A look at 9 common backyard trees and their effect on equestrian health. 

Commonplace fruit trees can have negative effects on your horse’s health. Most often, your horse will be fine. They’re resilient animals and unless they eat a huge amount of fruit, there’s nothing wrong with a horse having access to an orchid. However, there are some fruit trees that are more dangerous than others and should be separated from horses as a precaution.
The other thing to consider is yourself! You might want some of those tasty apples before the horse gets to them all.
Are apple trees dangerous to horses

Apple trees

Apple trees pose no threat. Despite the seeds having a low level of toxicity, it’s almost impossible for a horse to eat enough to make itself sick.
Danger level: None.


Figs have latex in their sap when unripe, which can irritate skin. Fig trees produce a lot of sap, but otherwise pose no threat to horses.
In fact, because of the figs high sugar and omega content, it can be a great treat for your horse.
Danger level: Very low.
Orange and lemon

Orange & Lemons

Citrus is fine for a horse to eat, and is often an ingredient in livestock foods. It’s possible that the oil from citrus fruits will irritate your horse’s skin or eyes, but that’s rare.
It is possible for your horse to hurt itself on thorns when trying to reach leaves.
Danger level: Very low.


Loquats can cause some digestive problems if the seeds or leaves are eaten. This usually only happens if a large amount is consumed.
Danger level: Low.

Oak Trees

Acorns aren’t particularly dangerous to horse unless they overeat them. It can cause colic (abdominal pain) at large quantities. Because horses are known for developing a liking for acorns, overeating is possible but doesn’t pose a long term health-threat.
Danger level:  Medium – low.

Plum & Cherry Trees

Plum and sherry trees can produce a small amount of cyanide in the horse’s blood stream when digested. This usually doesn’t occur at a dangerous level, but if your horse has access to a lot of these trees, you might have reason for concern.
Poisoning results in problems with oxygen uptake, which will cause laboured breathing and lethargy.
Danger level: Medium.

 Black Walnut Tree

The wood of the black walnut tree can cause laminitis (inflammation under the hoof) in horses. However, this is less of an ingestion problem, and more likely occurs it walnut shavings are found in bedding or sawdust.
Having a tree in close proximity to a horse is not a problem unless the horse is chewing the bark.
Danger level: Medium.

Red Maple Tree

These plants are uncommon in Australia, but fallen leaves can cause problem for horses. Eating them can burst red blood cells and damage the kidney. It is best to avoid having your horse near a red maple tree.

Danger level: High.


Avocados have a compound in them called persin. This is found in the fruit and the leaves and is extremely unhealthy for horses, causing swelling and potential death.
Horses should avoid avocado trees at all costs. And part of the tree or fruit are dangerous.

Danger level: Very high.