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Question

We are a commercial hops farm in southern NSW and are expanding our hops field. We currently use metal poles but would like to switch to wood. We grow organically so unfortunately the use of standard treated pine isn't an option. We would love to use a recycled product as the first option. I just came across the article "Protocols for recycling redundant utility poles and bridges in NSW" and saw that 10 000 - 12 500 poles a year get replaced. I was wondering how many of these are heat treated and also if it is possible to purchase this product?

Woodsolutions Answer +

The ‘redundant utility poles and bridges’ referred to are generally large-section poles, as used in electricity distribution. We don’t have a contact for the purchase of these poles but feel they might be a little large for your purposes. Perhaps a good place to start your inquiries would be the Junk Map, a website that gives details of timber recyclers in NSW. The website can be accessed here: https://www.thejunkmap.com.au/portfolio/recycled-timber-specialists-in-nsw

Question

I am building a pergola that has no roof on it so the timber beams are open to the elements. The design also has beams that over hang so are not constrained. Because of the cost of recycled spotted gum, I am looking at Vic Ash Glulam. My concern is whether Glulam will bow or not in these type of application.

Woodsolutions Answer +

Glulam is a very stable product and is unlikely to bow even in an external application. However, we would be concerned about the durability of untreated Vic ash glulam in the long term. It’s not a highly durable timber under full weather exposure. Preservative treated Vic ash is now available, known as ‘IronAsh’, so if the glulam you are considering is made from preservative-treated material it should give satisfactory performance. Otherwise it would be a good idea to consider a more durable species.

Question

Can you advise if weeds ggrowing over decking will lead to the wood deteriorating?

Woodsolutions Answer +

Weeds growing over decking aren’t a hazard in themselves – they don’t contain any substances that attack wood. However, they are likely to hold water after rain, and may cause dirt to accumulate which will also retain water. Anything that keeps wood damp for long periods and prevents quick drying after rain will shorten its life. Damp patches may lead to fungal decay in the longer term. It seems a little unusual for weeds to grow over the top of a deck, but perhaps it’s a low-level deck. Anyway, we recommend that weed growth is removed from over (and under) decking.

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