timber dilemma

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by makehumusnotwar, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. makehumusnotwar

    makehumusnotwar Junior Member

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    the biggest problem with trying to do everything right or perfect, is that very little actually ever gets done. but you get to think about it heaps instead. i think i've actually progressed to the point where i'm "putting off" procrastinating. now, back to the point.........

    treated timber vs natural timber/unmilled branches.

    living in a termite sanctuary like SE QLD, combined with lovely subtropical weather conditions, i've been afraid to use untreated timber for any structural purpose - even garden bed edging. but at the same time, i don't particularly want to use treated timber (for obvious reasons) in an organic garden. this results in me trying to find an alternate material i.e. bricks/stone/metal/pvc to do the same job, or - and more likely - not doing the job at all. these materials may serve the purpose, but generally require more labour/energy/money, and are often imported from another site/shop. not exactly permaculture.

    in regards to timber, what does everyone else use? what exactly are the pros and cons of each for different purposes.

    (this question ISN'T about timber for housing - just smaller structural uses within a garden such as edging, trellises, steps, shadehouse - and especially a chook shed/run.)

    i realise that untreated timber can be replaced if and when it does fall apart, which at least would have to be better than never actually building anything. is this the answer? just deal with it and fix it when needed?

    thanks
     
  2. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    g'day mate,

    i'm one for using whatever is available and doesn't cause more trees to be chopped down to do it.

    maybe visit a demolition yard see what they have hardwood beams or even 3 X 2's from older demolished home will be well seasoned and not to the termites taste if there is something else around more tasty. i've got some railway sleeper size timber app' 4 meters long as garden edges been there for 4 years still looks the same.

    i also use old fence post got a few of me own here they are very seasoned hard wood again not exactly what termites are looking for. and as you say in years to come if & when they rot out just replace them. i have use roofing as garden edges there used to be that clip lok type panels 10"s wide i got a lot of them from a demo' yard makes a very easy agrden self supporting over 5 meters, so 2 panels and 4 stainless steel screws later i pretty much had a garden bed.

    even of you can get off cuts from lengths of roof/wall panel from sheds, i had a piece spare from our place works the same as the other i mentioned even if you could get used panels and cut them into 10" strips easy with a 4" angle grinder.

    might be an idea or 2 there for ya?

    len
     
  3. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    for a chook shed at least, wouldn't termites be a bonus? kind of like a gingerbread house would be to a little kid, but for a chook?
    of course you don't want them to migrate to the house, but are termites much of a problem in the garden? they are just recycling cellulose, right? then again, I have usually just found that garden edges, other than living things like comfrey, lemongrass, arrowroot and ginger etc, tend to harbour horrible nasty creeping grasses and the like, so I just don't bother. I used raised beds in most situations too, and haven't had too many problems without the retaining wall edge thing.
     
  4. Mont

    Mont Junior Member

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    Does anyone know what treated pine does in a food garden - does it leach nasty chemicals and how likely is that to happen? We have a treated pine lattice covering our back colourbond fence. We've now erected a sailcloth from our house to an upright beam of that lattice, and need to put in an angled stay at the base to give it strength in strong wind so the lattice doesn't get loosened (the beam is concreted in the ground, but not to the depth the sail makers recommend, and the lattice is also bolted to the colourbond fence's metal uprights - but you can feel the give in the fence when you tug it). My handy neighbour - whom I shamefacedly admit does most of my construction work for me - reckons we should use another bit of 'fourbetwo' treated pine for the angled stay. If I've got an angled piece of wood sticking out from the fence into my small garden bed I'll be wanting to train a plant up it and onto the lattice. Should I just plant a non-food creeper to be safe, rather than run beans or something up it and risk taking arsenic in with the evening meal?
     
  5. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    g'day mont,

    aqpparently it does leach and some pretty nasty stuff, the CCA stands for copper/chromium/arsenic, or there abouts. there has been quiet a lot of banter over the net in other forums and groups about. it has been banned in canada and the usa as i believe and australia will follow suit. cca will go the same route as the fibro of the 40's & 50"s did. pretty much if you own a house with fibro in it you own a liability and for the most, informed people won't buy those properties.

    my brother did fencing in ther gold coast area and he has nothing to do with the net where we tend to get news first i reckon, and he knows of the dilemnas with cca down there, especially related to fences as the liability for any health damage falls on both neighbours. another case of authorities oking a product them later after its realy been evaluated in the field banning it and making it the owners responsibility, here in qld the last i knew the state gov' had a law that said any hardwood to be used for external construction ahd to be cca treated, i had lots of problems finding a mill to sell me sleeper size wood not treated, it was almost like under the counter.

