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View Full Version : Should I be worried about the neighbors red maple trees?



heavensdew
Mar. 25, 2012, 08:16 AM
We are putting a bid on a small property today that is next to a fairly new development of houses. I see some red maples in back yards. We will have to put our pasture fence 25 feet from the borders but should I worry about those leaves blowing onto our property in the fall? Will the horses eat them or avoid them?

SaddleFitterVA
Mar. 25, 2012, 09:13 AM
I wouldn't worry. Just don't rake them up and dump them in your pasture.

Petstorejunkie
Mar. 25, 2012, 10:06 AM
The odd leaf wouldn't freak me out. That said I would communicate to your new neighbors that they can't feed them to the horses or start a compost near your fence line.
What was to be my first horse died the day before money was to exchange hands because the neighbor shared a compost with the horse owners pasture and dumped red maple leaves. (lots of stupid in this story)

Zu Zu
Mar. 25, 2012, 10:28 AM
Perhaps ( if this sounds 'sound' for your situation ) a SIGN on the backside of your fence indicating that the red maple leaves are poisonous and not to be fed to horses.

Or just a general sign
"DO NOT FEED HORSES PLEASE !THEY ARE ON SPECIAL MEDICAL DIETS "

ReSomething
Mar. 25, 2012, 10:32 AM
I have a very large Red Maple in my front paddock and haven't had any trouble in the two years we've used it. I do cruise and pick up fallen branches with green leaves, green leaves that have been blown off, and occasionally rake and remove leaves in general.

I don't recommend putting your pasture fence right up against subdivision boundaries because the homeowners will feed your horses grass clippings and just junk from over the fence - my Mom's next door neighbor used to feed the horses behind her day old bread, so the red maples may be the least of your worries.

My3Sons
Mar. 25, 2012, 11:21 AM
I would be very worried! I know of a farm near me who had some branches break and leaves blow over..they had 4 with maple leaf poison and lost 1.

Any maple tree that gets a red vine in the leaf can be toxic...I had a green one removed because in the fall it would get a red vine.

My feeling is to reduce any risks when you can.

clanter
Mar. 25, 2012, 11:38 AM
few horses would be alive in Kentucky if every maple leaf eaten killed a horse as most pastures there have many maple trees

shakeytails
Mar. 25, 2012, 11:58 AM
few horses would be alive in Kentucky if every maple leaf eaten killed a horse as most pastures there have many maple trees

This. You can't worry about every little thing. Cherry trees (wilted leaves anyway) are a whole lot more toxic than red maple and there are cherry trees everywhere in KY! I have a few along my line fences only because I never remember to cut them down in the winter when they have no leaves.

Chall
Mar. 25, 2012, 12:30 PM
Can you have a double fence to keep humans from reaching over to feed? I don't know how expensive chain link is, but that will keep leaves out too. Then have an interior fence for the horses.

heavensdew
Mar. 25, 2012, 12:44 PM
Most of the houses have a perimeter fence and ours will be in 25 feet. I was upset about that lost pasture space but now I have rethought it and like a double barrier between humans and horses!

Bacardi1
Mar. 25, 2012, 03:41 PM
few horses would be alive in Kentucky if every maple leaf eaten killed a horse as most pastures there have many maple trees

Ahhh - but there are "Maple Leaves/Trees" & there are "Maple Leaves/Trees".

The maple family covers a LOT of ground, & most are harmless to horses. However, the "Red Maple" is extremely toxic, & it doesn't take a lot to fatally poison a horse.

It's a very common tree in the northeast - & particularly in the Mid-Atlantic/south. In fact, they're one of the very first trees to announce spring as their buds are deep burgundy-red & can be seen for miles as they dot the woodlots & mountains here.

I, unfortunately have quite a few in my woodlot - one very attractive & very old one next to one of my fenced fields. Whenever we have high winds or a heavy storm, I make a point of going out & raking up any/all fallen leaves/branches - along with the also inevitable wild cherry leaves/branches - as wind-blown/wilted material is the most dangerous. Thankfully, since my gang is well-fed, they don't seem very interested in any flotsam/jetsam. Still, it's better to be safe than sorry.

