What can I do with these branches?

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Branches in Stanmer Park Great Woods Β© by Dominic, used under Creative Commons license.
I have several piles of branches that have fallen out of the trees in my back yard and I was looking for a way to use up some of them before my landlords come and clean them up (unlikely since they have been there for 1+ years).

But my real question is what do I need to do to them to make them safe for indoors? To make sure there are no bugs or fungi or anything else growing on/in them? And what would be the best way to seal them, or make them last a long time? -Mike

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  1. Just to make sure they're clean, brush them off with a stiff scrub brush, then line one of your oven racks with aluminum foil. Bake for 10 minutes at 500 degrees. That should take care of any pest or wayward bacteria residing in your sticks πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

    11 agree
  2. I realize this might not be the advice you're looking for, but…. LEAVE THEM! Fallen branches are so incredibly important to the ecosystem, because they provide homes for those icky insects and fungi that you're trying to get rid of before you bring them indoors. If your landlord hasn't cleaned them up, maybe that's just laziness, but it's the best thing possible for the land itself. Bugs provide food for local birds and other wildlife, and fungi and insects both help break down detritus and return nutrients to the soil. So if the only reason you're thinking of cleaning up and using these branches as home decor is because you don't want them to go to waste…. No worries! I'd say let them go, and then enjoy the increase in natural wildlife in your yard come the spring! πŸ™‚

    15 agree
    • yes, i know those piles of branches help the ecosystem and all that. i am not going to be using the entire piles. just a few branches out of the, im sure, TONS of wood (and i mean that in weight) that are in the piles i have wont hurt any fungi/creepy crawly past the point of no return. πŸ™‚ and sadly all the wild life was kept from my back yard because of my husky…. birds learned really quickly not to make nests over my back yard πŸ™ he has no qualms about killing baby birds learning to fly… πŸ™

      3 agree

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