Using old treated pine in the veggie garden...

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by katsparrow, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. katsparrow

    katsparrow Junior Member

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    Hi,

    Just after some advice about edging my berry beds. I have just been given a whole heap of old fence palings. They are treated pine but are at least 10 years old (we are guessing and could be much older). Given the age of the wood, can you use it to edge beds with? Will there still be toxins that will leach out into the soil?
     
  2. tropicalexotics

    tropicalexotics Junior Member

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    Do you know what the CCA in CCA treated pine means?
    I have read that even after 20 years treated pine still contains toxins...how much...I dont know...but i wouldnt use it in an edible garden.
    BTW..CCA stands for Copper Chrome Arsenic..yum.

    Scott
     
  3. Adam

    Adam Junior Member

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    I would also urge you to not use it, not just on your gardens -- don't use it ANYWHERE on your property. CCA can leach out for several decades. 10 year-old wood will still contain a lot of CCA.
     
  4. paradisi

    paradisi Junior Member

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    +1 suggest you dont

    I had one mate nearly killed his family - he used to use the treated logs in his fire

    even old sleepers are a bit dodgey - they are usually treated with creosote - and thats a shocker mix of chemicals too
     
  5. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    Gotta agree with the others, its a shame if u really need em, but its a risk with food growing areas......

    older wood may not be as bad as newer stuff,speshly as weather conditionining may bleach it out...

    Is it worth the risk.........

    Tezza
     
  6. katsparrow

    katsparrow Junior Member

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    That is what I was thinking but I was hoping that 10 years might be long enough. It is just a shame when you come across a wood like this and you can't use it!!
     
  7. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Can someone provide some evidence that CCA, in properly cured timber, leaches out into the soil or water? (burning it is a different issue).

    CCA from properly cured timber shouldn't leach - that's the whole point, it stays intact in the timber and when they measure the CCA concentration after ten years it's the same as when the timber was new.

    However, now days much treated timber isn't cured properly and does leach, or at least there is surface CCA on it that is a contaminant. Ten years old isn't very old in that case.

    I'm not saying you should use it. I wouldn't myself. But there are situations where it may be an ok choice eg if you can't find anything else to use and you know the timber was cured properly. Also, if you don't use it, do you have another use for it? Where will it go otherwise?
     
  8. katsparrow

    katsparrow Junior Member

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    Yes well then that becomes a problem and waste too. We were thinking of maybe using it for paths in other parts of the garden but the leaching, I guess, is still a problem. Would sealing it help? e.g. painting it? Does anyone know about that? There must be a way to recycle it somehow??
     
  9. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Paint is pretty toxic too, and eventually ends up in the soil. I think using the CCA wood above ground where it's not in contact with soil especially moist soil would be the way to go.

    I did hear something recently, an old timer thing, where you can paint (untreated) wood with ground charcoal and linseed oil. This is for garden furniture but might be something to try out to prevent untreated wood from rotting in the ground. Apparently lasts longer than any man ;-)
     
  10. tropicalexotics

    tropicalexotics Junior Member

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    Yeah but it does leach....as anyone that has used CCA treated pine poles for a bromeliad shadehouse will attest to.These plants are very sensitive to it and if they are in close proximity to the poles or the runoff they will be killed or made very sick...
    The only way to make them safe to use is to liberally paint them so the toxins are "locked" inside ...

    My only question is ...Why bother..?
     
  11. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Location:
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    And yet certified organic orchards and vinyards use them. Maybe the situation you are talking about is using timber that hasn't been cured properly.
     
  12. tropicalexotics

    tropicalexotics Junior Member

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    We used to sell boxes of cucumbers and cherry tomato's to a local grocer and restaurants that onsold them as "organic" despite the fact that were not organic and never will be and we were totally up front about the fact that although we minmize chemical usage we still use them.....but unfortunately there are no realistic controls in place to dispute or verify whether "organic produce " is actually that....particularly on a small scale and often the term "organic" is often beneficially confused with "locally grown"...

    But I guess if it says "organic" on the sign then it must be so..
     
  13. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Certified organic has legal protection and there are four certification organisations in NZ that monitor land and businesses they certify including doing regular soil testing i.e. the term 'certified organic' has meaning in the way that organic on its own doesn't. Certified organic growers in NZ have been using tanalised posts (CCA) and some are now having to change them because they export to the US and the US organic regulations have been tightened to exclude CCA treated timber on organic land.
     
  14. tropicalexotics

    tropicalexotics Junior Member

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    Thanks for the clarification pebble.
     
  15. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    Sounds like its not worth the hassell,..its your choice, my consious wouldnt let me use em,but my tight fisted side wont get rid of poles,but i wont use either lol
     

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