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Untreated Pine Poles

 
Posts: 32
Location: East Texas
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I was really disappointed with some of the comments in this thread. Clearly how a pole will rot in the ground is dependent on the actual wood used, the local climate, the treatment applied, the amount of moisture involved, the number of wet/dry cycles, and the soil in any given area. Saying - It don't work! It do work! does little to advance our knowledge and understanding on this topic.

Here in East Texas there are telephone poles that were put in the ground in the 50's, and according to a line tech they have no signs of deterioration.

treated timbers Utility poles.. dont do it .. unless you really desire to live in a cancer pit.


Steve - is there anything to suggest this is true? Can you describe some mechanism by which the toxins in the pole are being aerosolized and released into the environment? I certainly wouldn't recommend it for a greenhouse, because we can test the plants and see that they have taken up some of the toxins which we then eat. However I fail to see how having treated lumber in a home makes it a cancer pit. Should we also eliminate indoor fireplaces?

Below are 2 posts that were used for fence corner posts around a peach orchard that I think we put in during the 50's. The one still in the ground is rock solid, and doesn't move when I push on it. I will probably be there another 30 years (more than a lifetime) The second was around the same orchard, and it was pulled out around 10 years ago and left where it sits. It's deteriorating faster from laying on the ground, but clearly you can see the rot that was going on under the ground. What was the difference between these two poles? Why is one standing strong and the other about to break off? We typically have an inch of topsoil, a foot of sand, and red clay below that.

One size does not fit all on this topic. How can we refine the situations that work vs the ones that don't?
IMG_1015.JPG
Corner of the Peach orchird
Corner of the Peach orchird
IMG_1016.JPG
Different Corner Pulled out about 10 years ago.
Different Corner Pulled out about 10 years ago.
 
Posts: 16
Location: Yalaguina, Nicaragua
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I have built several code approved pole barns in Massachusetts, and always used ground contact pressure treated wood. I am now retired and living in Northern Nicaragua and am about to build a pole barn type shop. What I am thinking of doing is using native untreated timber and wrapping the buried portion and up another 12" with two layers of fiberglass and resin. Does anyone have an opinion on this type of treatment?
 
pollinator
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So I intend to read more of this post later but being that is 4 yrs later Doug did you ever get to building?
 
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I built a deck with fresh harvested ash junipers here in Central Texas. That was 20 yrs ago. While most were put on concrete pads with rebar pins extruding from them, there were some that appear to be hangin in  there that were dropped into holes 24" deep. Untreated in any way. May be different where you live.
 
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