Gardens are not always designed to be enjoyed by everyone. An adult is unlikely to get up close with the foliage, nor are they likely to eat berries as a pet or small child might do. Adults know that some plants can be harmful and should be enjoyed as purely an ornament. If you have moved to a new home and are concerned that some of the trees in your backyard might be toxic, what can you do?
First things first, here are some of the most common poisonous trees that might be growing in Australian backyards.
Its toxic nature is obvious from its Latin name (Toxicodendron Succedaneum) and is in fact classified as a noxious tree in Australia, meaning you can no longer find it in garden centres. There are still a huge number of these trees around, and contact with its branches and leaves can cause a severe allergic reaction, with a strong rash being the most common symptom. This is a problem for children who might try to play in or around the tree.
White Cedar Tree
While the white cedar tree is an Australian native, it's not kind to Australians. The tree can produce large quantities of berries, which are then shed onto the ground below. Birds will gorge on these berries and will not be affected. They are highly toxic for humans and other animals and can result in vomiting. The berries can be a real temptation for younger children.
Also called a flame tree due its bright red and orange flowers, the coral tree is a common ornamental tree. Only the seeds are poisonous, and if accidentally ingested can cause respiratory issues (shortness of breath).
What To Do:
If you are concerned about any of these trees that might be growing in your garden, there are a few things you can do.
You can fence off the tree so that your pets cannot get close, and you will need to teach your children that this is a no-go area of the garden. You will need to be diligent when it comes to removing any dropped berries or foliage.
Extreme pruning can remove the problematic portions of the tree, as in the branches that will sprout flowers or berries. This is not aesthetically pleasing, as you are basically left with a stump.
It can be most effective to simply remove the trees in question. Remember that some trees (even those on private property) can be classified as significant trees, meaning removal is not always permitted. Check with your local council before you call a tree removal company. Your council might permit the removal of significant trees if they are replaced with other (non-toxic) trees.
While these trees are beautiful, they can cause problems for some members of your family. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do and hopefully you will be able to replace those dangerous trees with something just as beautiful, but much safer.
Welcome to my blog. My name is Emilie. When I turned thirty, I received the most thoughtful gift from my mum: a tropical tree in a pot. I loved it. I would have never imagined buying something like that, but it lit up my home, and it produced yummy fruit. After having such a positive experience with a potted tree, I decided to invest in a few more. Through the years, I have learned how to take care of potted trees, how to plant them outside and how to ensure they are getting the light they need inside. If you want to buy a tree in a pot or if you already have one, explore these posts. They will guide you toward great tree care.