– Is Cedar Tree Poisonous to Cattle?


Cedar trees, also known as junipers, are evergreen trees native to North America, Europe, and Asia. They belong to the Cupressaceae family and are known for their fragrant wood and attractive foliage. It is important to know if cedar trees are poisonous to cows because of the potential effects they could have on the animals’ health and wellbeing. In this guide, we’ll provide an in-depth look at the toxicity of cedar trees for cattle, and the best ways to manage them when living near these trees.

Types of Cedar Trees and Their Location

Cedar trees are a type of evergreen conifer that belong to the family Pinaceae, with some species native to North America and others that can be found throughout much of the world. The three main types of cedar trees are Eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis), Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) and Northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis ‘Emerald’).

Eastern white cedars are native to eastern Canada and can be found in hardwood forests and swamps. Western red cedars are native to western North America and can be found on wet mountain slopes and along the coast. Northern white cedars are native to northern North America and can be found in damp woods, valley bottoms, and cold swampy areas.

Cedar Tree Allergies in Cattle

Cows can develop allergies to cedar trees, just like humans can. In some cases, cows can become sensitized to cedar pollen or sap from cedar wood, which can cause a variety of uncomfortable or dangerous symptoms. Symptoms may include skin irritation, respiratory difficulties, and even digestion issues.

If a cow has developed an allergy to cedar trees, the best way to detect it early is to look out for signs of distress. Cows may start coughing, sneezing, and wheezing if they are suffering from cedar pollen allergies. They may also develop runny noses and eyes, and start to itch more often than normal. In serious cases, the animal may experience difficulty breathing and digestion problems.

In some cases, cows may be more prone to developing allergies if they have been exposed to cedar trees for a long period of time. Regular monitoring and observance of your cattle’s behaviour can help identify potential cedar tree allergies before they become too debilitating.

Toxicity of Cedar Trees

It is important to understand the toxicity of cedar trees, specifically to cows, before making the decision to use them for fencing, bedding, or other purposes. Several scientific studies have been conducted to determine the toxicity of cedar trees and these have revealed a variety of results.

A study published in 2011 by the Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Pathology found that most cedar trees are low in toxicity when compared to other plants, suggesting they would be unlikely to cause significant ailments in cows. On the other hand, a 1997 study on cedar trees, published by the Journal of Range Management, found that some types of cedar trees contain high levels of phenols, which could lead to poisoning if ingested by cattle.

It is also important to note that certain parts of a cedar tree are more toxic than others, such as the needles, hence why it is important to be aware of what part of the tree is being ingested. Additionally, due to the varying levels of potency between different species, it is recommended to do further research into the specific types of cedar trees available in one’s area, as well as corresponding toxicity levels.

Cedar Trees as Livestock Bedding

Cedar shavings can be a great option to use for bedding for livestock, such as cows and horses. Cedar provides a natural environment for the animals, with its sweet smell and insulation properties. It also helps reduce the ammonia levels from animal waste, which prevents the buildup of bacteria and other harmful agents.

When using cedar shavings for bedding, it is important that they are clean and dry to prevent contamination. The wood should also be free from any debris or pests, as these may harm the animals. It is also important to check on the bedding regularly and replace it when necessary to maintain the health of the animals.

It is possible to purchase cedar shavings in large quantities, making them economical and an ideal choice for large-scale farms. However, there are some safety precautions to keep in mind when using cedar shavings as bedding for livestock. Cedar shavings should never be used in litter boxes, as this can cause respiratory problems for the animals.

Overall, cedar shavings can be an excellent bedding choice for livestock. They are affordable, comfortable, and provide natural insulation that can help keep animals warm and comfortable. When used properly, cedar shavings can provide a safe and healthy environment for animals.

Cedar Woods Fencing

Cedar wood fencing is an effective way to separate grazing areas for cattle and horses. The dense nature of cedar wood makes it a strong material to use for fencing, and it also has natural antimicrobial properties that make it resistant to rot and pests. Cedar can withstand heavy impacts and is durable enough to last many years.

One of the main benefits of using cedar for fencing is that it is a non-toxic material, so it can be used in close proximity to animals without any concerns of toxicity. Additionally, cedar wood fencing is aesthetically pleasing, which makes it a great choice for enhancing property value.

When building cedar wood fencing for livestock, it’s important to consider the height, thickness, and spacing of the boards. For example, fencing built for containing cattle should have a six-foot height and boards at least four inches thick. There should be no gaps in the boards large enough for an animal to fit through, and special fasteners like liquid nails should be used to secure the boards.

Controlling Cedar Trees

Cedar trees can be a nuisance to both animals and humans. They are attractive, but they can also become overgrown and get out of control. Fortunately, there are a few methods for controlling cedar trees that can help keep them in check.

One of the most common methods of cedar tree control is pruning. Pruning is done to shape the tree by cutting off excess branches and foliage. This helps to improve the overall look of the tree while also encouraging a healthier, more balanced growth pattern. Pruning should be done twice a year; once in late spring and once during late fall.

