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View Full Version : Fast growing horse safe shade trees



LMH
Jul. 21, 2010, 04:07 PM
That will survive in GA :)

I want to add some trees to my pastures-give some 'warmth' to look at and of course-shade!

Suggestions? I will have to buy pretty small so don't want to look at a non-shade twig for 10 years.

Auventera Two
Jul. 21, 2010, 04:16 PM
Boxelders. LOL. We are overrun with boxelders. They grow like 600 feet per year. If I want more shade for the horses, I just transplant a little seedling and within 2 years it's 15 feet high already. But they are weedy, parasite type trees. Not something I'd seriously recommend.

If you want fast growing, you're going to have weaker wood with a tree that is "less desirably" shaped. Slow growing shade trees like oak and nice maples (not sugar or silver) grow slowly and develop a nice crown. The only way to keep a fast growing tree decently shaped is to have it professionally pruned and shaped the first 5 years or so.

I've learned to sacrifice a beautiful ball shaped crown for super fast growth because I want lots of trees and lots of shade.

Edited to add: Oh yeah - I've been pouring manure tea on my trees and they have all shot up like crazy. You take a fresh pile of horse manure, put it in a 5 gallon bucket, and use the garden hose on high pressure. Fill the bucket to the top, stir with a big stick or shovel, and pour on the tree. Follow it with another bucket or two of water to help wash it into the soil.

MunchkinsMom
Jul. 21, 2010, 04:20 PM
I did a quick Google search:

List for GA:

http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/Georgia.htm

And a list for Florida:

http://floridagardener.com/misc/shade.htm

I only know that the red maple is a big no-no, you would have to do a bit more research for other trees.

wsmoak
Jul. 21, 2010, 04:23 PM
I hate to even *think* of planting them on purpose, but sweet gum trees grow like crazy here...

LMH
Jul. 21, 2010, 04:36 PM
OHhhh look at the Tulip Poplar and the Royal Empress!!!

GREAT link MunchkinsMom!

wsmoak
Jul. 21, 2010, 04:42 PM
Tulip poplars (actually in the magnolia family) have shallow root systems and will need more TLC than something with a tap root. I've got huge ones here -- too big to reach around. Also, they only have that pretty cone shape when they're young, then they get very tall and cylindrical. If you choose them, you may want to plant some every few years and plan to harvest them for lumber when they get too big.

Daydream Believer
Jul. 21, 2010, 04:42 PM
White or Green Ash as well as River Birch. I've got both here now and I'm astonished at how fast they've grown! Both are harmless to horses also.

MunchkinsMom
Jul. 21, 2010, 04:43 PM
Yes, I liked both of those also.

I'm currently nurturing a few live oak tree saplings that have sprouted in my pasture in various spots where there are currently no trees at all. The are only about 2 feet high right now, but I've noticed they seem to get a growth spurt and I'm picturing beautiful huge oak trees in about 30 years - hahaha. When I say nurturing, I mean just trying to make sure I don't run them over when I am mowing.

BeastieSlave
Jul. 21, 2010, 04:45 PM
If you're looking for shade, I'd go with poplar.

sadlmakr
Jul. 21, 2010, 04:52 PM
I do not know how they will grow in Georgia but I planted 2 different varieties of Mulberry trees. One is a dark blue berry and the other which grew faster has white berrys on it. I planted them both at the same time and the white berry tree is double the size of the dark berry tree.
They grow fast where they get lots of water. But they don't like sitting in water or the roots rot. Allow for their roots to spread too.
They grow fast anyway.
Lots of shade and the birds love the berrys.
JMHO.
sadlmakr

LMH
Jul. 21, 2010, 04:53 PM
Thank you for ALL the suggestions! :D

MunchkinsMom
Jul. 21, 2010, 04:54 PM
You might want to check out this site, some folks say that the Royal Empress is an invasive species?

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/trees/msg0513042729678.html

RacetrackReject
Jul. 21, 2010, 04:57 PM
Poplar are great trees. I planted them down the sides of my long driveway at my old house and they grew like crazy. I'm thinking about doing it out at the farm as well.

I'm not sure about the growth rate on Mulberry but all of the ones on my farm and big pretty trees. You do have to deal with it staining things purple though or the horses eating all of the berries.

