Black walnut tree toxicity

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Mapale Mapale 2 years, 9 months ago.

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  • kittles Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 1

    We just bought our first horse farm and noticed what look like black walnut hulls and nuts on the ground around the base of 6 trees in the pastures. It’s January and many are broken open by squirrels. The hulls are black and there is a smallish nut inside then the “fruit”. I’ve researched and get conflicting info. I’ve also asked friends and my vet. We fenced a small paddock for the winter that has 5 of the trees next to the paddock and raked up as many of the shells and nuts as possible but some are frozen to the ground and I’m sure there is residue on the ground from the hulls sitting there for months. Vet says shavings are definitely toxic and horse should leave the live trees and hulls alone but could colic if eaten. We will bring our horses over in about 3-4 weeks and I’m nervous about toxins in the ground around the trees. Any advice? Should I find another place for their winter paddock?

    Mapale Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    I had three beautiful cherry trees – big trunks over one foot in diameter, and a few smaller ones. That’s the first thing I got rid of in the pasture. It’s just not worth it. There are plenty of trees that don’t kill horses if you need shade. I know it’s painful to cut down a tree. 🙁

    I would get rid of the trees and drag the pasture with a sweeper – then get rid of as many shells as I could see. I’d rather do that than bury a horse.

    In winter the grazing isn’t great – horses sometimes eat bark – in the case of mimosa trees, they will eat it because it is sweet. And sometimes they are just curious and take a bite. Depends on the horse.

    Better safe than sorry.

    Just my two cents, and black walnut isn’t cherry….

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    kittles Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 1

    False alarm thankfully. Was talking to my farrier today who knows a lot about plants. She identified the nut sample I had as a hickory nut. I looked it up on line and yup, it’s a hickory nut and not black walnut! Now am researching hickory trees and nuts but from what I’ve read so far, they appear not to be an issue!
    Thank you for your input though! I really appreciate it!

    Mapale Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    So relieved to hear it! I hate to cut down trees, and losing my big cherry – one of the oldest on my land – was heartbreaking. We do what we can to protect our horses. I’ve never heard of issues with hickory.

    Good luck on your new farm – how exciting!

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

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