An overview of poisonous hedging plants for livestock and horses

We have a wide range of species of hedging plants that are recognised as being safe for livestock and horses.  On any product page on our website we indicate in the bullet points under Key Features whether the species is toxic (some are non-toxic to livestock but are poisonous to horses so please read the text carefully).  If you are in a department page, there’s a filter on the left to tick and that will then only show you the product pages for non-toxic hedging plants.

Our top ten selling hedging plants that are not poisonous to livestock


Blackthorn (although see below regarding horse paddocks)

Crab apple

Dog rose


Field maple




Wild cherry

Many of these species are included in our stock friendly Mixed Native Hedging packs.

In total we have nearly 50 species of tree or hedging plants that are safe for livestock and actually not only are they safe to eat but eating them supplements the animals’ diet.

Hedging plants that are safe for horse paddocks

There are thousands of horse paddocks hedged with traditional mixed native hedging with no ill effects, but if you are planting a new hedgerow around a horse paddock we recommend that you do not use Blackthorn as part of the mix of hedging species.  It has long, strong thorns and scratches can become “thorn synovitis” which is very damaging to horses.  It is also one of several hedging species (Spindle, Alder buckthorn, Purging buckthorn and Holly) that, whilst being safe for livestock to eat, are not safe for horses. Someone more knowledgeable than us would have to explain why that is – from our point of view as the growers of plants, we just know not to recommend those species for horse paddocks.

For hedging horse paddocks, you can either order the standard mixed native hedging pack (just ask us to swap the blackthorn for more hawthorn) or you can make up your own mix of species.

Comments are closed here.