Quantcast

Cherry Trees?

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

Brandi*

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2007
Messages
2,512
Reaction score
0
Location
California
We have a couple of cherry trees, (Bing and Burlat) in the back of our pasture. I noticed Melody eating some of the fallen ones. She even chews on the pits. Not sure if she is swallowing the pits or not. So I put her in her paddock until I could do some research. I know that the pits could cause some problems but is there anything else I should be concerned about? She hasn't had any problems so far but I wanted to check.

Thanks so much!!!!!
 

Reignmaker Miniatures

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
3,442
Reaction score
521
Location
British Columbia
Well I can't say I know for sure but I had a couple of very young (5 and 6) neices who ate a whole bushel basket of cherries pits and all and they had no (lasting) ill effects. Of course they didn't chew the pits up either.
 

crponies

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
2,978
Reaction score
0
Location
central CA
Where I used to live there were cherry trees by my ponies and they would eat some. They never had problems. I know I have read that the pits are supposed to have a poison in them though.
 

DrivinTime

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
267
Reaction score
2
Location
central Vermont
Hi Brandi,

I think the pits do have a toxin in them (small amounts), but the leaves are the real issue, from what I've read. Okay, did a lookup, see below: all parts, especially when wilted. From the note below, not sure if it includes cultivated varieties, but I'd rather be safe than sorry...

Lori

Here's an excerpt from OSU's Extension bulletin:

WILD BLACK CHERRY, CHOKE CHERRY, AND PEACH (Prunus spp.) – Many species of cherry and peach are poisonous. These species are characterized by alternate toothed leaves, white or pink flowers, and fleshy fruits (cherries or peaches). Crushed twigs and leaves yield a strong cyanide odor. Two native species of cherry are common in Ohio. Wild black cherry (P. serotina) is a large tree that is distributed widely throughout the state in woodlands, old fields, and along fence rows. Choke cherry (P. virginiana) grows as a large shrub or small tree and is scattered throughout Ohio in a variety of habitats, though it is more frequent northward. Peach (P. persica) is a small introduced tree that occasionally escapes from orchard cultivation through seed.

Seeds, twigs, bark, and leaves contain a glycoside (amygdalin) that quickly breaks down by hydrolysis (from bruising, wilting, frost damage) to form the highly toxic compound hydrocyanic (prussic) acid (or cyanide). Poisonings occur most frequently when wilted leaves are eaten, but have also been reported when leaves are consumed directly from the tree, or sprouts, or in dried hay. The amount of hydrocyanic acid formed once the plant material is ingested is affected by the type of stomach juices and the kind of feed the animal had previously consumed. Ruminant animals appear to be more susceptible to poisoning than horses.

Cyanide poisoning results in hypoxia (deficiency of oxygen reaching the tissues). The first symptoms appear within a few minutes following consumption of plant material. Affected animals exhibit excitement, incoordination, convulsions, rapid and labored breathing, bloating, and coma. Death can occur in less than an hour due to internal asphyxiation.
 

Brandi*

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2007
Messages
2,512
Reaction score
0
Location
California
Thanks so much for the info! I will keep an eye out for how much she is eating of them. I might have to limit her time in the big pasture until they are done falling. Thanks again for the info!
 

Jill

Aspiring Cowgirl
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
27,182
Reaction score
522
Location
Spotsy., VA (USA)
I think that wilted leaves from WILD cherry trees are poisonous if eaten by a horse. We have a domestic cherry tree (no idea what kind of cherries -- we have all sorts of fruit tress though). It's not in our horse area but is near it. It was my understanding that if it were a wild cherry, we'd want to remove it due to the leaves of those being toxic.
 

donnalee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
74
Reaction score
0
Location
NC
Cherry and plum trees are highly toxic, especially when the leaves are wilted. I do know someone who lost a horse to cherry posioning. I would think a mini, because they are small, would be at high risk. It all depends on the size and health of the animal and how much they eat.

Be very careful if you take the trees down not to leave any leaves/branches behind since the wilted leaves pose the biggest riisk. Also, check your pastures after a storm for fallen leaves. A good reference book to read is Horse Owner's Field Guide to Toxic Plants.
 

Brandi*

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2007
Messages
2,512
Reaction score
0
Location
California
Thanks again everyone! I am going to call the vet tomorrow morning and ask him his thoughts. If I need to I can move the fence line up. This cherry tree is huge and I know my Dad will NOT want to remove it. I am getting mixed answers when I research this subject online. Hopefully my vet knows a bit more.
 

Hosscrazy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Messages
3,675
Reaction score
27
Double check on this one but I'm pretty sure the pits have cyanide in them. I had a loquat tree when I first got into mini years ago and it took a while to figure out why they were colicking - it was from eating the loquat fruit and pits, which contained cyanide.

Liz R.
 

Brandi*

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2007
Messages
2,512
Reaction score
0
Location
California
Thanks Liz,

I too have read that the blackcherry and a wild cherry contain cyanide in the pits as well as the withered leaves. I printed out an article from a website where it has a list of toxic trees to horses. Fourth on the list was "cherry trees and relatives". To me that would include my two trees.

Double check on this one but I'm pretty sure the pits have cyanide in them. I had a loquat tree when I first got into mini years ago and it took a while to figure out why they were colicking - it was from eating the loquat fruit and pits, which contained cyanide.

Liz R.
 

Brandi*

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2007
Messages
2,512
Reaction score
0
Location
California
Talked with my wonderful vet today and he said in the 20 years he has been practicing in this area, he has yet to see a horse come in with poisoning from a cherry tree. He did however suggest that I keep her away from it just in case. Especially considering her history :DOH! He said he would be more concerned with her eating the leaves and the bark rather than the cherries themselves. But he mentioned if she is gorging herself with the cherries (which she was) that could cause stomach upset. I know too much of anything can cause problems for horses. He also said that I should pick all the cherries off of it and bring them down to his office right away


So that is pretty much what I thought but at least now I can tell my Father that the "vet said so"! He hates change and moving the fence line is just too much for his brain lol
Even if he doesn't have to lift a finger
He just kept saying "oh those animals will be fine"! But I wasn't taking any chances


So anyways, I just thought I would post what my vet said in case anyone was curious.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top