FruitAddict
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Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:03 am
Location: Oshkosh Wisconsin

Use Old Pallets in the Garden - OK or Not?

I found these two really long pallets and short one made of some really tough wood that I have not been able to get a nail to go into without pre-drilling a hole because its just to darn hard. Anyway I put the short one on top of the two long ones and made an Harbor out of it - put some latic on it and now that I've got some Pole Beans growing on it the garden I finally have thought about weather or not this wood might be "pre-treated" with something and I'm wondering if its ok to use in my "organic" garden.

What do you think?

Thomas CA
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 8:00 pm
Location: San Pedro, CA

Is there an 'HT' or 'MB' staped into the sides of either of the pallets?

If so, this means they are 'heat treated' and have been chemically fumigated for international shipping.

From Wiki:
"Phytosanitary Compliance
Due to the International Plant Protection Convention (abbreviated IPPC), most pallets shipped across national borders must be made of materials that are incapable of being a carrier of invasive species of insects and plant diseases. The standards for these pallets is specified in ISPM 15.

Pallets made of raw, untreated wood are not compliant with ISPM 15. To be compliant the pallets (or other wood packaging material) must meet debarked standards,[24] and must be treated by either of the following means under the supervision of an approved agency:

Heat treatment The wood must be heated to achieve a minimum core temperature of 56 °C (132.8 °F) for at least 30 minutes. Pallets treated via this method bear the initials HT near the IPPC logo.
Chemical fumigation The wood must be fumigated with methyl bromide. Pallets treated via this method bear the initials MB near the IPPC logo. From 19 March 2010 the use of Methyl Bromide as an acceptable treatment according to ISPM15 [25] has now been phased out."

FruitAddict
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Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:03 am
Location: Oshkosh Wisconsin

I just ran out and looked it over very closely and I can not find any stamps or logo anywhere on either pallet... I know the place that I picked it up at tends to burn them instead of re-using them so maybe they are not "valid" pallets and therefore not treated wood?!?
I couldn't survive without the pleasure my garden brings to me.

Shoontok
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Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:00 am
Location: Putnam County, N.Y.

Did u cut any off this wood with a power saw and notice any funky smell? I know i can tell the difference when im cutting regular building lumber vs. treated lumber just by the odor and even the texture and feel of the sawdust. It might be that these are just solid american oak or other hardwood built pallets?

FruitAddict
Cool Member
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:03 am
Location: Oshkosh Wisconsin

I did make a few cuts and there was no strange order - there was also no darker coloring on the outside of the wood versus what the new cut piece looked like in the center.

On top of all that it seems to be attracting all sort of different types of bees... I've seen Bumblebees, Hornets, Honey Bees, & Wasp all do the oddest thing - they seem to land on the wood and be nibbling at it. This was happening fairly early this spring before anything was even sprouting in my garden. Any ideas on that?
I couldn't survive without the pleasure my garden brings to me.

cynthia_h
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Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

If the insects are interested in it, it's probably safe. At least for use as a lattice/trellis! :)

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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