[Greenbuilding] best lumber for raised vegetable beds

Matt Dirksen dirksengreen at gmail.com
Thu Apr 14 17:41:02 PDT 2011



Matt Dirksen, GAC
Case Design Remodeling, Inc.

On Apr 14, 2011, at 8:02 PM, Chris Koehn <chris at koehn.com> wrote:

> Tim,
> In my opinion the answer to your question depends on where you live.  
> Out here on the west coast, 2nd growth western red cedar is most  
> available and can be harvested sustainably. As previously mentioned,  
> 2nd growth isn't as long-lasting as old growth but if you use  
> heartwood it will last a long time. I've found that providing  
> drainage helps as well.
> Other species I've used for their rot resistant qualities include  
> locust (black or honey), black walnut, and hedge (osage orange) and  
> white oak (not red oak). Many urban foresters in areas of the  
> country where deciduous trees grow have logs available for the  
> hauling as it's usual fate is firewood. Some are networked with  
> sawyers who can turn it into boards for you at nominal cost. I used  
> to get free logs from city of Milwaukee arborists who were removing  
> urban problem trees. Always had to check for metal before sawing but  
> well worth the extra hassle. Worked with a few different Wood Miser  
> owner/operators for the sawing. They used to keep a list of owner/ 
> operators on their website but it seems to be gone. Expect to pay  
> between 40 and 60 cents per board foot for sawing (for reference, I  
> pay $1.50 / b.f. for red cedar at the mill).
> I'll do just about anything to avoid using chemically treated wood  
> for anything and it should never be used in a garden.
> Chris
> TimberGuides
> Vancouver Island
> Tim wrote:
> "What type of wood, treated or otherwise, would y'all expect to last  
> longest in ground contact when used to make raised vegetable garden   
> beds..?"
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