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Re: E-M:/ More use of Black Locust (Robinia pseudo-acacia) wood (fwd)



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Enviro-Mich message from "Lowell Prag" <lprag@mail.msen.com>
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On Tue, July 1, 2008 2:48 pm, Larry Nooden wrote:

... see below ...

Hello Larry,

I believe the EPA has already banned or set the date for banning the sale
of wood treated with the three toxic groups of wood preservatives:

chromated copper arsenate (CCA), pentachlorophenol (penta) and creosote.

I know for a fact that Lowes now only carries wood treated with non-toxic
preservatives, as I bought some there. Not sure about Home Depot.

By way of trivia, teak will far outlast black locust.

It is the wood of choice for boat building. It was also widely used for
docks and piers, before it was greatly over cut in Burma, etc. and became
very expensive.

Regards,

Lowell Prag

On Tue, July 1, 2008 2:48 pm, Larry Nooden wrote:
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Enviro-Mich message from Larry Nooden <ldnum@umich.edu>
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The idea (described below) of making more use of black locust lumber
because of its rot resistance instead of lumber treated with nasty toxins
is great.   This is something enviros can promote.

Because this idea seems so useful, I am taking the liberty of forwarding a
discussion from another list serve.

I think few know just how durable this wood is.  Black locust fence posts
last ca 40 years, while steel T posts last only 10-20 years depending on
soil moisture and chemically-treated posts do not seem to last more than
20
years, usually less for me.  Railroad ties do better.

A word of caution-  While black locust is native to some parts of  the US,
it can be invasive, especially in prairie restorations.  More information
at:     <http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ROPS>


------------ Forwarded Message ------------
Date: Monday, June 30, 2008 1:05 PM -0400
From: The Farmers <ajf-jlf@sbcglobal.net>
To: enviro-semich@umich.edu
Subject: [enviro-semich] Black Locust (Robinia pseudo-acacia) - standing
in
the wings for a role in abatement of global warming?


We are developing an EEPRA (our acronym for "Environmental
Education/Passive Recreation Area) on 17 acres of York Townhip's
(Washtenaw
Co.) Mary McCann Park.  For would-be visitors, the small parking lot is on
the east side of Warner Rd. 4/10 mile south of Bemis Rd., 6/10 mile north
of Willis Rd.  From the lot, a pleasant, if mosquito-filled,  2/10-mile
walk through the woods leads visitors to our well-kept secret.  We're just
six miles south and east of Ann Arbor's Briarwood.  The Parks Committee
invites visitors to check us out.  Although we have much left to before an
official opening of the facility, it is open to the public now, and by
starting now you can "watch us grow" our EEPRA.)

In looking for a green solution to our need for bench seats in a rustic
"teaching station" on site, I've done a bit of on-line research on black
locust lumber, which we're seriously considering as a natural alternative
to chemically treated lumber.

I've been quite impressed by what I've found, and thought that other
semich
enviros might also be intrigued with many characteristics of this
often-overlooked native hardwood.  Here are a couple of links I found
especially interesting:


<http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1990/V1-278.html>
(This
one sumarizes research.)

<http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Black_locust_uses.html>     (This
one
has the comments of many people which practical experience with locust
wood.)

In brief, the consensus seems to be that black locust is one of North
America's most beautiful, useful, and under-utilized woods. Apparently it
outlasts treated lumber in outdoor and in-ground applications, grows
extremely quickly, is as strong as hickory, is very stable and quite
easily
worked before it air-hardens, and everyone is agreed on its beauty as
flooring, furniture, and for decorative purposes.  Historically, it has
been a staple of heavy transportation and mining, providing both railroad
ties and mining timbers.  What blew me away was research out of MUST and
maybe Purdue in the late '80's and early '90's that suggested it may also
have a future as a forage crop, as a way of sequestering carbon dioxide,
and as a renewable fuel resource.  On the negative side, it is subject to
depredation by the locust borer and has considerable invasive capacity.

I have a sample board which I'm exposing to the weather as we evaluate it
for use in our EARP.   I can attest to its beautiful graining, yellow
color, strength, and notable density.  Can't comment at this point on its
tendency to warping or splintering, but what I read indicates that its
stability may largely preclude these negative weathering side-effects.

John Farmer
York Township Parks Committee
EARP project manager

  ---
* enviro-semich FAQ
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~ldnum/enviro/FAQ-enviro-semich.htm

---------- End Forwarded Message ----------


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ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
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