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I would like to plant an evergreen hedge (not beech or hornbeam as an alternative) that is quick growing but not toxic to livestock.

Any suggestions would be gratefully received.



Escallonia is not toxic, but is neither rapid nor slow growing. Pyracantha, Box and Berberis can cause intestinal symptoms if eaten by livestock; Privet has poisonous berries.

9 Nov, 2010


We once had a very nice cotoneaster hedge (not sure which species). This is quick growing and not toxic, as far as I am aware.

9 Nov, 2010


The word on Cotoneaster is that research is incomplete - possible that ingestion MAY cause stomach upset.

9 Nov, 2010


Try Prunus lusitanica ("Portugal Laurel"). Smart, glossy leaves, dark red leaf stalks, steady growing. I use it a lot as hedging. Easily maintained, too. Phil

9 Nov, 2010


I used to take all my hedge trimmings (when I worked for others) up to a local goat farmer, who used to put all the trimmings in a ring for the goats to feed on. Privet was definately not allowed. Infact, she preferred deciduous and indiginous material. The leaf structure of quite a lot of evergreen could cause her goats something similar to bloat. But I suppose it depends on the livestock? And of course, there was the problem if they didn't like something, they avoided it. So there were times when she had to empty the feeding ring herself.

You could try finding a list on google for toxic plants. I've just found one

One plant that was a favourite was hawthorn.

10 Nov, 2010

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