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I would really love to get a little apple tree for the house - something completely natural that my Linnie can climb around on and chew, as climbing is his favourite thing to do and he's not all that interested in conventional parakeet toys.

The problem is that my local plant nursery sprays their plants with pesticide, and I would imagine that the situation will be much the same anywhere else I go.

I was wondering if I take the tree out into the garden, spray it all over with cider vinegar, and then thoroughly hose it off with water (like on the strongest setting possible without blasting the leaves off), would that be enough to wash off any chemical residues?
 

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I am no expert, but I would not think that it would be enough. The pesticides would be absorbed by the plant and possibly contain it in the leaves...
 

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Hi! Good to hear from you! I do not know if you know this, but if you are talking about an apple tree that produces apples, you need to check out if the leaves or blooms are poisonous. I heard that the apple core and apple seeds are poisonous to birds, but the meat and skin of the apple is not. Citrus and willow trees are okay and so is a miniature banana tree ( It can be grown inside).


David and Ricochet:cool:;)
 

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This might sound odd, but I have seen fruit trees for sale online for delivery. Maybe you can find one?
It's worth asking all the nursery at least, I got organic ones but I live in Vegas so the nursery are endless....
 

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I got a small orange tree sprig in Florida a few years ago. It was just a twig with roots and a couple of leaves. They sell them in the gift shops in a cardboard sleeve. It really took off. I have to keep cutting it back. One day I noticed a chunk missing from one of the top leaves and looked it over to see if it had some pest on it. Then I realized I had rolled Pip and his cage in there and he went on the outside of his cage and chomped off a piece. I had checked before I got him on which plants were okay. Never thought of pesticides, but since it is an inside plant I never worried.
 

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I am no expert, but I would not think that it would be enough. The pesticides would be absorbed by the plant and possibly contain it in the leaves...
I saw this post and thought, surely that can't be right, otherwise by that logic it would be soaking in to our fruit and veg too. So I looked it up and yeah, you're right. Yuck. :(

Hi! Good to hear from you! I do not know if you know this, but if you are talking about an apple tree that produces apples, you need to check out if the leaves or blooms are poisonous. I heard that the apple core and apple seeds are poisonous to birds, but the meat and skin of the apple is not.
Apple wood is definitely safe, and though there is not as much documentation on the leaves and flowers, the sources I've found consider them safe too. Regarding the fruit, I'm aware of the cyanide in the seeds, but the likelihood of Kermit chewing through to the core of an apple while my back is turned is basically zero. :p It's not really the plant itself that is my concern, but rather the man-made residues, and the same issue would apply to any fruit tree.

This might sound odd, but I have seen fruit trees for sale online for delivery. Maybe you can find one?
It's worth asking all the nursery at least, I got organic ones but I live in Vegas so the nursery are endless....
I did look into that yes, but in the UK at least, there doesn't seem to be any such thing as an untreated apple tree. It seems that they are so at risk from bugs and fungi that even the organically grown trees have to be sprayed with some form of pesticide to begin with.

I got a small orange tree sprig in Florida a few years ago. It was just a twig with roots and a couple of leaves. They sell them in the gift shops in a cardboard sleeve. It really took off. I have to keep cutting it back. One day I noticed a chunk missing from one of the top leaves and looked it over to see if it had some pest on it. Then I realized I had rolled Pip and his cage in there and he went on the outside of his cage and chomped off a piece. I had checked before I got him on which plants were okay. Never thought of pesticides, but since it is an inside plant I never worried.
This is a good point too. Up to this point I had been buying herb plants from the same nursery for my quails. I would just wash and re-pot the plants, and never had any problems. In this case, it's not like Kermit would be devouring the tree, he's not a big chewer. Really I only need to insure that he could nibble/lick the tree without being immediately poisoned.
 

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Well you could always start from a seed. :p

It is true, the pesticides get all over and into the soil and food. I know too much, it's really gross. Organic food is like a necessary expense in our house. I can't control eating out, or going to a friend's house and I don't get weird about it but whenever possible I eat organic non GMO food.

You know, come to think of it .. we are talking about the tree but I highly doubt everyone gives organic veggies to their fids. If they can eat a non organic veggies, would it really be worse if you had a tree that had been strayed at some point? Perhaps a good wash would be fine. You could get some of that food soap, the spray you can use to clean vegetables? I've never gotten it but it's just like a veggie cleaner to aid washing veggies.
 

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You could get some of that food soap, the spray you can use to clean vegetables? I've never gotten it but it's just like a veggie cleaner to aid washing veggies.
Ooh interesting, I didn't know such a thing existed!

I've been reading forum posts from reptile-keeping communities on how they prepare store-bought plants for use in enclosures. (Reptiles & amphibians arguably being even more sensitive to chemicals than birds.) In addition to the washing and re-potting, they also recommend quarantining the plant for a couple of months.

So I think that's my plan of action; spray the tree with baking soda & vinegar, hose it off with water, remove as much of the original soil as possible, re-pot, and then try to keep Kermit away from it for two months. XD
 
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