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#162152 - 20/08/2003 12:00 Treated Pine- Is it a problem ?
Starwood Offline
Member

Registered: 27/08/2001
Posts: 2465
Loc: Blackheath & Gladesville NSW -...
One of my pride and joys in life is my Organic vegatable garden. Unfortunately it is constructed of treated pine and there is alot of bad publicity about treated pine at the moment.
I was wondering if anyone new anything more on this .
Would my soil be contaminated ?
Would the vegatables take up the dangerous chemicals ?
Can you get your soil or pants tested for poison levels ?

To make matters worse I have decking also constructed of treated pine as well.

Would appreciate if anyone can shed light or know where more info is available.
So far I have only seen this article web page

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#162153 - 20/08/2003 13:01 Re: Treated Pine- Is it a problem ?
ctr001 Offline
Member

Registered: 22/11/2002
Posts: 143
Probably would be some leaching into the soil.

I did hear an interview with a toxicologist regarding the use of treated pine. When asked whether it was safe for a veggie garden he said "Hmm - havent really thought about that, and come to think of it, my veggie patch is made with treated pine......."

What I do sis line the interior walls with black plastic. This stops direct contact between soil and the treated wood. Only costs a couple of bucks

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#162154 - 20/08/2003 14:09 Re: Treated Pine- Is it a problem ?
Rob G Offline
Member

Registered: 31/07/2003
Posts: 434
Loc: Pennant Hills NSW
There appears to be a considerable amount of information on the web (search for copper arsenic). I, too, am a keen organic vegetable gardener and soon intend to construct raised beds to replace my ground level ones. However, I will avoid using treated pine because I recently heard recommendations that it should not be used where edible crops are grown. I will therefore opt for stone or untreated hardwood.

You can get both your soil and vegetables tested. There is a store at Bondi Junction called Macro that has a service, or can point you to one. I have never used it and I suspect they might be a bit of a rip off, judging by the prices for the stuff in their shop, but at least it is a start.

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#162155 - 20/08/2003 17:12 Re: Treated Pine- Is it a problem ?
Gabby Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 23/03/2002
Posts: 2743
Loc: Yarrawonga/Mulwala on the Murr...
We use treated pine or metal here as it's the only thing that the termites will leave alone. It's not good news to hear that treated pine could be a health problem. What other woods are there that white ants won't eat?
Gabby

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#162156 - 21/08/2003 09:03 Re: Treated Pine- Is it a problem ?
Rob G Offline
Member

Registered: 31/07/2003
Posts: 434
Loc: Pennant Hills NSW
One wood that termites won't eat is White Cypress Pine (an Australian native timber), commonly used for floorboards. Unfortunately it is no good outside because the problem with most timbers out in the weather and in contact with soil is not termites but fungi and rot, which is one of the main reasons to “treat” wood in the first place. There are alternatives. If you live in a drier climate, Iron Bark, one of Australia's toughest woods, will last for more than 50 years untreated. Iron Bark used to be used for railway sleepers. Termites love it too, but it is so hard that it takes them a long time to eat it. I have found you can slow decomposition and termites by painting the wood occasionally with discarded engine oil, which also appears to be completely biodegradable.

Anyway, there does not seem to be any hard and fast evidence that treated wood contaminates vegetables, but you may want to exercise caution until someone confirms otherwise. It seems logical to me that if you have raised garden beds and grow shallow rooted veges, the likelihood of contamination is low because the toxins, if any, will tend to be leached out into the ground below and around your garden bed. It would also be good to set plants a reasonable distance from the treated wood.

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#162157 - 21/08/2003 09:04 Re: Treated Pine- Is it a problem ?
ThD Ht Offline
Weatherzone ratbag

Registered: 02/03/2002
Posts: 3434
Loc: southern burbs
gabby, you got termites?
not the easiest thing in the world to do but try and establish yourself a nest of black ants, the little 6mm ones, they absolutley love big fat juicy termites. best source is a nest in a rotten log that you can just pick up and take home. you got black ants you don't got termites.
if someone wants to start breeding and selling black ant nests youll make a fortune and put those ripoff toxic polluting exterminators out of business.

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#162158 - 21/08/2003 10:01 Re: Treated Pine- Is it a problem ?
Starwood Offline
Member

Registered: 27/08/2001
Posts: 2465
Loc: Blackheath & Gladesville NSW -...
Thanks for the help guys . I think I might dig out the soil after this current crop dies down and line the inside with plastic.Its a cheap and seemingly complete solution.I can also paint the top and outside edges . Also I think I might just for the sake of it take a few leeks to Bondi and have them tested .

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#162159 - 21/08/2003 10:36 Re: Treated Pine- Is it a problem ?
Starwood Offline
Member

Registered: 27/08/2001
Posts: 2465
Loc: Blackheath & Gladesville NSW -...
Here is an interesting site
web page

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#162160 - 21/08/2003 10:57 Re: Treated Pine- Is it a problem ?
Gabby Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 23/03/2002
Posts: 2743
Loc: Yarrawonga/Mulwala on the Murr...
Thanks Frost and Ice and TH. The site that Starwood put up suggests that paintinmg the treated Pine reduces the leaching of arsenic. The black ant solution sounds good TH. I don't fancy trying to cart a nest home though, especially in the car. We do have some little black ants here. I'll leave them alone and let them get on with, hopefully, eating the white ants.

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#162161 - 24/08/2003 18:38 Re: Treated Pine- Is it a problem ?
Starwood Offline
Member

Registered: 27/08/2001
Posts: 2465
Loc: Blackheath & Gladesville NSW -...
Ok decided to bite the bullet and ripped out everything and binned buckets of beautiful produce frown
Cleared out all the soil and have lined the treated pine carefully with builders plastic . Tommorow will order new soil and start again.
Bloody hard work but it will give us piece of mind
Thanks for the tips.

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