RedMare01
Jul. 21, 2010, 05:00 PM
You might want to look at Beech trees. I think they are fairly fast growing. Also second the River Birch...my MIL has one, and it's a beautiful big tree thats about 12 years old.

We have a ton of Tulip Poplars around here (state tree), and they are nice trees, but put out a ton of sap in the spring. As in, you park under one for an hour or two, and your car is covered in thousands of tiny, sticky little droplets that take forever to get off. So if your horses will be under them for any periods of time, you might want to plan ahead for a lot of sudsy baths :lol:.

Caitlin

LMH
Jul. 21, 2010, 05:02 PM
Wherever I plant them I AM going to fence around them to prevent chewing-but it sounds like sap may be an issue on some!

I am SO excited to add some trees to my pastures!!

So will I need them close enough to a water source? :confused:

Auventera Two
Jul. 21, 2010, 05:05 PM
So will I need them close enough to a water source? :confused:

Yes, or be able to take the water source to them. My husband made a big tub that sits on the back of the lawnmower that has a gravity fed hose on it. YOu can drive the water around to the trees. I've planted a bunch of nice trees the last few years and water is a HUGE consideration.

Or just beef up your muscles carrying 10 gallons at a time. :D

shakeytails
Jul. 21, 2010, 05:06 PM
Birch, ash, some oaks (esp. pin oak). Bradford pears grow like crazy, but they're not very long-lived, mainly because wind will take them out if not properly trimmed. If your ground tends to be wet, willows are great and grow like weeds- I have an unknown upright (not weeping) variety that came with my old farm- I stuck several twigs in the ground at this farm a few years ago and now they're HUGE. I also have a curly willow that I love. Another pretty, fast growing shade tree is the thornless honey locust - I'd love to plant a few but I never find them in the bargain department- being cheap, I've never paid more than $12 for a treeling.

shakeytails
Jul. 21, 2010, 05:11 PM
Water source? Mother Nature! I've only watered mine when I plant them and maybe a couple more times if doesn't rain in the first week or so after planting. The only trees I've lost are the tiny little things that I accidentally mowed.

LMH
Jul. 21, 2010, 05:52 PM
Great-I have a gator and a water container with a gravity fed hose-so if rain is lacking...

headsupheelsdown
Jul. 21, 2010, 05:59 PM
Poplar.

Get the kind genetically bred to branch out to have a nice canopy, instead of the weed cylinder shape. Oh lordie... you planted mulberry? You will have zillions soon... basically wherever a bird poops. And red maple is poisonous to horses.

Try a website called/for "fast growing trees".

http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/

JSwan
Jul. 21, 2010, 06:23 PM
My personal favorite is the River Birch.

But if you're looking for the ultimate shade tree, and what to do a Good Deed at the same time, consider planting an Elm.

Blight resistant Elms are now on the market, and the Elm is the ultimate shade tree, isn't it.

And just think - you'll be part of the effort to restore this beautiful tree to the landscape.

Here's some info:

http://www.americanelm.com/elm_faqs.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elm

http://www.landscapeelms.com/index.htm

http://www.landscapeelms.com/matching_grant.htm (purchase Liberty Elms)

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Jul. 21, 2010, 09:22 PM
Sycamores, bald cypress, and Leland cypress have all done well for me.

buck22
Jul. 21, 2010, 09:45 PM
oooh oooh, didn't read any other responses, but at the first opportunity I have to ever plant a tree, it will be the graceful american elm. I love that tree, and it needs to be brought back, it was nearly wiped out by disease.

they are famously sturdy, beautiful, elegant shade trees. I don't know how quickly they grow though.

LMH
Jul. 21, 2010, 09:52 PM
Elms grow 3-6 ft/yr in early years and reach a height of 80-100!

bird4416
Jul. 22, 2010, 08:53 AM
OHhhh look at the Tulip Poplar and the Royal Empress!!!

GREAT link MunchkinsMom!

