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Pressure treated wood & kiwi vines.

  • Subject: [cg] Pressure treated wood & kiwi vines.
  • From: Alliums garlicgrower@earthlink.net
  • Date: Mon, 05 May 2003 18:37:15 -0400

 Sean C. Gambrel wrote:

 We also
believe we may have two groundhogs on the property, one being a very
pregnant female (we think), so extermination is not as appealing as it once
was - though it never really was in the first place.
Think "food source." We no longer have a groundhog problem because we bought a trap for our 74 year old African-American gardener. Groundhog is supposedly a Southern delicacy -- he and his buddies get together and eat everything he catches.

 So, PT lumber
is all we can get donated, and in my opinion is probably OK (though
obviously not most-desirable) for things like the toolshed, which we want to
be long-lasting but cheap, and that don't come in direct contact with the
Go back through the archives -- "pressure-treated" wood should really be called what it is -- "arsenic-bathed wood." Considering recent events in Maine, I'd think you'd all be a bit nervous about having arsenic anywhere near the general populace! ;-)

Also, these folks are donating their PT wood because in just a few short months, the law goes into effect that declares PT wood "toxic waste." So, by donating the wood to you, they can get a tax write-off instead of having to pay to have it placed in a hazardous waste landfill. So, don't be an enabler -- politely tell them what you can use instead!

A friendly co-worker has donated three mature kiwi vines (the
hardy variety) to help us screen the "Water buffalo" trailer-tank theat
we'll be using for water, and we're hoping to support these vines on a
wooden T-shaped trellis of sorts, using what lumber has been donated - all
is pressure-treated.
*Don't* do that!

At first I wasn't too concerned about people being in
much contact with the wood, and I liked the idea that the trellis would last
as long as the vines (which can fruit for up to 40 years).
That's why God created black locust -- and why in New Zealand, they use metal posts.

But I am worried
about the fruit being in direct contact with the lumber and also worried
about toxic stuff leaching through the soil into the roots of the vine,
because two of the vines will be planted within a foot of each support.
You should be!  Your worries are completely justified.

Anybody know the liklihood of the nasty stuff leaching through the soil and
being taken up into the plant via its roots?
Damn good.

Anybody know if the fruit (you
eat these smaller, non-fuzzy kiwis whole, like a grape) that is in contact
with this wood would retain any toxins?
Even better than above.

Or can I just warn folks to wash
the fruit before they eat it?
Considering that there is no "safe" level for arsenic consumption, I wouldn't risk my gardeners this way.

BTW, the best site for growing fruit is the following:


Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden

A mission of
St. John's United Church of Christ, 315 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460

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