Sycamores - how much to worry?

chaps89

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Before I moved to my current yard I asked if there was any sycamore trees - I was told only 1 on the property and in a field far away from where we'd be.
Stupidly I didn't look closely enough when I walked round the field when I viewed the yard and missed that there is in fact several sycamore trees in/around the summer field.
Currently in the winter field (No sycamores) but wondering how much I should be panicking about the sycamores come spring and moving fields, and whether I ought to be moving yards?
(As far as I can tell, short of testing the trees at huge £££, there's no way of telling if these particular ones are an issue, and although horses may have grazed nearby for years with no problem, that doesn't mean there won't be a problem in the future. Which isn't very positive really)
 

MrsNorris

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I left a yard a few months back because of a serious sycamore problem, the field was covered in seeds, literally tens of thousands of them. They’ve never had a problem, been horses on the land for at least 10 years that I know of, probably a lot longer, but I just didn’t want to risk it. I didn’t want my horses to be that first time.
 

cobgoblin

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We kept horses on our land for 20yrs with multiple sycamores and no problems.. But, we have now chopped them all down....or rather we are continuously chopping them down because the devils grow back!
There's no way of telling if they will cause a problem... Will your YO not do anything?
 

Firefly9410

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There is no such thing as a perfect livery yard. If all else is good I would cross my fingers and hope for the best. I worry more about poor grazing bad fencing field bullies stuff like that because these have a greater chance of causing my horse problems I think. You chose this place out of all the available options. Only you can say if sycamore bothers you enough to choose a different yard with other compromises.
 

chaps89

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Thanks for the replies so far.
I'm pretty sure they're sycamore's as a fellow livery said they have someone in to mow the seedlings from time to time? Not sure how easy it would be to tell which it is at this time of year when there's no leaves about?!
From looking at photos online, I think they look more sycamore like than maple but it was obviously a while ago.

It's only come back up as a new yard has opened locally which I went to look at this week, originally to see if the setup works as mine is metabolic and I'm really struggling with her having ad lib hay currently (thankfully she hasn't gained weight, but equally she's not lost any either, putting us in a perilous position come spring)
Of course they now need an answer, and I think I'd probably prefer to say where I am with the exception of the sycamores.
But as spaces don't come up often locally, that I can afford and can accommodate her issues, I don't know whether I can chance turning it down.
I know the risk of her being affected by them is low, it's just that the consequences of what happens if she does get affected are so severe I'm not sure I want to take that risk.
 

cauda equina

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At my previous house there were loads of sycamores
I hadn't heard of AM then so didn't worry but the horses were fine
Just as not all grass causes grass sickness, I wonder if not all sycamores cause AM
 

L&M

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My partner lost a youngster only a couple of years ago to AM, again paddock had had horses grazing it for 30 odd yrs with no issues, but was a very bad year for saplings.

We won't graze anywhere near them now...….
 
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If you can find any seeds still lying anywhere then it's easy to tell the difference: field maple have the two seed pods wide apart in a straight line, sycamore are in a V shape. Actually, please google that to check ive got it the right way round, but I think that's right!
 

chaps89

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Definitely sycamore's- I asked a fellow livery. Turns out they lost a horse a few years ago from AM :eek:
They now wait till the seedlings are tall enough then mow them and let them die off before grazing the field.
 

meleeka

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Definitely sycamore's- I asked a fellow livery. Turns out they lost a horse a few years ago from AM :eek:
They now wait till the seedlings are tall enough then mow them and let them die off before grazing the field.
I’d be twitchy if a horse has previously been losr. Are you certain the helicopters don’t blow into other fields? They fly miles with a strong wind.
 

Firefly9410

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Definitely sycamore's- I asked a fellow livery. Turns out they lost a horse a few years ago from AM :eek:
They now wait till the seedlings are tall enough then mow them and let them die off before grazing the field.
Will you be able to sleep at night if you stay at this yard? If it will keep you awake at night then it is the wrong yard for you even if your worries turn out to be unfounded.
 

