boxelder tree fodder

Asked January 10, 2020, 11:24 AM EST

hello i recently bought an old farm house with some old boxelder trees. the trees look to be pollard there whole lives. i was reading on boxelders and they say the seeds are poisonous. im not interested in the seeds. what im interested in is turning the boxelder into horse fodder. i was looking to pollard the plant in june-july and store and dry the branches and leaves for use in the winter. besides the seeds are boxelders still poisonous dried like this with no seeds just leaves. seems odd farmers back in the day would plant these on the property without a use other than a windscreen

Livingston County Michigan

1 Response

This would not be a recommended practice.

Many factors to consider:
Potential toxicity - Boxelder (Acer negundo) is in the maple family. Wilted or dry leaves from other maple species (mainly red maple) have been reported to be toxic to horses. https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/michigan_trees_toxic_to_horses_donkeys_and_mules_e3062
Nutritional value - unsure if any benefit
Palatability - boxelders appear to have a pungent odor.
Horses may choke when consuming this product.

For winter forage options, it would be best to focus on providing a quality hay that meets the nutritional requirements of your horses.