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Old 07/06/05, 11:03 PM
BJ BJ is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Mid-Missouri
Posts: 532
Exclamation Wild Cherry - Toxic to Livestock!

We just learned today that wild cherry tree leaves are toxic to cattle and horses! An old farmer who is digging a new pond for us pointed out the trees that now have berries. He pushed over 3 trees and we will burn them in our brush pile tomorrow. DH was careful to pick up all the leaves as the drying, wrinkled leaves are the most toxic. Guess we were lucky that we have not experience any problems. Tomorrow we will patrol the other areas of our pastures to see if we have any more of these trees on our property. Just wanted to share with you in case you were not aware of this toxic tree.
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Old 07/06/05, 11:05 PM
Seeking Type
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: New York
Posts: 2,102
Yes, the drying leaves are toxic. But don't go overly nuts hunting down limb after limb.

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Old 07/06/05, 11:08 PM
BJ BJ is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Mid-Missouri
Posts: 532
Jeff....Why? These trees on our property are BIG..obviously have been there a long time. We've been told that cattle have always grazed this apparently the "old" farmers weren't worried about the wild cherry trees. Maybe the leaves don't taste very good and the cattle will leave them alone?????
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Old 07/07/05, 12:36 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 140
Thier only dangerous if they are partly wilted like in a tree or large limb falls in a storm then starts wilting. If they are green on the tree thier safe. odd but true aparently they form some sort of alkaloid when they start wilting.
So many people do cut them down to avoid thr risk but if their healthy its realy up to you if you want to take that risk.
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Old 07/07/05, 03:22 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Western NY
Posts: 704
Yes they are only dangerous when the leaves are wilted, my Dexters love to eat the leaves all the time, but do check for for downed limbs. I believe it's arsenic poisoning that they will get from the wilted leaves.

Carol K
Midhill Dexters
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Old 07/07/05, 03:48 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: deep south texas
Posts: 5,067
Before yopu burn check and see if the logs are salable for timber as cherry is not a cheap wood.
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Old 07/07/05, 09:17 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Georgia
Posts: 873
Please don't burn good cherry wood!!!! Sell them in the very least!
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Old 07/07/05, 09:41 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: New York
Posts: 2,102
We have cherry trees around some of our pastures, and they are big. Cows are fine, no problems, and I rarely see a branch down. The last time a big cherry fell, was a split off another part of it, into a hay field. So no danger to any cows. We did have one other tree fell, some sort of elm. One of our Jerseys ate too many leaves, she went down, bloated. But we did get her up, she passed gas and she was fine. So other trees can be dangerous too it seems, and this was not a cherry tree.

Also from what I understand (correct me if im wrong, im not a horse person), some weeds can be toxic to a horse?

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Old 07/11/05, 04:45 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 53
One thing about wild cherry leaves that is true of many (but not all) other toxic plants -- they are not very palatable and most poisonings occur when there is not adequate pasture for the livestock to graze.

A great website listing toxic plants w/ pictures and lots of info is from the Purdue vet school -- -- several others are out there and will be very informative for you. Many common trees and shrubs are toxic.
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