[NAFEX] Treated wood stakes...
Road's End Farm
organic87 at frontiernet.net
Sat Mar 20 18:57:57 EDT 2010
On Mar 20, 2010, at 4:54 PM, anne bianca wrote:
> I am just wondering whether the treated poles used for staking trees
> is a bad idea to use for fruit trees? I have bought them from Lowes
> and Home Depot. I am not sure exactly what they are treated with or
> why, but I have used them up until now with flowering trees and am
> now thinking twice before I plant my little orchard.
> Does anyone have information or opinions on the use of these
> "treated" poles?
> Thanks in advance for any information...
Probably this isn't an issue for you, but treated stakes are
prohibited for certified organic use.
The newer treatments are supposed to be less toxic, but apparently not
less toxic enough. Also, I have no idea whether any stuff with the
older treatments may still be working their way through the supply
chain. -- Why they are treated is so they will last longer without
rotting; the treated stakes are generally made of soft wood species
that won't last very long in the ground if not treated.
At the least, I'd call up the place you bought them from and ask what,
precisely, they are treated with; though unless you bought them very
recently, they may not be able to tell you -- or, I suppose, even
worse, they might tell you something that isn't accurate for the batch
you actually got.
Personally, I'd go with untreated oak, better yet untreated locust if
you can find it (good untreated locust wood will outlast treated pine
in the ground), or metal stakes. (And you may want to handle any
treated stuff with gloves, and cut it, if you do, with a face mask on;
certainly if you still have older treated stakes around. And for the
sake of your lungs and your neighbors', never burn treated wood.).
-- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 5 mostly
Fresh-market organic produce, small scale
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