Are Chestnut Trees safe to plant in cattle pasture?

Asked May 21, 2016, 10:23 AM EDT

I was given 5 free chestnut trees for Earth Day. They were a hybrid of American with a little Chinese (to protect against blight). My brother doesn't want to plant the trees in the pasture because he believes the chestnuts may be like acorns and make the cattle sick. I really want the chestnut trees because I think they are great for wildlife and will provide shade. Are the tree safe to plant around Herefords? Are there maintenance recommendations, such as picking up the chestnuts that fall on snow?

Johnson County Iowa

1 Response

Common plant names can be confusing. There are two types of "chestnuts." True chestnuts (which produce the edible nuts) belong to the genus Castanea. Horse chestnuts/buckeyes are the other type of "chestnut." Horse chestnuts/buckeyes belong to the genus Aesculus. The fruit of horse chestnuts/buckeyes are poisonous.

Additional information on horses chestnuts/buckeyes can be found at the following websites.

http://poisonousplants.ansci.cornell.edu/php/plants.php?action=indiv&byname=common&keynum=4

http://research.vet.upenn.edu/poisonousplants/Plants/PlantsbyLatinName/Aesculusspecies/tabid/5605/De...