Welcome to the Arbtalk.co.uk | Discussion Forum for Arborists.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.


General chat Discuss every day issues in the tree care industry. If you're unsure where to post your topic please choose this forum.


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 16-01-13   #1 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 20
Burning cherry laurel - cyanide?

Hiya,

We're clearing cherry laurel and rhodie and the arisings will be burned on site. I'd like to get some views on the safety of this given that laurel, and I think rhodie, gives of cyanide when burned.

Does anyone think this would be a significant problem for the health of operators, given that it will be a large quantity?

Would anyone refuse to do it on these grounds?

Do you know if its both plants which give cyanide off?

Is anyone aware of any official guidance/COSHH assessments out there for this?

Extraction for firewood not an option in this case!

Many thanks, Devonseano.
Devonseano is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-13   #2 (permalink)
Senior Member, Raffle sponsor 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
 
Gnarlyoak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Gtr.Manchester
Posts: 663
Re: Burning cherry laurel - cyanide?

Burn away.

The amount of hydrogen cyanide present in the fresh new leaves of laurel is miniscule. Burning it, especially at this time of year will do you no harm whatsoever, unless you stick your head in the fire whilst breathing in copious amounts of smoke, in which case carbon monoxide poisoning and burning could be an issue.
__________________
FREELANCE CLIMBER : Gtr. Manchester, North West England and beyond...
Gnarlyoak is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-13   #3 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Cheshire
Posts: 568
Re: Burning cherry laurel - cyanide?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnarlyoak View Post
Burn away.

The amount of hydrogen cyanide present in the fresh new leaves of laurel is miniscule. Burning it, especially at this time of year will do you no harm whatsoever, unless you stick your head in the fire whilst breathing in copious amounts of smoke, in which case carbon monoxide poisoning and burning could be an issue.
mini_andi@msn.com is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-13   #4 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
TimberCutterDartmoor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: In the woods
Posts: 6,931
Re: Burning cherry laurel - cyanide?

We burnt 400 ton of the bloomin stuff last year in one heap! (after chipping 600 ton!)

Took 3 days with the tractor to keep pushing it up. Needed wind and a good bottom of heat in it. Fair play, it did get bludda hot!

No cyanide in rhody, just laurel; proportionally more in leaves than timber.
Attached Images
   
__________________
"Now look at me! I'm wet nurse to a last place, dead to the neck up ball club and I'm choking to death!"

God Save the Queen.

www.redlineoil.com
TimberCutterDartmoor is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-13   #5 (permalink)
Site Moderator, Raffle Sponsor 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
 
Stephen Blair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Largs, Scotland
Posts: 31,816
Burning cherry laurel - cyanide?

How did you start the fire John? A Pirrelli firelighter lol
__________________
Amateurs built the Arc and professionals built the Titanic!
Stephen Blair is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-13   #6 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
TimberCutterDartmoor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: In the woods
Posts: 6,931
Re: Burning cherry laurel - cyanide?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Blair View Post
How did you start the fire John? A Pirrelli firelighter lol
No black smoke without mate Fire service allowed it which was handy. I won't mention exactly how many michelins, pirrellis, rikens, dunlops, goodyears went in there!
__________________
"Now look at me! I'm wet nurse to a last place, dead to the neck up ball club and I'm choking to death!"

God Save the Queen.

www.redlineoil.com
TimberCutterDartmoor is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-13   #7 (permalink)
Senior Member, Raffle Sponsor 2010, 2012, 2013
 
likeitorlumpit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: folkestone
Posts: 2,753
Re: Burning cherry laurel - cyanide?

Burning laurel has often given me a headache especially working in the smoke. Best be careful
__________________
i wonder how this works
likeitorlumpit is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-13   #8 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 112
Re: Burning cherry laurel - cyanide?

I remember chipping a few monster Laurels a few years back, hopped into the back of the boxed in lorry to shovel the chips forward, 10 mins later I had a pounding headache that would not shift, I swear it was the laurel.

I love the smell of chipped laurel........
Bing! is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-13   #9 (permalink)
Supporting Member, Raffle Sponsor 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
 
slack ma girdle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Pembroke, sunny west Wales
Posts: 2,515
Re: Burning cherry laurel - cyanide?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devonseano View Post
Hiya,

We're clearing cherry laurel and rhodie and the arisings will be burned on site. I'd like to get some views on the safety of this given that laurel, and I think rhodie, gives of cyanide when burned.

Does anyone think this would be a significant problem for the health of operators, given that it will be a large quantity?

Would anyone refuse to do it on these grounds?

Do you know if its both plants which give cyanide off?

Is anyone aware of any official guidance/COSHH assessments out there for this?

Extraction for firewood not an option in this case!

Many thanks, Devonseano.
I am fairly sure that the cyanide in Laural is not a stable compound. So as long as the wood has been split and seasoned, then the cyanide is no longer present in harmful amounts. It does make good firewood.
__________________
Slack ma girdle
I can spot a tree at 100 yards
slack ma girdle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 16-01-13   #10 (permalink)
Senior Member, User formerly known as catweazel
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Surrey
Posts: 1,282
Re: Burning cherry laurel - cyanide?

Quote:
Originally Posted by slack ma girdle View Post
I am fairly sure that the cyanide in Laural is not a stable compound.
The corollary is that because it is not stable it's highly reactive and that is what makes it dangerous, I believe it inhibits the chemical that takes oxygen from blood and bungs it in the cells.

Butterfly collectors used to use crushed laurel to kill their finds so I am always wary of being in an enclosed space with fresh laurel chip. I wouldn't worry about cyanide surviving a fire.
openspaceman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cyanide, laurel, rhodie

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Laurel and hardy rowan lee Firewood forum 17 25-08-10 11:25 PM
cherry laurel in woodland tpo Dean O Trees and the Law 18 14-04-10 09:25 PM
Laurel Chippings TimberCutterDartmoor General chat 27 03-10-09 02:15 PM
Bay Laurel Health Dean Lofthouse Tree health care 12 28-08-08 11:21 PM


Find tree care advice

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.0