Another way to control cedar trees is through spraying with weed killers or herbicides. These products can help to eliminate the weeds that often grow around (and sometimes within) cedar trees. Be sure to use the product as instructed and follow all safety protocols when applying it.

Finally, in some cases, it may be necessary to remove a cedar tree entirely. In these cases, it is important to hire an experienced arborist. An arborist will know how to safely and carefully remove the tree without causing any damage to the surrounding area.

Nutritional Benefits of Cedar Trees

Cedar trees can provide a number of nutritional benefits for cattle. The leaves of the tree, as well as the bark and wood, contain beneficial minerals and vitamins that help to keep cows healthy. Not only are cedar trees a rich source of calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, and protein, they can also help reduce illnesses caused by parasites and bacterial infections.

The high levels of tannins found in cedar trees may help reduce parasite infestation, as well as inflammation in cattle. Cedar wood is also a natural insect repellent which can help protect livestock from pests. Additionally, cedar trees offer the added benefit of promoting healthy digestion and aiding in digestion of food nutrients.

It is important to note that like all plants, cedar trees can have some negative effects if consumed in large amounts. Therefore, they should never be used as the primary food source for cattle. However, when used in moderation as part of a balanced diet, cedar trees provide a host of health benefits for cows.

Preventative Measures

When it comes to protecting your cows from cedar tree poisoning, prevention is always the best measure. To prevent cedar tree poisoning in cows, it’s important to practice proper grazing management and monitor your animals regularly. Here are some tips on how to avoid cedar tree poisoning in cows:

  • Grazing management: One of the best ways to prevent cedar tree poisoning is to ensure your cattle are grazing in areas where cedar trees are not present or growing.
  • Regular monitoring: By regularly inspecting pastures for cedar trees and checking for any signs of poisoning in your animals, you can help ensure their safety.
  • Proper fencing: Setting up fences around livestock areas can help to keep cattle away from cedar trees and reduce the risk of poisoning.

Taking these steps can help to protect your cattle from cedar tree poisoning. Be sure to monitor your animals and maintain a safe environment for them to graze.

Recognizing Poisoning Symptoms

When trying to determine if cedar trees are poisonous to cattle, it is important to be aware of the symptoms of poisoning. Cows that have been poisoned by ingesting cedar tree leaves or other parts can exhibit a variety of symptoms, such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Labored breathing
  • High fever

If your cattle display any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention right away. An animal poison control center can provide more information for diagnosis and potential treatment.

Treatment of Cedar Tree Poisoning in Cows

Cedar tree poisoning in cows can be treated successfully, depending on the severity of symptoms. If your cow is exhibiting signs of cedar tree poisoning, contacting a veterinarian is essential and should be done as soon as possible.

The most effective treatment for cedar tree poisoning is intravenous (IV) fluids. IV fluids are administered by a veterinarian to replace lost electrolytes and rehydrate your cow. Additionally, medications may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and help with the absorption of nutrients.

It is also important to provide enough nutrition and supplements to aid in recovery. These can include probiotics to help restore gut health, as well as minerals and vitamins that are known to help animals with cedar tree poisoning.

Finally, it is important to keep your cow away from cedar trees and monitor them regularly for any signs or symptoms that may indicate poisoning. With proper care, your cow has a good chance of making a full recovery.


Cedar trees can be toxic to some cows, particularly those that have allergies to cedar sap or pollen. It is important for ranchers and farmers to be aware of how cedar trees can affect their cattle and take steps to protect their livestock. This includes monitoring cedar tree growth, using cedar wood fencing to separate grazing areas, and treating cedar tree poisoning when it occurs. While cedar trees can provide certain nutritional benefits to cows, the risks associated with them should not be ignored. Taking preventative measures is the best way for ranchers and farmers to ensure the safety of their cows.

By following the advice in this guide, readers can make informed decisions on how to best manage cedar trees around their cattle. With proper care and management, cattle can remain safe and healthy while enjoying the benefits that cedar trees can provide.

Are Cedar Trees Poisonous to Cattle?

  • Q: What are cedar trees?
    A: Cedar trees are evergreen coniferous trees that belong to the Cypress family and are native to many parts of North America and Asia.
  • Q: Where can cedar trees be found?
    A: Cedars can found in forests, prairies, mountains, and other habitats all over North America and Asia.
  • Q: Are cedar trees harmful to cows?
    A: Cedar trees can cause allergic reactions in cows that can be severe if the animal is exposed to large amounts of tree pollen or inhales cedar dust.
  • Q: What are the symptoms of cedar tree allergies in cattle?
    A: Common symptoms of cedar tree allergies in cattle may include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, labored breathing, and, in severe cases, anaphylaxis.
  • Q: How can cedar trees be controlled?
    A: Cedar tree control can be accomplished by several means, including pruning, spraying, and tree removal.
  • Q: What are the nutritional benefits of cedar trees for cattle?
    A: Cedar trees offer nutritional benefits for cattle, such as providing energy and essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Q: What treatments are available for cedar tree poisoning?
    A: Treatments for cedar tree poisoning generally include rest, IV fluids, antibiotics, and other medications prescribed by a veterinarian.

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