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Sycamore Saplings in my paddock...deadly to horses

Hi,

I'm not a gardener but I hope you guys and girls can help.

Horse owners are having a difficult time at the moment with a sudden influx of Sycamore saplings germinating. These saplings cause something called Atypical Myopathy and MUST be removed as they can kill a horse within 6-12 hours.

I have three acres and I'm pulling handfuls of shoots out daily, there isn't a tree in the paddock but I guess the seeds have blown in.

So my question is, when do these stop growing / germinating? my horses are off the paddock but I'm desperate to get them back on it

Posts

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,437

    It's funny how this seems to have only recently become an issue... my grandfather bred horses and I am pretty sure there were sycamores around and about the farm. From what I gather, the seeds are the main risk, and horses usually only go for the seeds if the grazing is on the poor side. It will take a long time for your saplings to start to produce seeds, so I wouldn't be excessively worried, although you're doing the right in in removing saplings. I would be looking for the source of the seeds that are blowing in - are there any boundary trees?

  • WillDB ironically the horses have been on the paddock all winter with the seeds dropping which I hadn't noticed and they have grazed this paddock for years without any issue. There hasn't been saplings growing here previously. It was only when the seedlings start sprouting at the end of March that I took them off in panic.

    The paddock is boarded by big evergreens but there doesn't appear to be any Sycamore trees, I'm assuming the seeds are blowing in.

    The grass is still quite low so the saplings are easy to see, my vet has told me its saplings aswell as seeds that are toxic. But I don't think anyone really knows, as you say this only appears to be a recent issue.

    I cant seem to find a definative answer as to when do seedlings stop germinating, I guess its a case of wait and see

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,101

    IF YOU CAN CHOP THE SEEDLINGS OFF AT THE KNEES BEFORE THEY HAVE A CHANCE TO GROW THEY WILL DIE.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
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