do you have crape myrtles in Texas?
that's what i use and they are totally safe! i just cut a limb, strip off the small branches and let it sit outside for a week or so, no problems with this method in 2 years.
i suppose if you needed the branches sooner "baking" them is the way to go. i just keep some available by cutting ahead of need....
1.0 Veiled-Stanley, 2.0 Panthers-Krayola, Ragnar, 2.0 Felines-Rayford Earl, Flomar, 3 Saltwater Aquariums