These were the exact two I was going to recommend. We have several Empress trees around here and they have made several babies. You are welcome to dig one up and move it to your place. They are pretty small though. In the spring their blooms look like upside down wisteria.

tallyho392
Jul. 22, 2010, 09:52 AM
you might want to be a bit creative in your planting "pattern"......cedar trees groww as quickly as weeds, and if the bottom branchea are trimmed, will allow standing under, however they don't give the shade of a typical umbrella shade tree........BUT, plant one or two of the slower growing shade trees nearby, and the cedars can be cut down when the shade tress are of a signifigant hgt (plan for doing this near christmas, and you will have ALL the fresh, fragrant grrens for the holiday) ....

the cedars will made sort of a thicket, or grove, and the horses will stand in there to eliminate bugs.....it has happened here in the pasture, purely by accident, and i began to take notice, and follow suit, on purpose

crosscreeksh
Jul. 25, 2010, 04:17 PM
When we lived in So. Pines, NC we planted about 600 Pawlonia trees for a cash crop (they are used for furniture and musical instruments), to line our 1/2 mile driveway, shade around our paddocks and a complete perimeter of our 175x300 show ring. People would come to our summer horse shows just to picnic under the trees!!! They grow 18 to 20 feet per year!! REALLY!! Leaves are HUGE - like three feet across when the trees are young. They produce a shade that is comparable to Walmart's A/C!! Horses can, do and LOVE to eat the green or dried leaves so fall clean up is a breeze. We brought some to OK, but they don't like the wind out here. They like lots of water, but good drainage, so if you are in Clay country GA. they may not suit.

Guin
Jul. 25, 2010, 06:19 PM
I didn't know what a Paulownia tree is so I looked it up. Pretty!

http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/Paulownia.htm

veezee
Jul. 25, 2010, 06:23 PM
What does everyone suggest for a fast growing, safe around horses, shade tree for Northern Virginia?

csuebele
Jul. 25, 2010, 06:50 PM
Not going to give suggestions for trees, but you should think about planting fast and slow growing. Fast growing trees also die faster and harder to maintain. Plant some slow growers so that when they're a nice size, you can take out the fast growers if they are causing problems. Also beware of fast growing trees that have weak limbs. You don't want a big branch coming down on your horses or stuctures.

Sakura
Jul. 25, 2010, 06:54 PM
What about a nut tree like a Pecan Tree? Are they horse safe?

Cloverbarley
Jul. 27, 2010, 11:44 AM
What a great thread! I am just about to start planting weeping willows in all of my grazing fields. I planned to do this a few years ago but never got around to it but this year I really do want to get them under way. This is possibly not the best time of the year to plant them - does anyone know when is the best time to plant?

MunchkinsMom
Jul. 27, 2010, 12:48 PM
Another link with information on fast growing pasture safe shade trees for GA:

http://www.wildflower.org/expert/show.php?id=5604

Mr.GMan
Jul. 27, 2010, 03:58 PM
When we lived in So. Pines, NC we planted about 600 Pawlonia trees for a cash crop (they are used for furniture and musical instruments), to line our 1/2 mile driveway, shade around our paddocks and a complete perimeter of our 175x300 show ring. People would come to our summer horse shows just to picnic under the trees!!! They grow 18 to 20 feet per year!! REALLY!! Leaves are HUGE - like three feet across when the trees are young. They produce a shade that is comparable to Walmart's A/C!! Horses can, do and LOVE to eat the green or dried leaves so fall clean up is a breeze. We brought some to OK, but they don't like the wind out here. They like lots of water, but good drainage, so if you are in Clay country GA. they may not suit.


So these are ok to be around horses? Our land was clear cut before we built and in the hardwoods that have sprung up was one of these, it is my favorite and taller than the others! I love it! We have lots of pines and sweetgum that volunteer all over the place, but I would love to have more of these beauties!

scheherazadetbmare
Jul. 27, 2010, 04:05 PM
Call your county (Cherokee?) agricultural extension agent and he or she will tell you what trees are best for your area in North GA and what trees are dangerous to horses.
And your local tree/flower nursery will have lots of trees good for growing locally. Is there a Pike's nursery in Canton?

Eventer55
Jul. 27, 2010, 04:16 PM
What a great thread! I am just about to start planting weeping willows in all of my grazing fields. I planned to do this a few years ago but never got around to it but this year I really do want to get them under way. This is possibly not the best time of the year to plant them - does anyone know when is the best time to plant?

Oooo ooooo oooo me to me too. . .

We just started planting Weeping willows. A friend if ours planted one 6 years ago and dumped all their maunure on the ground around it. It's now easily 60 ft high and gorgeous.

