The bark of red maples is smooth and grayish. The twigs are reddish brown.
The fresh leaves are considered relatively safe, but wilted and fallen leaves can be toxic--but tasty, to horses. The toxins affect the red blood cells. Three pounds of ingested red maple leaves is considered lethal.
Leaves can remain toxic for several weeks after they've fallen. Don't dispose of red maple leaves in manure piles or compost heaps that might be in reach of your horses. Red maple leaves can cause problems if baled into hay.
Red maples grow throughout eastern United States and Canada.
Symptoms of red maple poisoning are:
- dark brown urine
- rapid pulse
- increased respiration
If you suspect poisoning from any plant or substance call your veterinarian immediately.