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Author Topic: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber  (Read 1411 times)

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« on: April 12, 2021, 07:12:45 PM »
   Does anyone have any experience as to pressure treating poplar lumber? Evidently we have a plant nearby who does treating for crossties and such and I have a new customer I'll be sawing for soon who asked about treating his poplar lumber and using it for in ground use. I don't remember ever hearing of anyone treating poplar but I assume since they PT pine and use it in the ground it should work. Any experience, thoughts, or suggestions on PT tulip poplar lumber for such use? Thanks.
Howard Green
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Offline Southside

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2021, 07:15:21 PM »
Have sold quite a bit to a treatment plant that sells it into the horse fence market. Not a small operation by any means, so I would not be concerned to use it. 
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Offline Will.K

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2021, 08:46:03 PM »
But the horse fence market uses poplar for boards, not posts. Horses like to eat those boards.

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2021, 10:01:28 PM »
Sounds like Koppers.  I'll ask a friend who works there if they treat poplar.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2021, 10:23:16 PM »
   I found the site and will call them when they open. They are in Princeton WV and their name is not Koppers although they may use the same technique and chemicals.
Howard Green
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Online customsawyer

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2021, 06:35:57 AM »
All the ties I've cut over the years, poplar was the one hardwood they didn't want a tie out of.
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Offline Tom King

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2021, 08:28:36 AM »
We have some treated Poplar split rail fence.  The rails are Poplar, but the posts are Pine.  Most of it is still good after 40 years.  I have had to replace a few of the rails.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2021, 09:52:03 AM »
   I knew tie buyers would not accept poplar but my understanding was it was because of the strength of the wood rather than a durability issue. 
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2021, 10:16:31 AM »
   Okay, I got through to the source about 25 miles away and the guy there said he did not think you would get enough penetration to make poplar useable for in ground treatment. He did say they treat some fence boards. They use creosote for ties and CCA for SYP fence posts and such. He said they can only use the CCA on SYP which does not naturally grow here - although it is common just a couple hundred miles south. He did indicate the wood would need at least some air drying to be a candidate for treatment. 

   He did ask for my contact info and says he gets calls for lumber and sawing and would refer interested parties to me so it still may have been a productive call. Actually I find all information useful. You just never know when or for what reason it may be helpful.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2021, 02:36:03 PM »
How is a native to WV & KY, shortleaf yellow pines wood different than SYP for PT purposes?
  In fact I've been sawing YP the past few days off my place. it is hard, heavy and strong. The tree I just sawed was a dandy, not that I'm PT it. It is found on higher places where it doesn't have to compete with other trees but I have several left ~ 30" dia down around 750' elev too.  
The Daniel Boone NF has had local poplar and pine PT previously and I took notice and had a bunch of it treated years ago. The plant mgr told me it could be air dried and be treat6able for both above and below ground treatments. I've told this story here at length before as it was a very pissy experience that had me tearing down a huge deck i'd built on our home. That treatment plant moved to Winchester, KY and now does Georgia-Pacific tagged PT lumber. Same owner, at least back when my problem showed up. 
Some of mine was OK and some fell apart off the ground, all was local YP, not poplar. Always seems to be pine below grade, never poplar. 
My shop is held up on 6x6 PT pine I sawed and had treated in the early 1980's, "knock on wood" :D 
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2021, 04:14:19 PM »
   I can't answer the shortleaf yellow pine PT question. I'd bet it would work fine if we had any. I can say I saw very, very little pine other than White pine so it is pretty much a moot point for me. My customer in this case has poplar we will be sawing this weekend and said he might have some oak if the poplar would not work. The treatment people told me they don't do oak wither other than creosoting ties and such. SYP was all the use the PT on. My suggestion to the customer was put in some concrete footers and build on top instead of putting it in the ground. I have built several pole barns for lumber and firewood storage but I used locust uprights.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Southside

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2021, 05:16:42 PM »
Short leaf is considered Southern Yellow Pine. My guess is you are sawing Loblolly? All things being equal (ring spacing, site index, etc) there is no discernable difference between Short Leaf, Long Leaf, and Loblolly. Again, not comparing a longleaf with heart in it grown in Florida to a Loblolly on the northern end of Virginia. 
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Offline Wudman

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2021, 05:57:18 PM »
One of my main customers saws 5/4 radial edge decking as their primary product.  For years, they would only saw shortleaf pine.  It was marketed as a "premium decking"  and was sold into the treating market.  I know that it can be treated.  They would pull the vertical grain stuff (from normal through and through sawing) into a separate "more premium" product.

The only thing that I can see for a below ground timber is that some of the slow growing Shortleaf may have dense rings that prevent adequate treatment at the core.  Maybe someone with actual treating experience could chime in.

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2021, 06:05:49 PM »
  I wish I could get into some of the SYP whether Slash, Loblolly, shortleaf or longleaf. White pine is about all I get.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Wudman

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2021, 06:07:17 PM »
How much do you need?
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2021, 08:06:27 PM »
  Talk to my customers. :D Since I mostly do mobile sawing I just saws whatever they's got. ;) I am just envious of my counterparts a little further south who get those long straight stems with very little taper. 
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2021, 04:12:14 AM »
How is a native to WV & KY, shortleaf yellow pines wood different than SYP for PT purposes?
  In fact I've been sawing YP the past few days off my place. it is hard, heavy and strong. The tree I just sawed was a dandy, not that I'm PT it. It is found on higher places where it doesn't have to compete with other trees but I have several left ~ 30" dia down around 750' elev too.  
The Daniel Boone NF has had local poplar and pine PT previously and I took notice and had a bunch of it treated years ago. The plant mgr told me it could be air dried and be treat6able for both above and below ground treatments. I've told this story here at length before as it was a very pissy experience that had me tearing down a huge deck i'd built on our home. That treatment plant moved to Winchester, KY and now does Georgia-Pacific tagged PT lumber. Same owner, at least back when my problem showed up.
Some of mine was OK and some fell apart off the ground, all was local YP, not poplar. Always seems to be pine below grade, never poplar.
My shop is held up on 6x6 PT pine I sawed and had treated in the early 1980's, "knock on wood" :D
I think the treating operation you had trouble with had a reputation for "coloring" rather than pressure treating. Nothing to do with the species and a lot to do with the process or lack of it.

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2021, 07:11:03 AM »
  I can't answer the shortleaf yellow pine PT question. I'd bet it would work fine if we had any. I can say I saw very, very little pine other than White pine so it is pretty much a moot point for me. My customer in this case has poplar we will be sawing this weekend and said he might have some oak if the poplar would not work. The treatment people told me they don't do oak wither other than creosoting ties and such. SYP was all the use the PT on. My suggestion to the customer was put in some concrete footers and build on top instead of putting it in the ground. I have built several pole barns for lumber and firewood storage but I used locust uprights.
WV, lots of red pine gets pressure treated here in western PA.  It seems to hold up just fine. 
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Offline WDH

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2021, 07:38:29 AM »
Red pine is in the yellow pine group. 
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Offline Don P

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Re: Pressure Treated Poplar lumber
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2021, 07:46:48 AM »
Hmmm, depends on how you are grouping.

No experience but I believe yellow poplar accepts treatment easily, I remember reports on the USFPL website.
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