Livestock Poisoning Possible from Wilting Black Wild Cherry Leaves

Livestock Poisoning Possible from Wilting Black Wild Cherry Leaves

Bruce MacKellar

Bovine Veterinarian

The leaves of wild black cherry trees, which are a very common fencerow and woodlot species in southwest Michigan, can cause a lethal poisoning risk if grazing animals consume wilted leaves. The toxic component in the leaves is prussic acid, a hydrogen cyanide toxin that is only formed when glycosides in the leaves are combined with hydrolytic enzymes.

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