I watched an episode of the Deadly 60 with Hamish recently where they were in Tasmania focussed heavily on snakes and spiders. I think they should also have included trees...
Winter 2012 in Tasmania was a tough Winter for me. I spent most of the Autumn / Winter / Spring gasping for breath on a frequent basis. It was so bad at times (and so frequent, see the theme?) that I genuinely thought that I would have to leave and move back to NSW. There was a period of time when this was almost a done thing.
Summer came along, breathing difficulties disappeared and that Winter's trials vanished into an almost-distant memory. Until last Friday night.
During high winds in 2011 one of the massive blackwood trees on our farm dropped a branch the size of your average tree in NSW, it was huge. 12 months later I sliced it up with a chainsaw, split the slices into fireplace-sized logs and we used it for warmth throughout 2012.
Celebrating a friend's birthday with a few pints and mojitos at The Pumphouse last Friday night, it came up that Blackwood trees (Acacia Melanoxylon) are extremely toxic. Apparantly it can cause rhinitis, sneezing, asthma, tight chest and coughing, nasal inflammation, bronchial asthma from it's sawdust or inhaltion of fumes from burning and it's smoke. Fairly nasty and apparently carcinogenic too.
By pure chance, in 2013 we've been burning silver wattle and I've not had one incident.
As Steve would say, definitely deadly and I'm putting it on my list.