Many of us share our living space with dogs nowadays. However, dogs love to run and play outside. Whether you take your dog to the park, take him on walks, or let them run on your property, dogs will find natural and unnatural things to eat. While many things in nature may seem safe for your dog (because they are natural), some of them are poisonous.
Many trees are poisonous to dogs, and it may surprise you how common they are. If you plan to plant new trees this year, you will want to pick trees that are safe for your canine friends. Before planting, research thoroughly the species you are interested in and make sure they are safe for you and your family.
The trees on our list are harmful to your dogs, but not all are deadly. Regardless, your dog may experience concerning symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and seizures. It is best to protect your dogs from these species as much as possible. We will detail five poisonous and common trees, so you know exactly what to avoid with man’s best friend.
Top 5 Common, Poisonous Trees for Dogs
- Stone Fruit Trees
- Oak Trees
- Boxwood Trees
- Red Maple Trees
- Horse Chestnut Trees
1. Stone Fruit Trees
What makes Stone Fruit Trees so dangerous?
Stone fruits are first on our list because of the significant appeal the fleshy fruit. Humans depend on and enjoy eating the fruits from these trees. It makes sense that dogs also enjoy the sweet fruit. However, at the center of stone fruits is a seed. The leaves and stems are poisonous as well. All in all, this seed is dangerous for many reasons. Not only is the seed a choking hazard, but it is also poisonous.
What do Stone Fruit Trees look like?
In early spring and summer, most fruit trees resemble any other tree and are difficult to tell apart. You will need to look at the leaves and other identifying features throughout the year. However, when the branches are full of fresh fruit, the trees are easy to identify.
Farmers breed fruit trees to be short so that we can harvest them without special equipment. They are almost always growing in groups of similar trees. After all, these trees are usually planted intentionally by farmers. You may find different species growing close together because they need cross-pollinating to bear fruit.
Stone fruit trees include apple, cherry, apricot, plum, and peach trees.
Where do Stone Fruit Trees grow?
Fruit trees are naturally occurring. However, you are more likely to see them in yards or on farms. Many fruit trees grow in the south and away from hard frosts. Furthermore, the true stone fruits that bear citrus fruits cannot sustain any frost and only grow in the southern states.
On the other hand, apple trees prefer the crisp, cool weather, and thrive in northern climates. Additionally, the cherry tree falls somewhere in the middle. Cherry trees cannot sustain hard frosts or sub-tropical environments. They prefer the middle parts of the country.
2. Oak Trees
To learn more about oak trees, Read More.
What makes Oak Trees so dangerous?
Juvenile oak tree leaves hold a toxicity that is dangerous to dogs. However, as the oak tree matures, the leaves lose most of this toxicity. Your dog would need to eat a significant number of oak leaves to cause any harm.
The acorns that litter the ground around the oak tree pose a much more serious threat. Like the stone fruits, the acorns pose a choking hazard. It is very difficult for a dog to break an acorn with their teeth. Also, the acorns continue to be toxic through maturity. If your dog consumes acorns, he may experience vomiting, pain, and diarrhea. Given they are so difficult to digest, a blockage may occur, requiring surgery.
What do Oak Trees look like?
Overall, oak trees are large trees with full canopies. The trunks grow strong and thick to support these massive beasts. Most oak trees reach a height of 70 feet and often stretch over 100 feet.
While smooth bark covers the young oak trees, deeply fissured bark covers older trees. In spring and summer, the leaves are dark green. However, the leaves turn dark red in the fall.
The acorns themselves are small nuts and are usually green or brown. The top of the acorn is roughly textured while the bottom is smooth.
Where do Oak Trees grow?
Like fruit trees, oak trees are incredibly popular in the United States. Oak trees are present all over the Northern Hemisphere in significant numbers. With such sought-after qualities like durability and size, we love to plant them in our yards for their beauty and longevity.
Oak trees can sustain almost all kinds of climates, but really thrive in the southern states. In fact, Texas is the state with the most variety of oak trees in the country.
