[Market-farming] pressure treated organic?/wood for posts

road's end farm organic101 at linkny.com
Wed Nov 14 22:47:18 EST 2007

On Nov 14, 2007, at 7:59 PM, Shawnee Flowerfarmer wrote:

>  Catalpa trees provide one of the few temperate forest woods that 
> don't rot the way expensive lumber like teak doesn't.  A professor at 
> Morton Arboretum says that there are still Catalpa fence posts in 
> Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin from the 1830's/40's. 
>  Catalpa seeds germinate within two weeks of harvest, and the tree, 
> while young, can grow five feet a year with nurturing.  Before using a 
> source like teak, you might be on the look out for catalpa salvage.  
> Just this week, a young arborist told me about cutting down a 100 year 
> old catalpa; he wanted a place to dump the wood.
>  Also, today an elderly farmer asked me if I could start a crop of 
> Osage Orange trees for him.  He remembers how rot resistent the wood 
> is and recalled that a chain saw could barely cut down an old one, 
> throwing sparks in every direction.
>  Remember, there were solutions to lumber decay before there was 
> treated wood and before it was common to clear cut tropical 
> rainforests to meet our needs.
>  Shawnee, zone 5 with spectacular sunsets this week....

The classic wood for fenceposts in this area used to be thorny locust 
(black locust I think); still occasionally available.

If it's not already growing in your area, however, use caution: in some 
situations this can be invasive. And it's very hard to get rid of, once 
established: it regrows very fast when it's cut, which is useful for 
fenceposts or firewood, not so good if you don't want it there.

-- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 5 mostly
Fresh-market organic produce, small scale
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