Dendroboard banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,498 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any suggestions on a quicker way to turn green leafs that have been picked off trees into brown leaves suitable for terrarium leaf litter?

Would baking them work? Would it be ok to use them as leaf litter if they were dry but not brown?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
You can put them in a black garbage/leaf bag and let them bake in the sun. Make sure the bags are black so the light and heat dosent escape the bag. This will also get rid of unwanted pests and speed up of browning of leaves. I wouldn't put green alive leaves as leaf litter. Just my take on it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,498 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok so I decided to try baking them in the oven. I mean, heat is heat, right? So it shouldn't matter what the source is.

Here is my result for baking leaves for about 15 mins @ 400F


There is a nice amount of browning but still a fair amount of green on the leaves. Most of the leaves are dry enough that they are crispy. These particular leaves curled up a lot; maybe putting the leaves in a sandwich layer between more foil could reduce leaf curling?

Also the leaves started to smoke at the point when I took them out, which was something that I was afraid would happen. Maybe putting the leaves at a lower temp but longer time would yield better results.

Would these current leaves be ok to use in a viv?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
I think putting them in the sun would be the better option. I wouldn't know but I would guess lower heat over a long period of time would work much better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,923 Posts
I beleive there is a process that plants go through that turns their mature leaves brown and rigid after dropping. I don't think it can be done arteficially. When you try the leaves seem to be thinner and not brown, just observations I have made over the years, Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,498 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Ok here's my second attempt, baking for 40 mins @ 325F, I also put another tray on top of it so the leaves would be straight:


The leaves are definitely more brown, and no smoke this time. They are also straighter, but look... unnatural lol. Maybe a lighter item on top would be better. I think this is a good temperature for baking the leaves. Maybe another 10 mins would be optimal
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,110 Posts
Just a note - when the tree is getting ready to drop leaves, it removes many chemicals and such. Leaves the are removed from the tree green will decompose much faster in the vivarium than those that are already brown when removed, IME.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,322 Posts
One of the ways you can actually get true "brown" leaves (like those that occur in the fall for most trees (there are a few that drop in the spring)), is to remove the whole branch and let the leaves dry on the branch. This works best for magnolia and oaks.
Ed
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top