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Thread: Choke cherry trees?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Thanked: 522

    Default Choke cherry trees?

    Hello everyone! I am trying to setup a cage for the 7 squirrels I am rehabbing. They are out growing their large plastic bin and adamantly letting me know they would like a bigger place to play in. Does anyone know if choke cherry tree branches would be safe to put in the cage for climbing purposes? I see cherry trees on the list as safe branches to use, but I do not believe choke cherry trees are true cherry trees. From my search online, it sounds like they can be dangerous for livestock, but wildlife including squirrels eat the berries that form on choke cherry trees. The branches I cut are from a large fallen dead branch in my yard. I am uncertain if the branches would be safe for them to chew on and possibly ingest. I certainly do not want to put anything dangerous in with my little ones. Any input would be appreciated. The babies are getting impatient lol.
    “Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem.” -A.A Milne

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Thanked: 1191

    Default Re: Choke cherry trees?

    Hi! Cherries have some cyanide in most parts (leaves, branches, bark) which is why they're harmful to livestock. I don't know whether the cyanide would have dissipated from dead wood. Probably better safe than sorry, although I think squirrels and some animals can eat things other animals shouldn't. I currently have a new crop of fall babies just venturing out of their box in a big yew in my yard. ALL the babies teethe on the yew branches, which are supposed to be poisonous. Go figure.

    It's kind of a bummer, because the cyanide may act as a natural insecticide, as in less chance of them getting mites etc. from cherry branches than other kinds. Raptors have been observed to poke cherry twigs into their nests, and replenish them from time to time. It was theorized that they were putting them there so the slow emission of cyanide gas might help deter mites etc.
    "I hope everyone got or gets their Baby Love today"~Shewhosweptforest

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