Is Pressure Treated Wood Bad For Gardens

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We would also like to know about non. In the long term this product released arsenic into soil more under certain conditions than others.

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Avoid cutting or sanding pressure treated wood which exposes more surface area and chemicals.

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Is pressure treated wood bad for gardens. You can paint or stain treated lumber for decks or any structure but it is important that the wood be dry enough to accept a coating. The problems with treated wood garden safety arose when it was found that some of the chemicals leached into the garden soil after a year or two. Yes the new pressure treated wood is safe for use for raised garden frames.

The newest method for treating wood is Micronized Copper Quaternary MCQ. I am concerned about using pressure treated wood around my veggies because of the arsenic. Theres still a lot of controvery about using treated wood for vegetable gardens.

The fear was that the arsenic could be absorbed by vegetables and other edible plants and transferred to humans. —Stephen in Huntingdon Valley PA. Image credit If youre like me youve wished you could use reclaimed pressure treated lumber for a garden bed to grow food in.

There was a time when pressure treated lumber contained arsenic CCA and was not considered safe for use in raised vegetable gardens because the arsenic leached out into the soil. Pressured-treated wood sold in the US and Canada used to contain chromated copper arsenate CCA. Plant species differ greatly in the number of metals they take up from the same soil.

Since 2004 the EPA ended use of arsenic in residential applications so todays lumber is treated with copper to prevent decay. The safety of pressure treated lumber for raised bed gardens has been examined by several researchers. Therefore peeling removes most of it.

Finished compost has a near-neutral pH so adding compost to CCA-framed beds isnt a problem. With a few precautions. Heavy impermeable plastics can also be used to act as a barrier between the crops and the wood.

Pressure-treated wood is safe for vegetable garden beds but with some precautions. Neither result is desirable so Cooper does not consider pressure-treated wood suitable for making compost bins although he doesnt object to using it in gardens. A study of soil in raised garden beds found no increase in arsenic in soil 1-12 inches away from CCA-treated wood.

The crops should be grown 10 inches away from CCA treated woods to prevent leaching of the chemicals into the plants. Replace pre-2004 wood which may have been treated with arsenic with newer products or seal it with a wood sealant. Once arsenic is in the ground it doesnt migrate much.

Root crops such as beets turnips carrots and potatoes contained most of the metals they absorbed in the skin. But I fear attracting termites with untreated wood. Pressure-treated wood is now treated with Alkaline Copper AC and Quaternary Ammonium Compounds ACQ.

Much of the concern about pressure treated lumber comes from a fear of adding arsenic to the soil. Is the new pressure-treated Nature Wood safe to use as a framing material for a raised bed vegetable garden. Natural cedar and fir can be used for raised garden beds for edibles.

Pressure-treated wood should not be used for any indoor applications. Gardeners have used pressure-treated wood for decades in raised beds and as posts but on December 31 2003 the Environmental Protection Agency EPA banned the sale of lumber treated with chromated copper arsenate CCA for residential use. Wood that is pressure-treated can last many years when in contact with concrete and dirt where other wood would begin to rot.

While arsenic is indeed dangerous it hasnt been used to treat residential lumber in over a decade. Plants growing about six inches away from pressure-treated wood do not show even trace amounts of chemicals. 2 Analysis of soil below decks and retaining walls constructed with CCA-treated wood found increased soil concentrations of all three metals indicating that there was.

There you have it a summary of what the experts say. Treated wood predating 2003 is not recommended for raised bed gardening due to the risk of chemicals being leached into the soil. To determine if its sufficiently dry sprinkle water onto the wood.

1 By contrast analysis of soil adjacent to CCA-treated posts that had been in the ground for 30 years showed increases in As Cr and Cu within 6 inches of the posts but no change in soil further away.

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