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Old 08-24-2019, 05:22 PM
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Default Collecting and Processing fresh leaves

I have several types of maple trees and a tulip magnolia in my/neighbors yards.
Assuming the trees are "mine" or I have permission to go cut some branches is there a reason not to clip fresh leaves and dry them? Or must leaf litter be naturally dropped leaves?

If fresh leaves are "okay" do I just dry them like I would dry any plant/leaf or should I use a dehydrator?

I plan on using these in a (not dart frog) viv, isopod or springtail culture in the near future. While my main leaf season is almost here, only one maple is starting to drop leaves and the other trees I have access to all drop (very) late.
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Old 08-24-2019, 08:43 PM
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I guess that’s fine.

One reason I think the evergreen magnolia are used is because that nice cuticle inhibits the rapid deterioration found in vivaria.
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Old 08-25-2019, 01:48 AM
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Default Re: Collecting and Processing fresh leaves

Greetings,

Unless you can't collect them when fallen and dry, I would avoid drying green leaves. I think you may have issues with mold on picked-when-green leaves not to mention other defensive chemicals that might be left in higher quantities. I think "naturally" dried leaves may last longer too.
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Old 08-25-2019, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Collecting and Processing fresh leaves

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimcmich View Post
I think you may have issues with mold on picked-when-green leaves not to mention other defensive chemicals that might be left in higher quantities. I think "naturally" dried leaves may last longer too.
The bold is what I was most concerned about. Its the stuff I can't see or test for that slows me down from experimenting.

Having dried other plant material I wasn't thinking about mold, so thanks for that reminder.

Since there are so many maybes in this how does this sound as an experiment:

Setup a springtail and isopod culture with 'fresh cut then dried' leaves of one or the other tree (or one of each depending on how much space I can devote). Another set with store bought leaves.
Then sit and wait and see what happens in the 'fresh cut then dried' leaves culture.
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Old 08-25-2019, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: Collecting and Processing fresh leaves

Quote:
Originally Posted by DPfarr View Post
I guess thatís fine.

One reason I think the evergreen magnolia are used is because that nice cuticle inhibits the rapid deterioration found in vivaria.
Good point. Most of the leaves I can collect are the rapid decomposing type, going by what happens from fall to spring in my area.
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Old 08-25-2019, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: Collecting and Processing fresh leaves

I've used nothing but green leaves right off Southern Magnolia trees. I boil them, then bake them. I haven't noticed any problems.

From a personal standpoint, I'm more concerned about what I may be collecting with the leaves when taking them from the ground (insects, microbes). I realize boiling and baking should eliminate almost everything, but I suspect leaves hanging in mid air still maintaining some defenses are starting with less "tag-a-long" life than those on the ground.

I wouldn't be concerned about the natural chemicals in Magnolia leaves.
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