Goats and wild cherry trees

Asked July 6, 2015, 2:33 PM EDT

Last August (2014) we had a wild cherry tree fall during a storm, we were able to keep all our animals away from this area. However, we were wondering how long cherry trees (leaves, bark and wood) remain toxic to goats? It is an area that we were interested in putting up permanent fencing for our Nigerian Dwarf goats, but obviously want to make sure it is safe for them. I have heard that the leaves are OK for animals after they have dried, but was not sure about the bark and wood of the tree. My husband would like to include the fallen tree as part of a playground for them if it is safe to do so.

Garrett County Maryland

1 Response

Leaves from the cherry tree will be most toxic when they have wilted. If the tree has recently fallen and the leaves are wilting due to the broken trunk or branches, they may be toxic. Leaves that have dried and the bark of the tree should not be toxic to goats. Green leaves are also not toxic. Goats can also tolerate more of the toxins in the cherry leaves than other animals; however, with smaller animals you have to be careful especially if they are hungry as they might consume a good deal compared to their body weight. If the tree fell down last year, I would not worry about toxicities.