Are Christmas Trees Poisonous?

Christmas trees such as firs, pines, and cedar are mildly poisonous, sometimes causing drooling in pets and vomiting in children. The good news is that a child or pet would have to eat quite a bit to become sick and people and pets usually don’t like to eat Christmas trees.  The toxicity of the tree may be increased if it has been sprayed with a fire retardant.

Although the oil from Christmas trees can irritate the mouth and skin, the real concern is that if a small child or pet eats only a few needles, which are almost impossible to digest, the needles could puncture or obstruct part of their intestinal tract.

Eating parts of an artificial tree is also dangerous since there can be toxins in the tree material and pieces of the tree can cause intestinal obstructions.

Another thing we tend to forget is the water the tree is sitting in to keep it looking fresh. This water may contain preservatives, pesticides, fertilizers, or some people even put aspirin into it. Cover the water dish so that cats and dogs don’t drink from it and small children don’t play in it.

Stay safe this Christmas, keep pets and small children away from holiday plants and trees!