3. Boxwood Trees
What makes Boxwood Trees so dangerous?
What likely makes the boxwood so dangerous is its prevalence around residential areas. Many plant boxwoods to create hedgerows for privacy or as a natural barricade. The boxwood adds thick canopies to your yard and a beautiful sightline of green barrier.
However, ingesting just a small amount of the leaves will cause multi-system organ failure for your dog. All the major organs like the heart, lungs, and liver will swell and begin to fail.
If your dog has sensitive skin or short fur, touching the boxwood will cause skin irritation and itchiness. Brushing by the boxwood is enough to cause some unsightly and unpleasant symptoms.
What do Boxwood Trees look like?
You will commonly encounter boxwoods in residential settings. People like to plant them as barriers for privacy, sight, or wind breakers. Their thick canopies weave together to make a substantial barrier.
It is uncommon to see a standalone boxwood. Although if you do, the dark green leaves that are present year-round will surely be an identifying marker. Many gardeners trim the boxwood to heights that are manageable for barricades. However, left uncontrolled, they easily grow to 20 feet in height.
Where do Boxwood Trees grow?
Boxwoods prefer warmer climates and do not sustain frost well. This is likely because of those year-round canopies. The southern parts of Texas and Florida are not ideal either as the areas are too warm and humid for the boxwood to thrive.
It is unlikely you will see a boxwood naturally occurring. They are almost always planted by gardeners or homeowners for hedgerows.
4. Red Maple Trees
What makes Red Maple Trees so dangerous?
We add red maple trees to our list because they add a bit of mystery to their toxicity. It is currently unknown why the red maple is so toxic to dogs. What we know is that if your dog ingests the leaves of the red maple, they will experience lethal symptoms.
Research shows the leaves cause red blood cell impairment, lethargy, lack of appetite, and kidney issues. The leaves are just as dangerous in autumn as they fall to the ground. In fact, some instances show the leaves increase in toxicity as they dry on the ground.
What do Red Maple Trees look like?
The red maple is a large tree, standing close to 70 feet in height like the oak tree. It is easy to assume that red maple trees display red leaves in autumn. However, the fruits and flowers produced by this tree are also red. In spring and summer, the red maple glistens with dark green leaves. The three-lobed leaves help identify this tree from others.
Where do Red Maple Trees grow?
Red maples are not present in the western United States. That being said, the eastern United States claims many red maples as residents. From Maine to Florida, the eastern coast is a massive territory for these trees. With this territory, you see the red maple sustains all types of weather well from cold to hot.
Humid and damp climates are preferred over drier ones, but drought is sustained well. The soil does not need to be rich with moisture for this tree.
5. Horse Chestnut Trees
What makes Horse Chestnut Trees so dangerous?
Horse chestnut trees contain a neurotoxin that causes symptoms in your dog, such as spasms, disorientation, vomiting, and ultimately death. Thankfully, all portions of the tree carry an unpleasant flavor. Therefore, most dogs will stop or avoid consuming parts of this tree to avoid the flavor.
With low consumption, your dog will probably exhibit vomiting, diarrhea, and discomfort. With significant consumption, your dog’s central nervous system will be affected and may shut down.
Like the trees above, choking and intestinal blockages are also threats from this tree.
What do Horse Chestnut Trees look like?
Ribbed, toothed, and bright green leaves cover the horse chestnut tree. They are narrow and pointed, growing in clusters of five. In spring, they produce small white and pink flowers.
In fall, the nuts from these trees fall. They appear similar to an acorn, but are larger and spiked.
Growing a similar size to the red maple and oak tree, the horse chestnut stands 70 feet tall. Although, they are narrower than the other two species at only 65 feet wide.
Where do Horse Chestnut Trees grow?
Horse chestnut trees are not native to the United States. However, they are present here today. All in all, the horse chestnut prefers colder weather. Much of the temperate United States hosts horse chestnuts. We planted them in many residential areas and parks because of their attractiveness.