Trees can be Mother Nature’s most lethal weapons. They may be disguised with ordinary leaves and branches, yet armed with deadly poison. Learn about the most dangerous ones by checking out the five top poisonous trees to avoid.
1. The Manchineel Tree
The Manchineel tree has the dubious honor of holding the Guinness World Record for World’s Most Dangerous Tree.
The Manchineel has leaves that are covered in caustic sap so poisonous that the slightest skin contact could cause an eruption of agonizing blisters.
It’s dangerous to even inhale the air around the tree. A single bite of its apple-like fruit may also cause blistering, horrific pain and even death. <i>All</i> parts of the Manchineel are extraordinarily poisonous.
2. Sandbox Tree
The sandbox tree is considered to be one of the world’s most lethal trees. About 130 feet tall and covered with spikes that resemble a Medieval torture device, the sandbox tree’s fruit looks like cute little pumpkins.
However, once they dry into seed capsules, they turn into dangerous grenades. The capsules detonate with a loud bang and shoot the seeds at speeds up to 150 miles per hour and distances of more than 60 feet. This shrapnel can seriously injure anyone in its path.
The sandbox tree also has sap that can trigger a searing rash and can cause blindness.
3. The Suicide Tree
The suicide tree’s highly toxic seed has been used in more suicides than any other plant in the world. The seed, which is often undetected by pathologists and coroners, has also been used in countless murders. Its taste can be easily concealed from victims with sugar or spices.
Indigenous to India and Southeast Asia, the suicide tree contains a substance called <a href=”https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1752928X18302762″>cerberin</a>, which is astonishingly toxic at low doses and stops the heart. This is why many cerberin poisonings are often written off as heart attacks.
4. Hemlock Tree
Poison hemlock is notorious for Socrates execution in 399 BC. It was widely used in ancient Greece for murder and suicide.
Every part of the hemlock tree is poisonous. Hemlock’s toxins are so powerful that people have died after eating game birds that ingested the seeds. Hemlock’s leaves have a distinctive musty smell.
Hemlock’s stems are smooth and spotted with red and purple, and their leaves resemble fern fronds. Its clusters of small, white flowers are deceptively beautiful.
5. Gympie Gympie Tree
The Gympie Gympie tree’s cute name belies its ability to inflict excruciating pain via tiny stinging hairs. Entomologist and ecologist, <a href=”https://theconversation.com/profiles/marina-hurley-5537″>Marina Hurley</a>, of the University of New South Wales, described its sting as feeling like “being burnt with hot acid and electrocuted at the same time.”
Some people have committed suicide because the pain was unbearable. The plant is so vicious that the <a href=”https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36606510″>Chemical Defense Establishment at Porton Down</a> was allegedly studying it for use as a military weapon.
The pain from a gympie gympie tree may reoccur for months or years after being stung.
Plants sustain all of the earth’s life forms. They are beautiful and wonderful creations. However, if you’re a tree-hugger, you might just want to reconsider. Or reach out to our qualified Portland tree service experts