As for posting signs, I think it would be better to get to know the neighbors instead of doing that. Signs for next-door neighbors without reason/understanding to the reader look/feel snobby. I'd be doing a personal friendly visit before resorting to that.

hosspuller
Mar. 26, 2012, 01:50 AM
Most of the houses have a perimeter fence and ours will be in 25 feet. I was upset about that lost pasture space but now I have rethought it and like a double barrier between humans and horses!

I would just have enough space between the fences for what ever mower or tractor I used. 25 feet is over kill and wasted energy/fuel to maintain.

heavensdew
Mar. 26, 2012, 05:53 AM
I know it is a waste but it is the township zoning law. And....a township employee is one of the neighbors. :(.

lolita1
Mar. 26, 2012, 07:47 AM
Are there any weeds near the trees that need a bit of round up:lol::lol:

lolita1
Mar. 26, 2012, 07:59 AM
Actually i have never had a tree that I would knock down (they are still up but I give them the side ways eye every now and again) until I saw a house that would have had the best views ever ... except for the 2 trees that totally blocked the view. After semi subtile questioning it turned out they were there for sentimental reasons ... would have been down in a sec if I lived there. A quick few drills in the trunk add a bit of round up (with water) and guess what they would be dead woops. Then I would have planted something less view blocking.

Mozart
Mar. 27, 2012, 12:09 AM
The maple family covers a LOT of ground, & most are harmless to horses. However, the "Red Maple" is extremely toxic, & it doesn't take a lot to fatally poison a horse.



Before we planted next to our riding ring I did some research on red maple and that is what I discovered as well. Apparently it is the compound that causes the red colour of the leaf that is poisonous.

Frankly though, I predict you will have more trouble from keeping horses next to a subdivision. It just never seems to go well.

quikchik
Mar. 29, 2012, 02:38 PM
Most of the houses have a perimeter fence and ours will be in 25 feet. I was upset about that lost pasture space but now I have rethought it and like a double barrier between humans and horses!

It will make a nice riding spot too.

wendy
Mar. 29, 2012, 03:11 PM
it won't be a "double barrier" though with 25 feet in there and no way to block the neighbors from entering from their side of the 25 foot zone- it'll turn into a walking path/ playground/ garbage dump area. It would only be a "double barrier" if YOU put in a tall, electrified no-climb fence on the outside of the zone and also put in a fence to keep the horses in on the inside of the zone.

EqTrainer
Mar. 29, 2012, 03:52 PM
I have a perimeter fence and an interior fence and love it. It makes a huge track to ride on :)

As far as maples.. IME if your horses have appropriate pletiful forage they are unlikely to eat things they shouldnt. As long as its not too close I think you will be ok :)

Ghazzu
Mar. 31, 2012, 11:07 AM
Actually i have never had a tree that I would knock down (they are still up but I give them the side ways eye every now and again) until I saw a house that would have had the best views ever ... except for the 2 trees that totally blocked the view. After semi subtile questioning it turned out they were there for sentimental reasons ... would have been down in a sec if I lived there. A quick few drills in the trunk add a bit of round up (with water) and guess what they would be dead woops. Then I would have planted something less view blocking.

Charming.
Are you related to the neighbor from the other thread that cut down the OP's trees?

heavensdew
Apr. 1, 2012, 06:38 AM
No, no connection.

TrueColours
Apr. 1, 2012, 10:18 AM
Exactly this ...


The maple family covers a LOT of ground, & most are harmless to horses. However, the "Red Maple" is extremely toxic, & it doesn't take a lot to fatally poison a horse.

Here is a good article on the toxic red maples

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/facts/06-109.htm

Because a maple has red leaves it doesnt mean its of the acer rubrum species :)

Our local TSC store had a terrific special on red maples. I bought 4 to plant along my paddocks for shade.

