Frequently Asked Questions




Q: Why do you "treat" wood?


A: Wood is treated to resist decay. However, only the sapwood will absorb the treat, not the heartwood (the center portion of a tree). Also, dry wood takes a much better treat than green wood. Therefore, we dry material before it's treated.




Q: How long will treated wood last compared to untreated wood?


A: Untreated wood that is set in the ground will last roughly 3-8 years. Treated wood will realistically last 25-40 years. Posts will actually last longer when they're tamped in dirt rather than in concrete, because with concrete, a tiny hairline gap will form between the wood and the concrete. That gap will hold moisture against the wood causing it to rot faster. With dirt, moisture will wick away from the wood.

So remember: if it's going in the ground, USE TREATED PRODUCTS!




Q: What's the difference between peeled and turned/doweled products?


A: Quality peeled products have an equal amount of wood removed all the way around the post, following the post's natural contours. All of the removed material is from the bark, cambium layer and a minimal amount of the outer edge of the sapwood (exterior portion of the tree), leaving a uniform amount of sapwood protecting the heartwood (like a cone). The post will have a small end and a large end due to a tree’s natural taper. The strength and stability of your product comes from the sapwood protecting the heartwood. And remember, only the sapwood takes the treat. Therefore, the more sapwood that is present, the better.

An example of our peeled fence:



Turned or doweled products remove enough material all the way around the post, that it comes out uniform (like a pipe). In so doing, this process frequently exposes heartwood somewhere along the length of the post. At a minimum, it makes the sapwood uneven around the post. This will make the post unstable and over time it will twist or warp.

Examples of turned products:





We only sell peeled products. Here are some additional photos as to why.



With turned products, if the log is not centered, then the treat will also not be centered and leads to product instability. Below, the log to the left was turned and was not centered; the treat was applied but it did not encase the log. In contrast, the log to the right is peeled, and the treat encases the log.





If the turned product does not contain enough sapwood to take the treat, then the product will not last as long in-service. The log on the left was turned, and shows a lack of sapwood/treat. The log on the right was peeled, and shows a thick layer of sapwood/treat.





So, when logs are peeled instead of turned, they will last longer in use. The log to the left was turned. The log to the right was peeled. Which one would you rather use? Again, we only sell peeled products.






Q: How are your products measured?


A: All of our measurements are taken from the small end diameter. For example, a 5-inch post means that the diameter of the post is between 5" and 6" on the small end.




Q: Can I get a wood product without cracks and/or variations?


A: Due to the nature of wood, some cracks and variations exist in all wood products.




Q: Where can I learn more about mountain pine beetles (MPB), forests and forest products?


A: The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) provides a number of resources. To learn more, please visit the CSFS Publications page.