Can I use treated wood to build compose storage?


Old 04-17-17, 05:54 PM
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Can I use treated wood to build compose storage?

We have a lot of leaves each fall and other various things that we like to build some kind of storage sort of like a compost storage. However, I was wondering if I can use treated wood for building since it will be for compost.

Last edited by Charlie2; 04-17-17 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 04-17-17, 06:44 PM
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I assume you are concerned about the treatment chemicals leaching into the compose. Newer treatment products are supposed to be less dangerous and less prone to leaching than older types, but there is always some level of risk. If the compost is to be used on food crops the safest thing to do would be to use non-treated wood that is naturally rot resistant, like western red cedar. You could also use a liner, such as heavy plastic, between the compost and wood, but it would be hard to do that and maintain the good exposure to air that's important for a compost pile.

Or you could use a chicken wire pen to contain the compost and just build a little fence around it for appearance if you like.
Old 04-17-17, 11:50 PM
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Once built a big compost pile using heavy fence wire, about 6' square so it was large enough to hold a lot of material.

Be aware that big piles of whole leaves take forever to decompose. If mulched up the break down a lot faster but obviously that eliminates the whole point of the project.
Old 04-18-17, 05:08 AM
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Thank you for the responses. Yes, I'm worrying about the chemical leaching into the compost. At the moment, we have no plans of using the compost on food...basically for trees, shrubs, flower beds but not food.
Old 04-18-17, 05:57 AM
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Modern pressure treated would be a non issue, it's treated with copper not arsenic like the old stuff.
Problem is unless you built the whole thing out of at least 4 X 4's the wood would not below ground rated, believe it or not even "landscape timbers" are not below ground rated, read the tag on the end.
Unmulched leaves would take many years to decompose.
4, 4 Post and the wire mesh is a great idea.
Old 04-18-17, 12:39 PM
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Ever composted before? It's not as straight-forward as one might intuit. I just dump stuff in an out of the way pile in the back of my lot and let it decompose with time.
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