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Discussion on Pasture Shade Trees

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Silvia
Member
Username: silly

Post Number: 11
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 23, 2008 - 9:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I'm in the beginning stages of planning a horse pasture and want to plant shade trees for a 3 acre lot and was considering a weeping willow. I can't find any information that they may be poisonous to horses. Anyone have any willow trees in their pastures? Recommendations for better trees? Suggestions are welcome.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19937
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 - 6:29 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

We do not have any information that weeping willows are poisonous. What are your plans for protecting the trees from the horses?
DrO
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jos
Member
Username: paardex

Post Number: 529
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 - 7:32 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Willows contain acetyl salicylacid[?] Like in aspirine. My horses lived with a variety of willows almost in their fields ate from them and it never hurt them nor the willows because they are trees that do very well when trimmed.BUT my horses always had acces to grass don't know what would have happened if they had only willow.
Hope this helps
Jos
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Chris Doyle
Member
Username: christel

Post Number: 371
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 - 9:51 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Silvia- is the reason you want willows is because they grow so fast? They are very fast growers, but their life span is only 15- 20 years, you might try the Chinese Elm, sometimes called Siberian Elm and now known as Lace Bark Elm- they are fast growers too, but live alot longer- I know where some are that are at least 70 years old- they make awesome shade trees. I have several at my place, when the branches grow into the horses paddock my horses 'trim' them back- with no adverse effects.
I am like Dr O- how do you plan on keeping the horses away from them as they grow? My horses love the bark on the elms at my place- I have had to put chicken wire around several so they couldn't eat the bark- I figure you would have to put a fence around each tree so they would survive long enough to become shade trees.
Hope that helps,
Chris
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Silvia
Member
Username: silly

Post Number: 12
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 - 10:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

There won't be any horses on the property for another 5 years or so, we're planning a home on a 14 acre lot. I thought the trees would be well developed by then. I will fence off the trunk at some point down the road and will prune annually if needed. There's a soggy area of the field I thought the willow would be good to absorb some of the water and would be good shade too. Some type of drainage system still may be in order though. Can you recommend another good shade tree?
Thank you.
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Silvia
Member
Username: silly

Post Number: 13
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 - 10:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Super, Chris, thank you! I will check them out.
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Ann
Member
Username: dres

Post Number: 1664
Registered: 10-2000
Posted on Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 - 10:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sycamore trees are fast growing.. provide big canap├ęs as well.. We just planted a few, another problem is horses like to rub on them even with wire wrapped around em.. thus knocking em over.. :-( We have fenced the new tree area in.. So no access to them at all..

Have fun planning..

On the first day God created horses, on the second day he painted them with spots..
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Silvia
Member
Username: silly

Post Number: 14
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 - 7:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

That's great, thanks!
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Elizabeth Kaufman
Member
Username: ekaufman

Post Number: 326
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Friday, Jan 25, 2008 - 4:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Just seeing this thread. Siberian Elms do grow fast, but they are brittle. Out here, they routinely shatter in the wind, and are now considered undesirable because of this fragility.

We love the range cottonwoods-- tough, fast growing, and resilient trees. But they're definitely a western plains tree.
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jos
Member
Username: paardex

Post Number: 530
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, Jan 26, 2008 - 3:52 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

You could opt for willows in between the other trees, they are used in Holland in wet places drink enormous amounts of water and live with their'feet in the water and in between or around you plant the longer livingand/or more beautiful species. That's how I started out but I like different kinds of trees as it seems more 'natural' to me.
Jos
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Chris Doyle
Member
Username: christel

Post Number: 372
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Saturday, Jan 26, 2008 - 9:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

great idea jos, was thinking along those lines myself- plant the willow for instant shade (well almost- one year I planted one, way over fertilized it and had to water the heck out of it to keep it from dying- I had a shade tree in a couple of years-lol). Then plant your slower growing but longer living trees as backups when the willows die at a young age you will have shade from the slower growin ones planted close by.
I love sycamores, but have had no luck in keeping them alive, have planted 3 with no luck so far- wonder what I am doing wrong?
Ann I wonder if we are talking about the same Siberian Elm? I live in the texas panhandle and we are quickly becoming known as the best place for wind energy- we have lots of wind- while these trees may become a mess during ice storms they quickly recover and become great shade trees again. In my area of the country the nurserys now sell the Lace Bark Elm- they tell me these are the 'old' Chinese Elm, which I have also been told were once the Siberian There are lots of different kinds of elm trees- they dont grow as fast as the willows but are fairly fast growers, with a much longer life span.
Another tree that is very fast and has a 400 year life span- the Bald Cypress- they can tolerate living in water if they have too, they look like an evergreen tree but lose all their leaves in the winter like decidious trees. I have 2 of them planted and they are quickly becoming my favorite tree. The San Antonio River Walk has many of them planted along the walk way- they are awesome trees. In the fall the leaves turn a rust brown and are very attractive.
Joe T Garcia's mexican food restaurant in Ft. Worth Texas has a bald cypress in the outdoor patio area- awesome specimen- shade canapes the whole patio area in the summer.
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Silvia
Member
Username: silly

Post Number: 15
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, Jan 26, 2008 - 7:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

GREAT suggestions, thanks guys!!!
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Angie J.
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 1564
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Monday, Jan 28, 2008 - 10:33 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Willows are very easy to start from clippings. We used to have some under the power lines when we moved here, and the power company took them down. I clipped some pieces I think they were about 15" long, and stuck them in sand in a big plastic bucket, left them in the basement over winter, kept the sand moist, and then, after all that, just planted one that had good roots and growth. (hows that for a run on sentence, lol!) It's a beautiful FREE tree on the front lawn now. Messy, but I love seeing it there. And as for short lived, I don't know, I've seen some HUGE weeping willows and they have to be pretty old. Being so easy to start for free, I guess I don't care if they don't out live me.
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Silvia
Member
Username: silly

Post Number: 19
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, Jan 28, 2008 - 1:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

So, just from the few clippings they sprouted enough root to plant? It's amazing that you can get such a large tree from a few clippings...
I'm going to go with the above suggestions and plant several trees along with the willow. It's a pretty big lot so a few trees won't be overdoing it.
When you say messy, you mean the leaves on the ground, right? Do you have to rake? How about prune? And what do they look like over the winter? Are they completely bare?
Ann -are the sycamores colorful in the fall? The field is right against the road (a very quiet road) with a lovely rock wall. I've planted orange day lillies straight across the front for some color. But would love some colorful trees in the fall...
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LRH
New Member
Username: lrhughes

Post Number: 4
Registered: 6-2005
Posted on Saturday, Oct 1, 2011 - 1:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Chinese Elms have worked well for us. In 3-5 years they will grow to 25 or 30 feet in height here and have a nice spread. The trunks get bigger around over time. Branches break occasionally in 50 mph winds, but seldom really hurt the trees. The tiny leaves blow away. I've never had to rake them. Also, i've seen Weeping Willows (Babylonian I think) that have been going strong for at least 50 years. I planted a Corkscrew Willow over 30 years ago by sticking a 10 foot branch into the ground. It rapidly became a big tree. I'd put several in the spot you want and then keep the one that is best. Poplars grow fast by die early. Many of the fast growing trees above use a LOT of water. The Chinese Elms didn't need nearly as much, though their growth is best if the have enough. Sycamores are also good, and around here, so are a small grove of Ca Redwoods can provide a nice shady spot. Plant about 10 feet apart and keep horses out until trees are well established (5 years), or protect them with fence on each.
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