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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've figured out where my tiny paddocks / runs will go. Right now, next to that spot, is an area that is just lawn. I'd like to put some fruit trees there. But apparently every fruit tree that I'd want to plant (cherry, plum, peach) is, at least in part, toxic to horses. Especially the leaves, but only when they are wilted on the ground. I had planned to set the trees back about four feet from the paddocks, so the horses wouldn't be able to reach them anyways, but I suppose it's possible that leaves could blow into the paddock. However, I'm not even planning on using the paddocks that often, as I expect them to be on pasture or in a dry lot most of the time.

So, would you guys plant a tree that is potentially toxic near a paddock that you wouldn't use very much? I really want to put the fruit trees there -- it's a perfect spot for them.

Or does anyone have a suggestion of another fruit or nut tree I could plant? One thing we *don't* need is more apple trees.

This is in the Pacific Northwest.
 

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I googled Crepe Myrtle and found they WILL grow in the PNW.

They can be bushes or trees. The trees come in all sorts of colors and sizes, plus you can shape them as a they grow.

The best part is they are NOT toxic to anything - nothing - not my neighbor’s goats and chickens, not our dogs and cats and especially not horses, as where I want to plant one is in part of the yard where my IR/Cushings horse lives.

Google “growing Crepe Myrtle in the Pacific Northwest”. Then find a high caliber nursery to guide you - not some fly-by-night place, not WalMart or Lowe’s, lollol. Find a legitimate nursery with knowledgeable people and get what you pay for:):)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I googled Crepe Myrtle and found they WILL grow in the PNW.
Actually that reminds me I wanted to plant a Magnolia. Apparently they grow up there as well. But for this spot, I'm looking for something with fruits or nuts.

Thanks!
 
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Please be cautious with fruit or nut trees anywhere close to your paddocks. Horses can and will over indulge in anything that they can reach and fruit and nuts are known to cause colic. My mare actually loves acorns. I don't have any oak trees but if we are out on a trail and she sees them she will try her best to get her head down to eat some. I have never had a horse do this! but I guess at some point in her life she had access to them and just loves them. My vet strongly cautioned me against letting her eat too many.

And years ago my mare colic'd unpexpectedly - we could not figure out why - that is until we saw a neighbor throwing buckets of apples over the fence -she was the top of the herd so got to eat her fill and it did not go well.
 

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Pecans could work as could hickories, English walnuts, hazelnuts. Mulberries and pears. I would say you'd be fine with apple and peach if you keep the horses out during harvest/leaf fall. I've already mentioned roses as hips make a good fruit for jellies. I'd have to see if there are any figs that would work. If so they would likely need protection of some sort.



Note though that any of the nuts unless you pick diligently will bruise the feet and cause abscessing. So I'd say when the nuts fall harvest before allowing in the area.


People get really worked up about toxic trees but if you feed you animals well, they have adequate forage whether pasture or free choice hay and in this case remove them from the area when fruit falls they aren't going to be an issue especially if back far enough to prevent browsing tender young growth.
 

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We had established fruit trees in three paddocks, plum, cherry, apple, pear and in the hedgerow there were damson trees. The horses would pick at the fallen fruit but never over indulged and never got colic.

I would watch the foals pick the cherry, damsons and plums, they only went for the ripe ones and spit the stones out.
 

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I think it depends on the horse - Katie isn't a piggy so I wouldn't worry about her being stupid. But just like dogs some seem to have zero sense of survival lol. And as Qtrbel said as long as ANY animal has enough of its natural diet and keeping it varied most won't go mental and overdose. When I take Katie for handwalks I just let her eat whatever she wants really and she really does seem to enjoy a huge variety. If I had a field to maintain I would defo be thinking about harvesting or clearing it correctly ^>^
 

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The stones aren't an issue typically because they won't crack them. Swallow or spit in my experience. Apple seeds they would have to eat at least half a cup that they finely chewed all in a close span of time. An apple typically has between 5 and 10 seeds depending on how well pollinated. It would have to be very well pollinated to have 10, heaviest pollination possible - possibly a couple more. That means horsey would have to eat between 30 to 50 or more apples to get enough to kill themself.
 
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