberry bush won't stop them. Plant the bushes for the fruit, if you like, but a strand of electric tape set back from the stream will be far more effective at keeping the horses out. Be aware that blueberries attract animals like black bears, raccoons, coyotes, and birds galore so if that is an issue for you, I wouldn't put them near the horses.
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-12-2019, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
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I get that it won't stop them, but maybe it would provide enough of a barrier to discourage them from being in the water, especially since they'll have a watering trough?

Good thought about the wild critters. We already have bears in the back of the property. Maybe I'll plant the bushes along that creek instead of the front one. Since they're already there anyway. The front one is near the barn, and I really don't want to be attracting ANY wild animals there.
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-12-2019, 02:47 PM
Green Broke
 
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We have some scratchy, bushy little cedar-type trees that grow in one corner of the barn lot. The horses have NO REASON to be back there -- there's no grass in that area, but they love those trees-- scratching on them, dinking with the branches, and otherwise entertaining themselves. They will seek out the lilac bushes along the fence in the big pasture to brush through to get flies off, or to just stand in and sleep. I can't see how blueberries would be any different!
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-12-2019, 03:26 PM
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The branches of blueberry bushes are quite delicate so they would just get broken and killed if the horse pushed through them/trampled on them. Mine have been broken by things such as pair of fighting cats rolling into them, so goodness knows what damage horses would do.

But yes, plant them for the fruit. Although since you have, by the sounds of it, so many wild animals, you may not see any of the fruit. It is hard enough to contend with just the birds in an urban area here!

Here in NZ, what people use for a lot of riparian planting is NZ flax (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flax_in_New_Zealand). It makes quite a dense barrier and is tough and hardy. Do you have anything like that in the US?
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-12-2019, 05:29 PM
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Also if you do an online search for "riparian planting" (or restoration) and the region you are in, you should be able to find some resources of what people usually plant. I would say what ever you do plant will need fenced off, definitely when it is getting established, who knows for longer if it is tough enough as mature plants to withstand horses.
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-13-2019, 09:31 AM
Green Broke
 
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I don't think are tough enough to really dissuade horses. You'd need something with stronger branches. Any you plant now wouldn't be to full size, so they'd probably be damaged or killed before they got to be big enough to create a visual barrier.
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-21-2019, 05:15 PM
Showing
 
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I disagree, I mean of course they won't stop a horse from going somewhere but they are very dense and may work well to discourage a nonmotived horse from passing through unless of course the horse likes walking through dense *****ly bushes for some reason.. lol. They would need to be planted fairly closely.
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-21-2019, 06:10 PM
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I would use native plants, such as Salmon berry, which has some mild thorns, and Devil's club, which has some BIG thorns. I believe both tolerate wet ground well. Or, Oregon Grape, with *****ly leaves. There are some giant varieties that are very *****ly.
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-21-2019, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
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@tinyliny thanks for the recommendation. Maybe salmon berry. I will NOT plant Devil's club, I came across that in Alaska, and I hope to never encounter it again.
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