• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • James Freyr
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton

Safe to shred elderberry brush?

 
Posts: 10
Location: WNY
2
forest garden urban bee
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Our elderberry patch (planted in a hugelkultur bed) doubled in size this year, and is now encroaching on other food plants. We've decided to take out one of the shrub clusters, and are wondering if it's safe to shred the brush.

I'm thinking in terms of operator exposure to the glycosides which would become airborne. We know ingesting the glycosides is a problem, what about possible inhalation? (reference: tales of children being poisoned by using the hollow stems for reeds and coming into contact with the toxins that way.)  We'll make sure to wash harvests from the surrounding area to wash off any residue which might alight, but...want to make sure nobody gets sick due to exposure during shredding, either. The shredding will happen close to the woodpile, too. So any information re how quickly the glycosides break down when exposed to air, sunshine, light, would be helpful.

I did a search on this site, and more widely online, but haven't come up with a definitive answer to the question of airborne toxicity.
 
Posts: 3375
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
37
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I thought you were afraid of making a zillion new cuttings.  Visions of Mickey mouse as the sorcerers apprentice comes to mind, every shred becoming a new elderberry
 
V Kay
Posts: 10
Location: WNY
2
forest garden urban bee
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the chuckle! Somebody on another site once thought my "left the skin on when I pressure cooked the butternut squash" comment was a reference to my knuckles, not the squash.
 
Posts: 21
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have Mexican elderberries everywhere around here.  Although they are "said to be" somewhat toxic, I've never heard of anyone suffering any effects from handling them.  The toughest problem is getting them out of the ground, as they develop large root systems for such a small tree.
 
The fastest and most reliable components of any system are those that are not there. Tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!