GSD Woman

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Is this a problem only in the UK? Sycamores are very common around here and I had never heard of problems. Cherry trees are more of a problem.
 

Lois Lame

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Sorry, maybe your sycamore is a maple. Common names are very confusing. I'd googled sycamore and come up with Platanus - a very different thing entirely. And now I'm in a big rush for a farrier...
 

chaps89

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Meleeka/firefly - it's definitely made me twitchy and panicky for sure. My worry is the fields aren't big (summer field 3 acres, winter field 5 acres) with 5 horses on them 24/7 so apart from when they very first move from one field to another, there often isn't a huge amount of grass out there (suits me ok but not ideal if they're hungry and go off eating things they shouldn't)

@GSD Woman
I'm very glad you said that about cherry trees - potential new yard grazing is a former orchard, complete with cherry trees. I had no idea they were an issue.
Sycamores here are a problem (similar to red maple in the states as far as I can tell) Its thought that historically alot of cases of atypical myopathy may have been misdiagnosed as grass sickness, it's something that only in the last few years seems to have become an issue, so research is still in its early stages. I have known a horse who survived AM but he was very lucky tmit was picked up early, he was very poorly for a long time and that in itself is enough to put me off, I don't think most horses are so lucky.

@Lois Lame Definitely sycamore - see my post further down the thread, a fellow livery confirmed it. Hope you made it to your farrier on time
 

Spotherisk

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OP my horse got AM when he was five, nearly six years ago. He’d been in a paddock where there were seedlings (and that’s too long a story), the AM also brought on laminitis. When xrayed all four pedal bones rotated, he was on box rest for three months but did come right, but he has been a problem horse ever since and last week was retired, he has EMS. IMO there are links between his problems, and the AM was the start of it...
 

chaps89

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If you can get an up close photo of the twig/buds I should be able to Id
Thankyou for offering. Unfortunately this was a yard I looked around this morning, another YO who doesn't really seem concerned by the risk so I'm not sure I can get any other photos, but thankyou anyway.
She did begrudgingly admit that there is sycamore's further up the treeline because she'd been told so by a livery at one point but didn't know for those trees in the photo what they are (which would be the back of the field we'd be in if we went)

So I'm wondering now which is the best of a bad set of options - non-concerned YO so no action taken but less trees anyway (we think) or more trees but a YO who does at least mow seedlings and keep you off that paddock till summer (not spring as I thought)

I'm actually starting to wonder if yards minus sycamore's/other random poisonous trees exist or if I'm just being really unlucky :eek:
I also feel like I'm massively over reacting given the number of people who don't seem bothered but it is really bothering me and doing my head in :(

Eta @Spotherisk I'm sorry to hear that, that sounds horrific :(
 

SO1

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I was at yard where a horse died due to AM they had never had a problem before and as far as I am aware not had one since. It seems a bit like Russian roulette and not a game I would like to play with my pony if I had a choice. I moved yards within days, none of the other liveries decided to move and only one horse in the herd got AM and it was a youngster.
 

Firefly9410

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I understand your concerns. For me it is not so much about not being bothered but about realising perfect yards do not exist and there will inevitably be something posing a danger. Also about remembering why I keep horses which is to ride. Yes they are much loved pets too and I love them even when they retire but I would not buy a retired one. I think of them as part of the family but it would be impossible for them to live with me so I accept they must live somewhere else and consider myself extremely lucky if that place is completely suitable and free from hazards. Generally it is not. I have been in the position of having to pick the best of a bad bunch before. Like I said I have horses because I enjoy riding not because I felt I needed some more worry in my life! So for things I cannot change I choose not to worry. In your shoes I would make a list for and against each yard including your own wants and needs on the list then pick one and hope everything goes ok. If things go bad worst case scenario horse dies at least I know I made the best decision I could and gave the horses a good life and did not shy away from pts at the end. At least mine are not neglected and abused like some unlucky souls. No amount of worrying or planning will prevent bad things happening occasionally. Good luck with whatever you decide :)
 
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