I THEN researched them and went $H!T!!! And up they came out of the ground 2 days later and back to TSC they went and I told the TSC staff they really needed to educate anyone buying them and warn them NOT to plant them anywhere horses are located

Maybe its a one in a million chance that my guys would have gotten sick from these leaves but it wasnt a chance I was willing to take either ...

Ghazzu
Apr. 1, 2012, 11:27 AM
No, no connection.

I was inquiring as to whther the poster who advocated killing trees on someone else's property was related, not you. (and it was somewhat tongue in cheek)

You sound like a concerned horseowner, not a potential vandal.:D

OTTBcooper
Jan. 29, 2013, 09:18 AM
Is there a way to tell/test the maples to know for sure if they are toxic? We just realized there is a cherry tree in our pasture and want to take that down... we definitely have a few maple trees back there as well, but not 100% sure how to tell just by looking at the leaves.

FalseImpression
Jan. 29, 2013, 11:09 AM
If your horses have plenty to eat in their paddocks, they should not be interested at all in the maple leaves...

vtdobes
Jan. 29, 2013, 11:47 AM
Any maple tree that gets a red vine in the leaf can be toxic...I had a green one removed because in the fall it would get a red vine.


Acer rubrum aka "Red Maple" is the only maple that is toxic. Red Maple trees have green leaves (don't confuse them with a "purple maple" which has the dark purple colored leaves).

Of course all maple trees turn color in the fall so you have to really do your research to determine if a maple tree is in fact acer rubrum.

I have two red maples (along with some sugar maples and silver maples) that are on my fence line. They have been there for 30 years along with the horses.

BuddyRoo
Jan. 29, 2013, 11:50 AM
Gosh. Have I been under a rock? I had no idea those were toxic to horses. I knew about black walnut. Maybe I've just never lived anywhere with a lot of red maples? I'll have to check that out. Interesting thread.

alabama
Jan. 29, 2013, 12:01 PM
I was inquiring as to whther the poster who advocated killing trees on someone else's property was related, not you. (and it was somewhat tongue in cheek)

You sound like a concerned horseowner, not a potential vandal.:D
Pretty sure she meant she would have taken the trees down if she lived on that property: "would have been down in a sec if I lived there."

Jaegermonster
Jan. 29, 2013, 08:24 PM
I have Red Maples in my pasture. I have 4. The leaves are toxic when they fall and begin to dry or for instance if a branch falls, etc. I make sure to get all the branches up as soon as they fall but I can't get every little leaf.
I do make sure to have a roll out there so they have hay 24/7 and no need to eat the leaves, and when the grass is growing i have nice grass. As long as they have something else to eat they should not show interest in the leaves. We have been here 10 years.

Simkie
Jan. 29, 2013, 08:36 PM
I think that 25' setback requirement gives you an excellent place to plant fast growing, thorny, thick evergreens. Make your neighbors disappear, keep them off your land, keep their crap out of your fields--including maple leaves--and provide a nice shelter belt for wildlife.

I know if can be really tough to find good land close to town without a subdivision next door, but it's not something I would want to sign up for. There are entirely too many idiots out there :( :no:

AKB
Jan. 29, 2013, 09:58 PM
My horse ate the wilted leaves off a red maple limb back in June. The limb blew down from a neighbor's tree and landed in our pasture. I had no idea that the neighbor's trees were red maple, so I did not immediately remove the branch. My very well fed, 1600lb horse ate the red maple leaves despite having grass and hay in his pasture. The next day, he was quiet and ill appearing. He developed mild laminitis. Most of the hair on his face fell out so he was pretty bald. His gums were pale. Fortunately, he recovered.

I will be immediately removing any downed branches from the pasture in the future.

Hulk
Jan. 30, 2013, 06:57 AM
I realize you are talking about Red Maples, but since the point is toxic trees, and the Black Walnut has been mentioned, I just wanted to add the Black Locust to the list. These are real bad espescially the pods that drop in the fall. Its all about awareness, and threads like this are great.

trubandloki
Jan. 30, 2013, 08:06 AM
we definitely have a few maple trees back there as well, but not 100% sure how to tell just by looking at the leaves.

