Black Walnut Trees and Horses. Also high iron found in grass sample

Asked August 6, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT

Hello, I've just discovered we have several black walnut trees IN our horse pasture. Also high iron content in sampled pasture area. My horses (many different ones over the years) have had issues as long as i've lived here (18 yrs). Is there any way to safely get rid of the black walnut trees ? Also, will lime help to lower the lime count ? Thanks !! Linda Moyer 215-896-7340

Montgomery County Pennsylvania horses horse health black walnut tree

5 Responses

Hi Linda- Black walnut trees are a treasure of the midwest, but can be dangerous to horses. It's the oil in the wood that can be toxic to horses, which is why we never recommend walnut chips or shavings in horse bedding. With that being said, depending on how larger these trees are, I might recommend fencing off the trees from your horses. You don't describe the layout of the pasture, etc. High iron in your soil would not be uncommon in Pennsylvania. That should not be causing you issues, but chewing on the black walnuts would/could be problematic for your horses. If the trees aren't valuable, put your horses in a paddock area, and cut down the trees and replace (because shade is important) with trees that are native and more horse friendly. You'll also need to fence the horses away from these trees too. Horses are very hard on trees and even rubbing against them will cause tree damage. Adding more lime, will not lower your lime "count". Not sure what this question is in reference to??

Thanks for your reply . I'm looking into removing the black walnut trees. However, they are located centrally to both of my pastures and near the barn so there is nowhere I can turnout without them as of now......I will try to remove them as quickly as possible and limit their time on pasture. I have heard even after removal their roots contain toxins- I'm not sure how that would effect the ground once the tree is cut ? As for the lime question - I had meant would liming lower the IRON count. Sorry, I worded it incorrectly ! I've read that high iron mimics insulin resistance symptoms - which is what I seem to have here. (no one tested positive for IR, thankfully. Have you ever heard that ?

Hi Linda- You need to contact a veterinarian if you are having health problems with your horses. I can't diagnose health problems over the internet. Thanks,

I have contacted the veterinarian once and tomorrow will be twice. Sorry for the confusion. I thought maybe this was an agricultural problem which is why I was questioning your experience and expertise also. I was trying to cover all of my bases. Sorry to have botheted youbothered you