Some places only sell them in the Spring though because people forget to water them in the Summer and they die. I placed mine where the over flow from the water troughs
deeps them watered and I do forget to turn the water off a lot.

I'm in Fredrksbrg area.

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Jul. 27, 2010, 05:27 PM
What about a nut tree like a Pecan Tree? Are they horse safe?

If you don't live in hurricane country.:) Pecan trees are the first to topple over during a storm. Shallow roots.

Which is a shame. I adore pecans. And I'll probably plant some - faaar far away from my horses, barns, and house!:yes:

Anybody know about those paulownia? How do they hold up to hurricanes? Are they deep or shallow rooted?

I looked them up in the Southern Living Gardening Book and it says those trees are so valuable that they are vulnerable to tree-nappers! Says more than one satisfied tree owners has gone to bed at night and woke the next morning to find stumps where the empress tree once stood!:lol:

Sakura
Jul. 27, 2010, 07:11 PM
If you don't live in hurricane country.:) Pecan trees are the first to topple over during a storm. Shallow roots.

Which is a shame. I adore pecans. And I'll probably plant some - faaar far away from my horses, barns, and house!:yes:

Anybody know about those paulownia? How do they hold up to hurricanes? Are they deep or shallow rooted?

I looked them up in the Southern Living Gardening Book and it says those trees are so valuable that they are vulnerable to tree-nappers! Says more than one satisfied tree owners has gone to bed at night and woke the next morning to find stumps where the empress tree once stood!:lol:


I'm a fan of the Empress tree too... may put a couple of them in as well... but I'd love to have a tree that is multifunctional... I always try to seek out the practicality in things I do... so a pecan tree would be great for shade and produce lots of yummy pecans! I just worry about nut and fruit producing trees around horses... particularly due to the reputation of Black Walnut trees.

LMH
Jul. 27, 2010, 08:33 PM
OH my thread is still going with even more wonderful suggestions!!!!

shakeytails
Jul. 27, 2010, 09:44 PM
What a great thread! I am just about to start planting weeping willows in all of my grazing fields. I planned to do this a few years ago but never got around to it but this year I really do want to get them under way. This is possibly not the best time of the year to plant them - does anyone know when is the best time to plant?

Don't buy trees, find a willow you can cut a few branches from. Then, when the ground is wet, stick the twig (about pinky size and a couple/few feet long) in the ground as far as it will go. Ignore but protect from horses and it'll grow just fine on it's own. I did this a several years ago with willow branches and they've been mature height since about the 3rd year. I don't think it's possible to kill a willow.

Cloverbarley
Jul. 27, 2010, 11:57 PM
Thank you both for the info on willow trees. I will get out there and start planting :). Shakeytails my neighbour has a number of lakes on his property and he has loads of weeping willows so I'm going to go and ask if I can dig up some of the saplings to plant on my farm. He'll be happy with some hay in exchange for them :) I live on a beautiful hilly farm and most pasture fields have small streams or spring-fed small ponds in them so they will be perfect for the willows I think. I have always liked the idea of willows in pasture fields because of their medicinal properties by producing salicylic acid.

shakeytails
Jul. 28, 2010, 03:31 AM
Cloverbarley- you really don't have to go to the work of digging anything. Just cut some branches and stick 'em in the wet ground. They grow like weeds. When a storm took out our original willow, we cut it up and threw it into a ditch for fill. It wasn't long before even the firewood sized logs were growing and trying to root.

Cloverbarley
Jul. 28, 2010, 11:40 AM
Okay so that's what I'll do then, just go round and cut off some small branches. Thank you for all the great advice.

eponacelt
Jul. 28, 2010, 12:36 PM
I didn't know what a Paulownia tree is so I looked it up. Pretty!

http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/Paulownia.htm

Guys - Please don't plant Paulownia. They are exotic invasives that are slowly, but surely taking over the countryside. They're the next worst thing after ailanthus (the inappropriately named Tree of Heaven).

dwbonfire87
Jul. 28, 2010, 12:56 PM
how about pecan trees? we moved to property that used to be a pecan farm, all a few years old. i guess they grow HUGE, so we're going to need to remove a few or ill have all shade paddocks. pretty trees so far. i havent heard anything about pecans being a problem for horses, has anyone else? They dont even bother with them. I posted about this in another thread but never got an answer.
If anyone wants a pecan tree, come get em!