The link that Truecolors posted shows many types of maple tree leaves so you can do a quick comparison.


I do not think it is safe to say that if you feed them they will not eat them as a blanket statement. It really depends on the horse(s). Know your animals and know your trees and do what is necessary.

I had a very large red maple in my hedge row that would drop leaves in my dry lot. I had it removed. I own horses that like to eat things and are always on a diet. Leaves are yummy.

Texarkana
Jan. 30, 2013, 12:14 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb (no pun intended!) and point out that many common trees have varying levels of toxicity to horses. The same goes for indigenous weeds, ornamental landscaping plants, etc.

You'll go crazy trying to avoid them all.

So long as your horses have plenty to nosh on, it's unlikely they'll eat the stray red maple leaves that blows into the pasture. It would not be a deal breaker for me-- I'd just keep an eye on the situation in the fall.

Bacardi1
Jan. 30, 2013, 01:29 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb (no pun intended!) and point out that many common trees have varying levels of toxicity to horses. The same goes for indigenous weeds, ornamental landscaping plants, etc.

You'll go crazy trying to avoid them all.

So long as your horses have plenty to nosh on, it's unlikely they'll eat the stray red maple leaves that blows into the pasture. It would not be a deal breaker for me-- I'd just keep an eye on the situation in the fall.

And you'll be saying that until one of your own horses eats something & becomes ill &/or dies that could have been avoided. Then you'll be back here singing another tune. Or perhaps not.

Err on the side of caution. My gang is well-fed, but we DO have Wild Cherry & Red Maple bordering the fenceline. And I DO go out & pick up/rake up wind-blown branches & leaves asap.

Wild Cherry & Red Maple toxicity isn't an old wive's tale - it's TOTALLY DOCUMENTED. Don't take the possibilities lightly, regardless of naysayers.

vtdobes
Jan. 30, 2013, 02:43 PM
http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/facts/06-109.htm

Because a maple has red leaves it doesnt mean its of the acer rubrum species :)



Right...acer rubrum (aka Red Maple) has green leaves not red like the name suggests (of course they change color in fall).

In that article is the following statement:
"Ingestion of wilted or partially dried red maple leaves from fallen or pruned branches causes lysis of the red blood cells with the subsequent development of a hemolytic anemia, which can be deadly."

This is what I've always been told...the wilted/dried leaves "from fallen or pruned branches" are toxic....not the natural dead leaves that fall after foliage season.

Remington410
Jan. 30, 2013, 04:02 PM
How old are the maples? If they've been newly planted or are fairly young you could simply explain to the neighbor that they're are a potential threat to your horses and offer to replace them with the non-toxic tree of their choice. Of course that won't fly if they're older mature trees.

Where I am they clear cut for subdivisions so most of the trees are just saplings. A fast growing Bradford Pear or something similar might be a good replacement.

Bacardi1
Jan. 30, 2013, 04:15 PM
How old are the maples? If they've been newly planted or are fairly young you could simply explain to the neighbor that they're are a potential threat to your horses and offer to replace them with the non-toxic tree of their choice. Of course that won't fly if they're older mature trees.

Where I am they clear cut for subdivisions so most of the trees are just saplings. A fast growing Bradford Pear or something similar might be a good replacement.

I think that's going a bit too far. You can't expect your neighbors to dig up their landscaping simply because it doesn't jive with your horsekeeping. It's up to YOU to deal with the issue.

And as for replacing maples with Bradford Pears?? Lousy choice. Bradford pears are short-lived shallow-rooted trees that, while pretty in spring, are considered an over-used landscaping nuisance.

LauraKY
Jan. 30, 2013, 04:24 PM
If your horses have plenty to eat in their paddocks, they should not be interested at all in the maple leaves...

You would think. However a year ago in the fall, my guys pushed down a fence to get to the neighbor's burning bush. Turns out they're mildly toxic. Three had the runs, but the fourth was very sick and ended up with laminitis. No one could believe it, my pasture looked like a golf course.

wcporter
Jan. 30, 2013, 04:29 PM
This thread is 9 months old....??

