Black Walnut Tree Shavings as Trail Mulch?
This summer we are planning to start making riding trails on our heavily wooded property. As we cut down the branches and trees, we plan to chip the wood to mulch the trails. However, we have a good number of black walnut trees, and I am wondering if the wood chips pose a health risk to our horses.
ABlack walnut shavings and wood chips contain the toxin juglone that is suspected to be a principal agent in causing laminitis. This is a problem to horses if they contact or eat the shavings. However, the toxicity apparently only occurs if the black walnut shavings are fresh. If they are well seasoned, then the toxicity is negligible. I would assume that if the chips were spread on the trail and allowed to weather for a month or more, then there would be little risk to horses using the trail.
Bedding the horses on black walnut shavings is more likely to be a problem because of the greater contact and exposure.
For more information on black walnut toxicity, see
Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.