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Hi all, apoligies for the newby questions. I have a lot of trees in my garden, sycamore, apple, cherry blossom, lilac can I use these in the viv. Also I am a wood turner so have loads of timber and chunks of bark. Are there any types of wood to avoid that maybe toxic. I have just got a load of yew trunks. I have chunks that have been stood for a while and they are starting to spalt, this is where the wood gets attacked by fungus which creates a nice pattern in wood when I turn it. Is this safe to use?
Last but not least do pdf's prefer a specific ph of water? I notice some people collect rain water and filter it. Do they monitor the water and buffer it to the desired ph?
thanks
Mark
 

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All parts of Yew are toxic, except strangely the red flesh of the berries, I think it is something called taxine, it is not destroyed by drying. That is why it was grown in church yards to keep it away from farm animals. I would give it a miss.

Fruit trees are generally fine in my experience, I have certainly used apple and cherry. Isn't sycamore sometimes used for wooden spoons? If so I would assume it was safe!

As a general rule I stick to deciduous hardwoods that have been dead / cut for at least a few years. If in doubt I don't use it.

For water I use distilled for misting or as I can get spring water free I use this if I need a greater volume. You want some tanins in it, Oak leaves or Alder cones soaked in it are good. This makes the water quite acid.
 
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