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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have many of them on our new property, which is odd considering we have high, dry, sandy soil. 3 huge trees are looming just over the fence, a couple 200' away by the house and many sprinkled around in other places farther away.

We are hoping to remove the 3 right on the other side of the fence soon but the rest are not in the plans for this fall, and there are to many to remove every tree from the property.

Are they as big of a concern as it seems online? Are the leaves a problem as well, or just the seed pods? Not all of ours have seeds, I cannot find anything online indicating that the leaves are an issue.
 

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This is a great article from Michigan State University.

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/boxelder_trees_are_toxic_to_horses

Box Elders apparently have male and female trees, which is probably why not all of your trees have seeds.

What I would do might depend upon how much pasture the horses have and if you have young horses, who might be more inclined to eat the seed pods.

Some horses will eat things in the fall, they might not eat any other time as the leaves start to die and the taste changes - but toxicity often comes along with that.

Its a sticky wicket for you but you might be better off at least cutting the female trees down. However, if there’s a big population of them and they aren’t on your property, you’re still at risk for the wind blowing leaves and seed pods onto your property:(
 

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Box Elders have male and female trees. Only females produce seeds. I wouldn't go cutting every box elder down just because. Seeds are only a problem if you have poor pasture or over grazed pasture. Horses in pastures with female box elders should also have access to hay especially in the fall and through early spring when seeds ripen and disperse. If you have foals that would potentially try them out or horses that are new to your region and may not be familiar use caution. In those cases you may want to cut female trees out of fall pastures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great, thank-you! We have mostly male Boxelders it would seem. So the leaves are not a problem?

The horses are in a 100x130 paddock at night and go out to a fairly sparse 8 acre pasture, we have very sandy soil that used to hold a lot of red pines so it really needs lime, manure and seeded to be any kind of great grazing. But they do have things to eat and round bales. I do not think the pasture has boxelders near by, its the paddocks that do. We cut down the 1 tree in the paddock with seed pods, but there are two remaining which do not have seeds, and that is why I was wondering about the leaves. Thanks!
 
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