Many horse owners are not aware of the toxicity of some trees to their animal. This is by no means an exhaustive list and you should do diligent research for the trees your horse may have access to. Below are a few of the more common trees that contain toxic materials, which often prove fatal if ingested.

Black Walnut

This is a tree that must be avoided by your horse at all cost. It can cause acute laminitis. The shavings are even considered toxic to a horse.If you have one in the pasture, have it removed.


Everything about cheery and plum trees is toxic to a horse. They contain cyanide, which turns to hydrogen cyanide in the stomach of a horse. They can die of upper respiratory distress quickly. Keep them away from the fruit, seeds, and leaves of these trees.


The yellow fruit of the persimmon tree is a popular treat for deer, but horses tend to love them for their sweetness as well. The problem begins when the sticky fruit begins to cause a blockage in the intestines. The fruit will begin to stick to the wall and prove difficult to move. Removal may require emergency surgery.

Black Locust Tree

The leaves, bark, and seeds of this tree contain toxic phytotoxins that can seriously harm or kill a horse. Unfortunately, these trees are common in both the United States and Canada. Ingestion can cause colic and kidney failure.

Red Maple

The red maple tree has leaves that are toxic to a horse. They are toxic while alive, but an unknown toxin that forms in the dead leaves is what can seriously injure or kill a horse. These trees are native to the eastern US and southeastern Canada. This toxin is known to break down the red blood cells and shuts down the kidneys.

Oak Trees

This is an extremely common tree and is not considered dangerous to just horses. Eating the acorns can prove deadly to all forms of livestock. It initiates severe colic and bloody diarrhea. Horses will not typically eat the acorns, but it proves harmful if they do.

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