I was in Sacramento last year and had a look at the local manzanita trees. The thin branches probably won't last more than a few months.
Go up into the Sierras- toward Tahoe and take a hike in an open wooded area. You find short, squatty manzanita bushes with thick branches. The 'manzanita' that they use for decorative trees in towns have been fertilized and trimmed to a tree shape -they grow very fast- long, thin branches.
You want the natural wild stuff- the bushes are as wide as they are tall. As it grows the lower branches die off and break at the base- or are easily twisted off. Like Mesquite. That's the stuff you want.
I gather this stuff for our macaw to perch and chew on- it's indestructible. Going to gather some now for a planted tank I'm currently planning.
I saw the posts on pine here- all I can say is I have lists of wood that is safe for birds to chew on - and pine is an absolute no no- even dried and cured it is deadly. I figure if its bad for birds it will be bad for fish too.