Trees to enhance your paddocks, fields and equestrian facilities

Tree tips for paddocks and pastures

In addition to enhancing the appearance of landscapes, trees provide a number of benefits to horses, assuming the correct species are selected, planted and effectively maintained.

Primarily trees are used to provide shelter, from sun in the summer months and cold wind and rain in the winter. When the leaves are shed in the autumn, it results in improvements to the soil fertility of the pasture, leading to a better nutrient uptake for horses.

In paddocks, the best place to plant trees is in the corner or just outside the perimeter of the area, as this makes it easier to fence them off from horses.

Positioning the trees so they provide the maximum amount of shade during the hottest points of the day is important too, while making use of semi-mature specimens means trees are tall enough to provide shading straight away. It’s for this reason Civic Trees were commissioned to deliver a planting project between the paddocks at a private polo club in Berkshire. The trees also form an attractive avenue on the drive leading to the clubhouse

When selecting species there are some which should definitely be avoided as they contain toxins with the potential to poison horses. These include, amongst others, Sycamore, Red Maples and acorn-bearing Oaks. Please contact us for a more complete list.

In terms of what we do recommend here are our ‘top five’ species for planting around horses

Acer campestre (Field Maple) and cultivars

Carpinus (Hornbeam) and varieties

Fagus (Beech) and varieties

Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Tree)

Tilia (Lime) and varieties

There are local factors which could determine the best tree species to use on a particular site. A visit from one of our tree specialists can help provide a planting plan and further guidance.

Civic Trees specialise in planting large, semi mature, specimens (typically over 4.0m tall). They are already formed and shaped to lead to development as fine trees at maturity with no technical pruning required. Their larger size means that not only do they start doing the job they were intended to do sooner, they also have a greater visual impact on the landscape and are more ‘horse-proof’ than smaller, younger specimens.

When undertaking planting projects, it’s imperative that guards, guying techniques and stabilising structures are safe for use around horses which is why we use our bespoke, underground guying system, meaning there are no potential hazards surrounding the tree. As with all planting projects, adequate aftercare programmes are essential to ensure newly planted trees can thrive, including watering, pruning and feeding.