Mara
Jan. 30, 2013, 04:29 PM
I think that's going a bit too far. You can't expect your neighbors to dig up their landscaping simply because it doesn't jive with your horsekeeping. It's up to YOU to deal with the issue.

And as for replacing maples with Bradford Pears?? Lousy choice. Bradford pears are short-lived shallow-rooted trees that, while pretty in spring, are considered an over-used landscaping nuisance.

Plus those pretty Bradford Pears stink when they bloom. I call them the "sperm trees" because they smell like, well, semen. A development near us went crazy planting those things and the air positively REEKS in spring when the Bradfords bloom.

susanne
Jan. 30, 2013, 04:31 PM
It would be well worth the money to offer to replace the acer rubrum with a larger safe tree -- and to do the digging and replanting for them. The worst that can happen is that they say no.

For minis or small ponies, because of their smaller size it only takes a very few leaves to be deadly -- I've heard as few as 4 leaves. Unless one considers their horse disposable, this is not worth the risk.

Remington410
Jan. 30, 2013, 04:34 PM
I think that's going a bit too far. You can't expect your neighbors to dig up their landscaping simply because it doesn't jive with your horsekeeping. It's up to YOU to deal with the issue.

And as for replacing maples with Bradford Pears?? Lousy choice. Bradford pears are short-lived shallow-rooted trees that, while pretty in spring, are considered an over-used landscaping nuisance.


I wouldn't EXPECT a neighbor to dig up their landscaping. I see nothing wrong with offering to replace a small tree if it's a danger, and I certainly wouldn't be offended if a neighbor asked me to do the same. Wouldn't bother me in the least, especially if they paid for it and did the work.

Seems like your harsh response is meant to make me feel stupid. I was simply offering up another suggestion.

Bacardi1
Jan. 30, 2013, 04:51 PM
You would think. However a year ago in the fall, my guys pushed down a fence to get to the neighbor's burning bush. Turns out they're mildly toxic. Three had the runs, but the fourth was very sick and ended up with laminitis. No one could believe it, my pasture looked like a golf course.

Yes - "Burning Bush" is another bad one. My husband really likes the looks of them, but we decided against planting. Plus they're considered an invasive thanks to birds spreading the seed & how easily they sprout.

Bacardi1
Jan. 30, 2013, 04:53 PM
This thread is 9 months old....??

Uh, but with still relevant information, unlike a lot of old threads that get dug up on here.

csaper58
Jan. 30, 2013, 10:58 PM
Heavensdew what did you do? It's been 10 months, how did Autumn go?

OTTBcooper
Jan. 31, 2013, 09:06 AM
This thread is 9 months old....??

Yes, it is. I did a search for maple trees before starting a brand new thread and replied to this one since it already had multiple posts worth of good information. Isn't that the point of researching the archives before creating a new post on a topic that has already been discussed?

BuddyRoo
Jan. 31, 2013, 11:03 AM
Plus those pretty Bradford Pears stink when they bloom. I call them the "sperm trees" because they smell like, well, semen. A development near us went crazy planting those things and the air positively REEKS in spring when the Bradfords bloom.

OMG! We call them "cum trees" too. Bahahaaa! It's AWFUL. We had one right outside our bedroom window at our old house and I hated to even open the windows in the spring.

Gloria
Jan. 31, 2013, 12:38 PM
You know, it takes "A LOT" for a horse to inject "3 pounds" of leaves to become lethal..... I mean, don't be stupid to fee them to the horses intentionally. A few blown in leaves? I wouldn't worry about it. I got a mature red maple in my front yard where the occasional escapees will roam into and one time one was playing with the maple before I shooed him off. None had suffered any ill effect yet.

susanne
Jan. 31, 2013, 05:37 PM
You know, it takes "A LOT" for a horse to inject "3 pounds" of leaves to become lethal..... I mean, don't be stupid to fee them to the horses intentionally. A few blown in leaves? I wouldn't worry about it. I got a mature red maple in my front yard where the occasional escapees will roam into and one time one was playing with the maple before I shooed him off. None had suffered any ill effect yet.

