Re: [gardeners] Question about pressure treated wood

Jeannine Kantz (
Wed, 21 Feb 2001 21:38:03 -0800

This is very helpful. Thanks. I was considering the pressure treated wood
or cinder blocks-depending on which fits my budget best. I am surprised the
creosote didn't get into the soil. I would have thought just the opposite.

At 06:28 PM 2/21/01 -0600, you wrote:
>You will probably get 50 different answers to your question Jeannine. To the
>best of my knowledge, and that's based on reading most of the literature
on the
>subject. The active ingredients in pressure treated wood do NOT leach into
>soil. That being said it is also best that you not saw your treated wood over
>the soil but do it over plastic or cement where the sawdust can be swept
up and
>put in the trash. There is some schools of thought that the arsenic in the
>preservative can leach out if the wood is turned into sawdust.
>I see this same question asked on the web almost daily is the reason I
said you
>might get 50 different answers. My raised beds were originally made with
>railroad ties. Railroad ties are preserved by pressure treating them with
>creosote. After I replaced them (they were rotting badly) with cinder
blocks I
>took samples to a chemist of my acquaintance and asked him to test the
soil for
>foreign substances, in particular creosote. All tests came back negative,
>including the samples taken from what would have been directly under the
>As they say everywhere on the net Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV).
>If you are truly concerned you might try either cedar or cypress boards or
>cinder blocks instead of the pressure treated wood. Hope this helps.
>Jeannine Kantz wrote:
>> I've been perusing several plans for building raised beds. One calls for
>> CCA pressure treated wood. Is treated wood safe to use with plants that
>> will be eaten? Does anything leach from the wood to the soil?
>> Jeannine Kantz
Jeannine Kantz