Woods Used for Perches and Toys

This is not an all-inclusive list for wood types. While some bad woods are highly toxic, some are listed here due to reports of potential harmful chemicals or portions of the wood that can cause long term health issues in birds. The ‘safe list’ is assuming that the wood is already devoid of pests, pesticides, stems, leaves and residual sap. This listing is focused on using wood as a perch or toys that may be chewed upon and in high frequency contact with. If cutting your own wood, be certain you identify the tree correctly as many can be easily misidentified. To eliminate pests you can bake freshly cut wood in a 250 degree oven for a couple of hours to rid it of unwanted pests.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This page has not been prepared by a horticulturist or a veterinarian – but is the result of research. Every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy of the provided information, but even though the information is believed to be correct, Feathered Gardens will not be liable for any mistakes or omissions; and no guarantee can be given as to the safety of any of the plants or accuracy of information, which is provided for reference only. We recommend you consult your veterinarian before using any wood source for a perch.

Controversial Woods (Use at your own risk)

  • APPLE (insecticides are most likely the culprit of the controversy)
  • CHERRY (sap is harmful, must be dry, debarked and any traces of sap removed)
  • OAK (high tannin levels are controversial)
  • PEAR
  • POMEGRANATE (high tannin levels are controversial)
  • MAGNOLIA
  • PLYWOOD (glue and chemicals used to process is toxic)

Potentially Toxic Woods (Bad)

  • ALDER (Red Alder)
  • ANDROMEDA (Lily of the Valley)
  • APRICOT
  • ARROWHEAD VINE
  • AUSTRALIAN FLAME TREE
  • AUSTRALIAN UMBRELLA TREE
  • AVACADO
  • AZALEA
  • BANEBERRY
  • BEANS (castor, horse, fava, broad, glory, scarlet runner)
  • BLACK LOCUST
  • BOX ELDER
  • BOXWOOD
  • BUCKTHORN
  • BRACKEN FERN
  • BURDOCK
  • CACAO
  • CAMEL BUSH
  • CANARY BIRD BUSH
  • CANNABIS
  • CASTOR BEAN
  • CEDAR
  • CHESTNUT
  • CHALICE (trumpet vine)
  • CHINA BERRY TREE (Texas umbrella tree)
  • CHINESE POPCORN
  • CHINESE SNAKE TREE
  • COMMON SAGE
  • CORIANDER
  • DATURA
  • DATURA STRAMONIUM (angel’s trumpet)
  • DIEFFENBACHIA
  • ELDERBERRY
  • EUONYMUS
  • EUPHORBIA
  • FELT PLANT
  • FLAME TREE
  • FIRETHORN
  • FLAME TREE
  • FOXGLOVE
  • GOLDEN CHAIN TREE
  • GROUND CHERRY
  • CROWN OF THORNS
  • HEATHS
  • HEMLOCK
  • HOLLY
  • HONEY LOCUST
  • HORSE CHESTNUT
  • HUCKLEBERRY
  • HYDRANGEA
  • JASMINE
  • JUNIPER
  • KALMIA (Mountain Laurel)
  • KENTUCKY COFFEE TREE
  • LANTANA (Red Sage)
  • LAUREL
  • LEUCOTHOE
  • LUPINE
  • MANGO – (fruit okay: not wood or leaves)
  • MEXICAN BREADFRUIT
  • MOCK ORANGE
  • MONSTERA
  • MOUNTAIN LAUREL
  • MYRTLE (broadleaf evergreen, not crape myrtle)
  • NECTARINE
  • NUTMEG
  • MISTLETOE
  • OLEANDER
  • PEACH
  • PENCILTREE
  • PITCH PINE
  • PLUM
  • PRIVET
  • RAIN TREE
  • RED MAPLE
  • RED SAGE
  • REDWOOD (Sequiadendron, Metasequoia, Sequoia)
  • RHODODENDRON
  • RHUBARB
  • SAND BOX TREE
  • SKIMMIA
  • SOLANUM (Jerusalem cherry or pepino)
  • SOPHORA (Japanese pagoda tree)
  • SUMAC
  • TOBACCO
  • TANSY
  • TOMATO
  • UMBRELLA TREE
  • WALNUT (Black Walnut)
  • WEEPING FIG
  • WHITE CEDAR
  • WITCH HAZEL
  • WISTERIA
  • YEW

Purportedly Safe Woods (Good)

  • ACACIA (Silk Tree)
  • AILANTHUS (Tree of Heaven)
  • ALDER (White Alder)
  • ALMOND
  • ARALIA
  • ASH
  • ASPEN
  • BALSA
  • BAMBOO
  • BARBERRY
  • BASSWOOD
  • BIRCH
  • BEECH
  • BOIS D’ARC (horse apple tree)
  • BOTTLE BRUSH
  • BUTTERFLY BUSH
  • CAMELLIA
  • CHOLLA (cactus)
  • CITRUS
  • CORK
  • CORK OAK
  • CORN PLANTS
  • COTTONWOOD
  • CRABAPPLE (avoid toxic berries)
  • CRAPE MYRTLE
  • DAPHNE (avoid toxic berries)
  • DATE
  • DOGWOOD
  • DOUGLAS FIR
  • DRACAENA
  • DRAGONWOOD
  • ELM
  • ESCALLONIA
  • EUCALYPTUS
  • FIG
  • FIR
  • GINKGO
  • GRAPEFRUIT
  • GRAPE VINES
  • GRAPE PALM
  • GUAVA
  • HACKBERRY
  • HAWTHORN
  • HIBISCUS
  • HICKORY
  • IRONWOOD (avoid toxic leaves)
  • JADE PLANT
  • JAVA WOOD
  • KALANCHOE
  • KUMQUAT
  • LARCH
  • LEMON
  • LILAC
  • LIME
  • MADRONA / MADRONE
  • MAGNOLIA
  • MAPLE
  • MANZANITA
  • MESQUITE
  • MIMOSA
  • MOUNTAIN ASH
  • MULBERRY (avoid leaves)
  • NANDINA (Heavenly bamboo)
  • NORFOLK ISLAND PINE
  • NUT TREES (exclude chestnut)
  • ORANGE
  • OREGON GRAPE
  • PALM
  • PAPAYA
  • PEAR
  • PECAN
  • PINE
  • PHOTINIA
  • POPLAR
  • PUSSY WILLOW
  • RAPHIOLEPSIS (Indian Hawthorn)
  • RIBBONWOOD
  • ROSE
  • RUBBER PLANT
  • RUSSIAN OLIVE
  • SASSAFRAS
  • SILK TREE
  • SPIRAEA
  • SPRUCE
  • STAGHORN SUMAC
  • STRAWBERRY TREE
  • SWEET GUM
  • SYCAMORE
  • THURLOW
  • TREE FERN
  • VIBURNUM
  • VINE MAPLE
  • WALNUT (English Walnut)
  • WEEPING WILLOW
  • WIEGELA
  • YUCCA

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