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Is osage orange safe to use?

This is a discussion on Is osage orange safe to use? within the Vivarium, Terrarium & Enclosure Discussion forums, part of the General Topics category; Osage orange wood is really resistant to rot when wet, and grows in great shapes. There are tons of overgrown ...

  1. #1
    () brent is offline
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    Default Is osage orange safe to use?

    Osage orange wood is really resistant to rot when wet, and grows in great shapes. There are tons of overgrown or dead hedges all over the place around here. The root systems of toppled trees are the most interesting parts, I think. The thing that concerns me is leaching of chemicals from the wood, the sawdust can be used to make a yellow dye and I heard the sawdust can be really bad to breathe as well. But I can't find any info one way or another about it's safety in a terrarium. Has anyone here ever used it?

    The other type of wood I was thinking of using is black locust, also rot resistant but not as "driftwoody", anyone know anything about that either?

    There is zero chance I will be buying wood when there is so much around for free.

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    () Kurt is offline
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    Default Re: Is osage orange safe to use?

    I have never even heard of it. Sorry.
    Kurt Kunze
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    Kristy
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    Default Re: Is osage orange safe to use?

    I use the fruit from this tree/hedge to keep spiders away from the house. It works really well for that. I would say it is safe considering it grows all around and wild treefrogs such as grays are exposed to it. There is a bunch of hedges on my neighbors property and I agree they are interesting looking and would make neat specimens in an enclosure. Maybe if its natural state is altered by certain chemicals/treatments it may be harmful, like you said it is made into a dye, but just as is would probably be alright.

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    Johnny O. Farnen
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    Default Re: Is osage orange safe to use?

    No. Osage Orange wood contains toxic compounds. For a list of known safe wood for vivaria,read Caudata Culture Articles - Wood in Vivaria
    Watching FrogTV because it is better when someone else has to maintain the enclosure!

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    Kristy
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    Default Re: Is osage orange safe to use?

    Yikes! Thank goodness for Sludgemonkey, sorry Brent! My guess was not so good after all

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    () brent is offline
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    Default Re: Is osage orange safe to use?

    Thanks for the link and the replies. Osage was not listed at caudata, but one of the bird sites referenced there lists "bois de arc" (osage) as safe for birds (it is probably way too tough for them to peck apart I suppose). The safe wood list is not very long, ash, grape and bamboo being the only species available to me. Ash rots really fast when wet too, does it not acidify during decomp or something?

    I am still not convinced that osage cannot be used safely though, there's just not enough info out there for me. There's controvery in the wooden spoon carving community too over the wood, some say that it is in fact safer because it does not absorb cooking liquids like non toxic hardwoods do. Others say it is not safe because of the chemicals in the wood. I don't know, but there are no reports of any sort of actual poisoning from the wood so I'm leaning towards it being safe or capable of being safe. I think adequate boiling and leeching time should do it.

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    () Kurt is offline
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    Default Re: Is osage orange safe to use?

    When in doubt, throw it out. Only use it if you are 100% sure it is safe. I would trust Johnny to give you accurate information.
    Kurt Kunze
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    Johnny O. Farnen
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    Default Re: Is osage orange safe to use?

    What is safe for birds or mammals does not necessarily mean it is safe for amphibians. Frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders are especially sensitive to compounds called phenols, which are present in many types of wood. Other types of wood, like walnut, are outright toxic as an evolutionary measure.

    While in the wild this is generally not an issue, in an enclosed environment like where we keep our pets, these chemical compounds can build up to dangerously toxic levels. In the case of Osage orange, the risk of a food insect becoming contaminated and then eaten is very high.

    The list of "safe wood" is by no means all inclusive, however the wood listed there is all proven safe for use with amphibians. You should not worry about wood rotting away in your enclosure. One properly sterilized and dried, the wood will outlast the life of the enclosure (and often the pets too).

    As Kurt stated, "When in doubt, leave it out."

    A bit of work with a Dremel tool and some PVC pipe will solve all your fears though. Have a search for "PVC" here on the forums and you will see the results of such a project.
    Watching FrogTV because it is better when someone else has to maintain the enclosure!

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    Default Re: Is osage orange safe to use?

    im interested in this PVC idea you speak of, but the forum will disclude the word PVC because its too small in a search, " PVC Wood" just searches the word "wood" so you can imagine how many threads are resulted. any thing else you can give me to find this PVC project you are talking about?

    edit*** found it! loooks amazing!!! DIY Fake Wood...the cheap way!


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