One toxicologist wrote that "Maple seeds and sugar-rich young leaves are edible except to horses." Problems Using Maple Tree Chips & Mulch. Red maple trees. Keep in mind, that if you cut your own branches, there may be bugs in them. Urthware wooden utensils include spatula, angled stir spatula, stir and fry spoon, side flipper and spurtle.. Wood: Ethically harvested Canadian Hard Maple (No petrochemical materials) Finishes: 100% organic food grade finishes (no petroleum derived coatings) Made In: Hand made in Canada More Info In saying that some wood is always safe for rats, we first must put some general rules in place. Hard maple ranks 1,450, while red oak ranks 1,290. Walnut wood is safe to eat out of for humans. One source wrote that "red maple" is bad for horses, not really specifying why. Poplar ranks 540 on the low end of the scale. So, let’s explore the first two categories. The deep crimson leaves are beautiful, but toxic, particularly to horses. Most poisons in plants and trees are located in the bark and/or sap – there are some exceptions for rare woods. Maple leaves are toxic to many species; that does not mean the wood is. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information. Maple wood - in general - should be safe for natural wood bird perches once bark is removed. Wood that is toxic for rats and should never be given. Grain patterns also indicate the wood's hardness. Maple wood - most in general - should be safe to use for natural wood perches once the bark is removed. I came across the website you linked and all it says is that trees cause allergies. Mulch made of bark and wood chips from maple trees is a natural, effective way to enrich your garden soil that also helps to retain moisture for your plants. Otherwise I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have maple syrup. Some woods have toxic properties. On the Janka hardness scale -- a scale that ranks wood for hardness, hickory is the hardest of all domestic hardwoods, ranking at 1,820. Urthware also carries solid wood, non toxic, wooden utensils. But does the danger carry over into contact with food items where particles from the wood could be ingested? The horse issue is real; the horse can absorb the toxic chemicals in walnut wood chips or dust through their hooves, which can cause illness or even death, so don't use walnut chips or sawdust in a horse's stall! Other names for this tree include swamp maple, scarlet Maple, curled maple, and soft maple. Universally lethal chemicals are rarely found in natural wood that’s available on the commercial market. Allergies/Toxicity: Hard maple, along with other maples in the Acer genus have been reported to cause skin irritation, runny nose, and asthma-like respiratory effects. Stay safe and choose woods from this list, especially if you want to make your own perches. 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