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Old 09-10-2017, 10:31 AM United States
trish57 trish57 is offline
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Default Safe wood? Serviceberry tree

Hi all,

I had an arborist come to my home yesterday to give me an estimate on some tree work. He's the first to accurately identify the tree in my back yard in four years. I never heard of the name before, but it's called a Serviceberry tree. It needs pruning badly. Anyway, I was wondering if it's a chin-safe wood. I haven't found it anywhere. Here is the link for info on it.

If I scrubbed, boiled and baked it, what do you think?

I wish I knew what it was sooner. There are always tons of berries in the spring that the birds eat. If I'd known they were safe for humans, I would have been out there with the birds. LOL

He will also be pruning my Weeping Cherry tree, which I believe is not safe for chins. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks!

Trish
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:03 PM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
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I've never heard of serviceberry, but apparently Saskatoon berries are a type of service berries and I'd definitely heard of those. The berries are very good (they taste similar to blueberries) and good for you. The seeds contain a small amount of cyanide like chemical, safe for humans, but not for chins, the wood however is safe. Just be sure that the tree was never sprayed with chemicals ever, some chemicals can stay inside the wood for decades or more.

You are right the cherry tree is not safe, the general rule is, any tree with fruit that has a stone pit is not safe.
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Old 09-10-2017, 03:36 PM United States
trish57 trish57 is offline
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Thanks for responding.

I'd never heard of a Serviceberry tree either. Several people have thought it was a few different kinds of trees, but when I looked them up, they were all a definite no. It's good to know that the berries are edible for humans. I think next year I will venture out and get some for myself. They are shaped like blueberries, and when they start getting ripe they are red - that's when the birds go crazy for them. This year, not so much though. I thought maybe there was something wrong with the tree that the berries were bad. But the arborist said it could have just been an off year for berries. They do turn darker and look more like blueberries as they ripen. I don't think it wasn't a very good year for blueberries locally

So I was thinking of using the shoots (I forget the term for them) that they are going to cut off of the limbs rather than the actual limbs. There are plenty of them. Or is that not a good idea?

I don't know how to know for certain that the tree was NEVER treated. I guess I could ask the neighbor across the street. If anyone would know the history, he would. I'm assuming that none of the trees were ever treated since they were never trimmed/trained. Maybe the arborist would be able to tell?

Thanks again,
Trish
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:06 PM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
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I don't think there really is a way to tell for certain if you don't know the whole life of the tree. The only thing I can think of is, it a wild grown tree? or something someone planted? If someone planted it it's likely been sprayed in the past to help keep bugs away if it was planted for the berries. Also unless it came from an organic nursery (or the wild) it likely was treated with something to keep bugs off to make it look pretty and sellable.

I know it seems like a waste, but I wouldn't give my chins anything I don't know for sure is not chemically treated. If your neighbor can verify the tree hasn't been sprayed though it should be ok. The new growth is fine to use, it just might be a bit more work to prepare then older parts of the tree. New growth has a higher water content so takes longer to dry out, not really a big deal, just make sure you don't bake new growth together with older wood.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:55 AM United States
trish57 trish57 is offline
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Ok, thanks. Due to the location of the tree, I would think that it was likely planted there. I'd better not risk it. Oh well.
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