I'm guessing that your tree is not acer rubrum, which is the deadly one. Ironically, the maples that are red throughout the summer ARE NOT the deadly red maple. As pointed out above, acer rubrum is green with only a slightly red tinge until autumn.

The key word in the above quote is "yet."

NEWT
Jan. 31, 2013, 06:13 PM
My next door neighbor lost his two draft ponies after they grazed during the day in their paddock which had a red maple tree outside the fence about 20' away.

Texarkana
Jan. 31, 2013, 06:18 PM
And you'll be saying that until one of your own horses eats something & becomes ill &/or dies that could have been avoided. Then you'll be back here singing another tune. Or perhaps not.

Err on the side of caution. My gang is well-fed, but we DO have Wild Cherry & Red Maple bordering the fenceline. And I DO go out & pick up/rake up wind-blown branches & leaves asap.

Wild Cherry & Red Maple toxicity isn't an old wive's tale - it's TOTALLY DOCUMENTED. Don't take the possibilities lightly, regardless of naysayers.

No one is implying it's an old wives tale-- I have been apart of treating horses for maple leaf toxicity in my years working at New Bolton Center... not to mention all the horses we saw with "mystery" poisoning symptoms from who knows what plant. I've witnessed walnut-induced laminitis. Farms I worked at lost foals to tent worms in cherry trees. Heck, I own have a horse who gorges on acorns until she shows symptoms of acorn toxicity. I don't think I'm being laissez-faire-- I think I'm practicing common sense. Don't plant red maples as shade trees in your pasture, but also don't forgo a perfectly good farm on the chance that the neighbor's leaves MIGHT blow in the pasture.

Ghazzu
Jan. 31, 2013, 10:11 PM
It would be well worth the money to offer to replace the acer rubrum with a larger safe tree -- and to do the digging and replanting for them. The worst that can happen is that they say no.

For minis or small ponies, because of their smaller size it only takes a very few leaves to be deadly -- I've heard as few as 4 leaves. Unless one considers their horse disposable, this is not worth the risk.

You heard wrong--more like 3 pounds of dried leaves for the average horse.
Ponies proportionately less. But still considerably more than 4 leaves.

Gloria
Feb. 1, 2013, 12:21 PM
I'm guessing that your tree is not acer rubrum, which is the deadly one. Ironically, the maples that are red throughout the summer ARE NOT the deadly red maple. As pointed out above, acer rubrum is green with only a slightly red tinge until autumn.

The key word in the above quote is "yet."

Yeah. It is, Bloody Queen. The point is, it takes three pounds, not one, or two, or three leaves. Be careful, but don't get paranoid about it.

Bacardi1
Feb. 1, 2013, 01:14 PM
Yeah. It is, Bloody Queen. The point is, it takes three pounds, not one, or two, or three leaves. Be careful, but don't get paranoid about it.

Sorry "Gloria", but "Bloody Queen" is NOT the red maple we're all talking about here. Do some research before spouting. The red maple that's toxic to livestock is NOT RED. Again - NOT RED in color. It has a slight reddish tinge to the leaf stems & GREEN LEAVES that are silvery on the underside. While there may not be a reason for folks to get "paranoid" if they have "Bloody Queen" on their property (although Japanese maples also contain some toxicity), there IS reason for folks to be "paranoid" about the toxic variety of acer rubrum. Please do some RESEARCH before telling folks they're being paranoid about a toxic plant.

LauraKY
Feb. 1, 2013, 01:39 PM
Can you plant a thorny hedge along your perimeter to keep the neighbors out? Something like pyracanthra or holly.

Texarkana
Feb. 1, 2013, 05:12 PM
Can you plant a thorny hedge along your perimeter to keep the neighbors out? Something like pyracanthra or holly.

Both toxic... just sayin'... ;) :lol: