Can I use branches from my backyard for reptile tanks?


Hatchling Member
I wanted to put some climbing/"enrichment" branches in both my bearded dragon and snake tank. I know that people can collect and disinfect branches to do just that, but I wanted to know your thoughts on it.

You can also get grapevines- I totally get that- but they are very pricy to get several larger ones, especially if I can go pick out my own from alllll of the trees in my backyard.

I assume you would have to sand down anything too sharp, take any bark off, and disinfect it like I mentioned.

What else would I need to do?


Juvie Member
I personally wouldn’t as I actually found a tapeworm inside of a log in my backyard a few weeks ago and I wouldn’t want such an ugly creature in my house. If you do, bake the heck out of the branches and make sure there are no human parasites living in them.

kingofnobbys Sicko
If you lived in Australia , I'd say YEP , if it comes from a gum tree , a grevilla , a banksia , a sheoak , these are all fine , even better if the are allowed to dry in the sun for a month or so.

Not so sure about trees commonly found in USA home gardens and parks and woods . Check to be sure they don't have toxic sap, toxins in bark.

Only other proviso is being sure there are no whiteants in the branch, and no other unwanted pest insects.

CooperDragon Sicko
Staff member
I use pieces of driftwood. You can use branches too if they're the right size/shape. I like finding things that are relatively flat and wide to provide a good basking surface, but that really depends on how you're setting things up. I just rinse them off well and scrub any dirt off then bake them in the oven on low (about 200-250) for 30-45 min or so to disinfect. You can use rocks you find too, but don't bake them (explosion/cracking risk if they have moisture inside). Just rinse them off well and they should be OK.

AHBD Sicko
All of my rocks, logs and branches are from outdoors and I have some beautiful pieces. They add a natural look and are free, can't beat that IMO.

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