Some popular tree species used for Bonsai can potentially be harmful to pets, for example when they eat the leaves or fruits.
Tree toxicity is a concern that many beginning Bonsai enthusiasts share, especially when they keep Bonsai indoors with cats or dogs around. We asked around on our forum but it seems problems with pets around Bonsai are in fact very, very rare. Most pets simply don't chew on any of the trees we keep, and the vast majority of tree species are harmless. There are some tree species however which you might want to avoid, especially if you do see your pet chew on plants in your house.
“Because pets usually don't eat trees, plant toxicity isn't something that Bonsai growers worry about.”
If you are about to purchase a Bonsai, make sure to check the list below to see which tree species you want to avoid. If you already have some trees, perhaps check those exact guidelines on our tree species guides for specific information.
Tree species to avoid with pets
The list below shows a few popular tree species used for Bonsai, that can be harmful to dogs or cats when they eat the leaves or fruits of these trees.
Popular safe tree species
The list of safe tree species is long, so we only share a few of the most popular species used for Bonsai.
Again, though a concern to many beginners, the toxicity of a plant is usually not a major concern when keeping Bonsai trees. Only when your pets actually eat the leaves or fruits of plants should you try to avoid certain tree species, such as the Ficus, Jade and Azalea. For an extensive list of species, check the aspca.org website and feel free to ask on our forum for specific advice.