    when we sell here and go look for a new house our criteria will be no fibro or cca treated timber on site oh and just in case no tyres. don't know whats going to happen in the near future when the poo hits the proverbial fan there are lots of new homes the mcmansion types that have cca treated timber frames yes i now it's locked up inside the construction but what happens in the case of a fire very dangerous stuff when burning or the ash from from what i have heard it causes cyanide gas. heard of cases of death in the early days of cca when people used the off cuts for bbq's.

    and under epa rules the removal of cca needs the same treatment as fibro men in space suits wrapped and dumped at a special site for a very special price huh.

    anyhow mont that's how it's come across to me.

    len :shock:
     
  6. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    I was reading somewhere online that Boric acid mixed with propylene glycol (a non-toxic version of anti-freeze) has proven to be very effective against many types of termites. The glycol helps the solution to penetrate into the wood and become a part of the wood fibre. It's also a good treatment for dry rot, or to prevent dry rot (I forget which, didn't save the site).

    There's also an expensive ($50 USD/gal, but I think it said it's a concentrate) wood treatment called Eco Pel from Hy-Tech (https://www.hytechsales.com/ecopel.html ) Their site says their environmentally friendly product prevents damage by rodents, barnacles, termites and other wood destroying species

    They mention capsaicin (hot peppers) mixed with carrier oils have been used for over 100 years, although it loses effectiveness when it cures. A few other natural repellents are a bitter substance extracted from concord grape seeds, neroli oil, orange oil, tea tree oil etc. Even wool grease extracted from lambs wool has been proven to deter termites. Got any sheep down there? :lol:

    If you do have a substance that might work, you probably already know that you can soak long pieces of timber by digging a suitable trench in the ground, lining it with plastic sheeting.

    I don't know how much of this is suitable for you, but at least you can think about it while you're not doing anything..... :p

    Sue
     
  7. Mont

    Mont Junior Member

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    Thanks Len & Sue for the info and ideas. I think I'll take the pieces out from under the bed where they're waiting to be used! Can't be good feng shui even if it can't do anything else nasty there. At least I've never used glyphosate in the bedroom.....
     
  8. Peter Warne

    Peter Warne Junior Member

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    There's also a product called 'No Rot' which is claimed to stop rot and prevent white ants. Its active constituents are boron and fluoride, and it is in a form which looks just like sticks of white chalk. It's made by Preschem.

    To use it you have to drill a 10 mil hole in a post, and poke a stick in, then seal it with a little dowell plug, or silicon, which I found easier. They say to use two per post.

    I bought it from Green Harvest Garden Supplies on the internet. It costs $12 for 20 sticks, plus postage. Their website is: https://www.greenharvest.com.au

    I've done it in the carport, but not yet in the chicken coop.

    Hope this is of interest.

    Peter
     
  9. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    bit slowoff the mark here but what sue mentioned about wool grease being a deterent, there is an aussie made product dunno the name made from lanolin or wool grease the inventor claims it will preserve steel and timber. reckon you'll find it in produce agencies.

    len :D
     
  10. Mont

    Mont Junior Member

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  11. sab

    sab Junior Member

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    the lanolin product is called Cooee Timber treat. I used it about 18 months ago but have been overseas and haven't been able to see how effective it's been.
     
  12. jeanneinsunland

    jeanneinsunland Junior Member

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    What about growing your own bamboo for building small garden projects? You can grow whatever sizes suit you, and by the time it needs to be replaced, more has grown. I know some species are considered invasive, but there are many that are not. It can be controlled. Apparently a good control is just to not give it any extra water, and its growth will be slowed considerably.
     
  13. Red

    Red New Member

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    cypress pine

    USe Cypres Pine, termites do not eat that one as it tastes nasty to termites
     
  14. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    Timber

    May I sujest the book "Permaculture Plants A selection" written by a forum user in here Jeff Nugent He from Nannup. West Aussie
    Tezza
     
  15. derekh

    derekh Junior Member

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    Red

    I thoroughly agree with you ;-)

    cheers
    derek
     
  16. bjgnome

    bjgnome Junior Member

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    I've heard bamboo only flowers about every 120 years or so... mostly propagated only by rhizomes, so it's easy to control. As long as you harvest it should never be a problem. Burying a dividing wall of some sort 4 feet deep in the soil should provide an effective barrier if you're really worried.

    Eat the young shoots before they break through the mulch. Bamboo has infinite uses. Besides it's just beautiful. I can't understand why anybody with sufficient space and water wouldn't want to grow the stuff. I use it for making didgeridoos.
     

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