UKTC Archive

RE: [EXTERNAL] Re: Talking of laurels and cyanide...

Subject: RE: [EXTERNAL] Re: Talking of laurels and cyanide...
From: Howe, Ron
Date: Jun 26 2020 11:44:37
Animals would generally not eat Cheery Laurel bark, leaves or seed unless by 
accident. Whereas the fruits are not harmful they might find them appealing 
and unwittingly eat the seeds. Cherry Laurel contains Cyanide (Cyanogenic 
glycosides -  prunasin and amygdalin). Cyanide levels in the plant can 
increase exponentially during warm, wet summers as we are experiencing now. 
Animals can of course suddenly die. Clues in animals are; abdominal 
distension, rapid breathing, pupil dilation, trembling, staggering, falling 
and convulsions, with the lining of the mouth initially bright red and later 
blueish. The flesh of poisoned animals often smells of almonds.

Anecdotally, I have been diagnosed with Cyanide poisoning over the last 40 
years on about four occasions when cutting Laurel and Rhododendron. Cyanide 
is a cumulative poison and in general leads to nausea including vomiting, 
flushing of the cheeks, rapid breathing, headache, fainting, and convulsions 
(Cooper, Johnson & Dauncey and studies in France and Germany).

Ron Howe
Tree Officer (Planning)
Mole Valley District Council
Tel. 01306 XXX XXX


-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info <uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> 
On Behalf Of Wayne Tyson
Sent: 26 June 2020 11:08
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: Talking of laurels and cyanide...

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Kingsbury says trimming may kill livestock. Long is referenced.

Wayne

On Fri, Jun 26, 2020 at 1:52 AM Jerry Ross <trees@xxxxxxxxxx.co.uk> wrote:

... here's one for the vets amongst you.
A pig enclosure with several cherry laurels in it, currently with few
or no low leaves as they've be 'pruned. so they're more tree- than 
shrub-like.
Hazardous to the pigs or not? Would they eat the bark, fallen leaves
or fruits, or indeed foliage that regrows? And if so, would it do them
any harm? (Or just produce pre-seasoned pork?)




On 26/06/2020 09:15, Simon Pryce Arboriculture wrote:
The Roman emperor one could set off an argument, they are referred
to as laurels, but were bay.

I once met a family who thought their cherry laurel was a bay and
used the leaves for cooking - they gave the custard a nice almondy
flavour
- that would be the cyanide.

Simon









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