Is Liquidambar (aka sweetgum) safe for a beardie enclsoure?

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Is Liquidambar (aka sweetgum) safe for a beardie enclsoure?

Postby TurnipFish » Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:13 am

I have been wanting to add a log to my beardie’s enclosure for him to climb on for some time now.
We have been pruning the Liquidambar in my garden and because of it we now have quite some logs and some of them look really good for an enclosure decoration, but I want to be sure the wood is safe to use.
Anyone knows?
If it is safe, are there any specific procedures that I have to do to the log before going in the enclosure?
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Re: Is Liquidambar (aka sweetgum) safe for a beardie enclsou

Postby MrSpectrum » Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:30 am

In a cursory search, I only find one site (for animal rehabs in general) that claims it's safe for reptiles, but that same site lists pine as safe, and most other sources I've seen list pine as a no-go for beardies. And apparently, this is the first time this question has come up on this forum.

On the plus side, it's deciduous, and most toxic woods I'm aware of are coniferous.
On the minus side, American Sweetwood does contain aromatic compounds--which may or may not be bad. :dontknow:

Personally, I'd err on the side of caution. Here's an article from a bearded dragon site about known woods for vivariums:
Wood for Vivariums – What Wood Is safe and What Is Not

As far as prepping wood from outside, the main concerns are parasites, eggs, & fungus. The consensus is to strip away bark (exception: cork rounds) and debris, and bake the logs/wood in an oven at 350°F for an hour or more (but double-check the flashpoint of the wood you're baking. :wink: ) This also means you need to limit the size of the branches/logs, or have a very large oven! :lol:
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Re: Is Liquidambar (aka sweetgum) safe for a beardie enclsou

Postby TurnipFish » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:11 am

MrSpectrum wrote:In a cursory search, I only find one site (for animal rehabs in general) that claims it's safe for reptiles, but that same site lists pine as safe, and most other sources I've seen list pine as a no-go for beardies. And apparently, this is the first time this question has come up on this forum.

On the plus side, it's deciduous, and most toxic woods I'm aware of are coniferous.
On the minus side, American Sweetwood does contain aromatic compounds--which may or may not be bad. :dontknow:

Personally, I'd err on the side of caution. Here's an article from a bearded dragon site about known woods for vivariums:
Wood for Vivariums – What Wood Is safe and What Is Not

As far as prepping wood from outside, the main concerns are parasites, eggs, & fungus. The consensus is to strip away bark (exception: cork rounds) and debris, and bake the logs/wood in an oven at 350°F for an hour or more (but double-check the flashpoint of the wood you're baking. :wink: ) This also means you need to limit the size of the branches/logs, or have a very large oven! :lol:



Sorry for the late reply, but the Coronavirus situtarion has been insane 😅
Thank you for the reply though!

Well, I'd like for my beardie to have a nice log to climb on to, but I want him to be safe above all of course. Is it too risky an experiment to try putting the log on the enclosure and supervision his behaviour about it?
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Re: Is Liquidambar (aka sweetgum) safe for a beardie enclsou

Postby MrSpectrum » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:51 am

I've had trouble finding suitable logs myself, and I have 4 wooded acres to choose from!
I do have a cork round I got at a reptile show last year before all this started, and have been meaning to install that. Some vendors at shows sell by the pound ($8-$10/lb.) instead of by the log, which is a much better deal. What I got for $30 was priced at $100 or more from some vendors.

But this isn't a time for shows--I would think most have been cancelled by now--or should be.

If you've stripped off the bark and baked it (as above) I would take the added step of sealing it with a few coats of water-based sealer and allow to thoroughly cure. I'd probably do that with a known "safe" log just to make cleaning easier.
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Re: Is Liquidambar (aka sweetgum) safe for a beardie enclsou

Postby TurnipFish » Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:55 am

MrSpectrum wrote:I've had trouble finding suitable logs myself, and I have 4 wooded acres to choose from!
I do have a cork round I got at a reptile show last year before all this started, and have been meaning to install that. Some vendors at shows sell by the pound ($8-$10/lb.) instead of by the log, which is a much better deal. What I got for $30 was priced at $100 or more from some vendors.

But this isn't a time for shows--I would think most have been cancelled by now--or should be.

If you've stripped off the bark and baked it (as above) I would take the added step of sealing it with a few coats of water-based sealer and allow to thoroughly cure. I'd probably do that with a known "safe" log just to make cleaning easier.


Yeah with the hole country im quarantine it's impossible 😅
I've done all the previous things like you've said. I still have some of a sealer we used when we built my beardie's enclosure, so I will do that!
Ty for the help!
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