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Thread: Beech is it safe?

  1. #11
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa View Post
    It's a tricky one isn't it, there's a difference between 'safe' meaning 'not toxic' and 'safe' meaning 'unlikely to cause harm in any way'. I also get a bit perplexed that it never seems to be actively mentioned, so the photo on the medirabbit page is captioned to be of rabbits eating beech, but beech isn't listed in the 'safe trees' list...same for parsnip bun's foraging book. Does anyone have the 'gardening for rabbits' book, is it mentioned in there? Eileen Walthall, who wrote 'wild nutrition for pet rabbits' says she wouldn't feed it.

    In the absence of it appearing in any of the commonly cited lists of safe things, I'd make the assumption that even if it is safe, it probably isn't delicious, otherwise as it's such a common tree, it would be in all the books as recommended food and our bunnies would be shovelling it down like they do with willow and apple
    It is not in the list of safe trees in the "Gardening for rabbits" book, but it is not in my view a comprehensive list. Listed are Apple, Crab Apple, Damson, Hazel, Pear, Quince and Willow.

    It's interesting your observation regarding the Medirabbit site, which shows rabbits eating Beech, but doesn't include it in their list of safe trees. You'll note also that Medirabbit advises no stone fruits, whereas Frances Harcourt Brown says Plum is OK and Twigs says Damson is OK.

    I would put Beech in the same category as I do all stone fruits for my rabbits i.e. I think there's a very good chance that they are all OK, but I have access to so many other different woods and leaves and so prefer not to include them.
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  2. #12
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    The interesting thing about branches from trees bearing stone fruits is that the current thinking is that they are toxic whilst still attached to the tree, but not after they are cut and dried (for at least a month).

  3. #13
    Wise Old Thumper Santa's Avatar
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    It's no wonder we all get so confused, when there is so much conflicting/changing information is it I still think that if it was (a) definitely safe and (b) delicious, it would definitely be on all the lists as it's such a common tree!
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyMax View Post
    The interesting thing about branches from trees bearing stone fruits is that the current thinking is that they are toxic whilst still attached to the tree, but not after they are cut and dried (for at least a month).
    It can all get unnecessarily complicated What's the source of this new information? That is going to apply to Blackthorn as well then. Not that I feed that, but thumps used to collect the leaves and feed them straight away as far as I am aware.
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  5. #15
    Wise Old Thumper Santa's Avatar
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    Yes I've asked the same question about blackthorn before too, and just been told 'yes it's weird isn't it, that's the exception to the rule!' Maybe for whatever reason the toxin levels are much lower in that plant, therefore at the quantities given it's fine. It's all a mystery!
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