What is Pressure Tried Wood?
Pressure-treating means to treat wood with chemicals or other substances to make it resistant to decay. There are two main ways of doing so: chemical treatment and mechanical treatment. Chemical treatments include pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and others. Mechanical treatments include things like water jetting, sandblasting, blasting with high temperature metals such as steel and even using lasers. All these methods have their advantages and disadvantages.
Chemical Treatment Methods
There are many different kinds of chemicals that can be used to do pressure-treatment. These include:
Acids (such as sulfuric acid) – Used to kill fungi and bacteria. They cause damage to the wood fibers causing them to break down into smaller pieces. Acetone – A solvent that dissolves organic materials, such as tree bark, causing it to fall apart and making it easier for insects and rodents to get inside the material. Bleach – A bleach is a strong oxidizing agent that causes the wood to turn black. Chlorine gas – Used to kill mold and mildew spores.
Dyes (such as iodine) – Used to color the wood darken the surface of the wood, which makes it harder for insects and rodents to climb up onto it. Ethylene oxide – An odorless gas that causes the wood to stain brown when burned. Formaldehyde – Also known as “the poison” because it causes severe respiratory issues. It is also a well-known carcinogen. Gasoline – As the name suggests, gasoline is used to help burn the wood quicker and easier. Hydrochloric acid – An acid that causes metal to rust. It is not as strong as other chemicals, but it can be cleaned off of the wood easier. Lime sulfur – Also known as calcium polysulfide, is used to kill fungi and used to make wood more resistant to decay and weathering. Mercury – Also known as “quicksilver” is used to coat the wood on the inside, so that when a squirrel or some other small furry creature eats into the wood, it will die. Nitric acid – Used to kill everything. It can be used on its own or in a combination with other chemicals. Nitrogen – A colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. It is not very harmful, but breathing large amounts of it can lead to asphyxiation. Oil – Oil soaks into the wood to make it softer and easy to cut. Peroxyacetic acid – An acid stronger than formic acid that is used to make the wood last longer. Phenol – A colorless, poisonous syrupy liquid used as an additive in making certain types of plastics, resins and dyes. Sodium hydroxide – Also known as lye, is used to help better break down the wood. It can also cause serious skin burns and eye damage. Sulphur – Used to make the wood easier to cut. It has a rotten egg smell. Tannic acid – Used to darken the wood and make it harder for insects and rodents to eat into the wood.
Of these, the most effective chemicals are usually the strong acids and chlorine gas.
These chemicals are often applied to the wood using a specialized piece of equipment called a “sprayer”. There are two main types of sprayers: air-assisted and mechanical.
Air-assisted sprayers use a combination of compressed air and water pressure to push the chemical out of the tank and onto the wood. These machines have smaller tanks, but they are light and cheap to buy. The problem with these machines is that they require a constant supply of compressed air and water. If either of these are interrupted, then the machine will not work.
Mechanical sprayers push the chemical out using a simple pump. These are heavier and more expensive to buy, but do not require a constant supply of compressed air and water, so they can keep working even if power goes out or the water supply is lost.
There are other types of chemical treatments, but they are not usually used because of safety concerns. As such, we will not go into them in any more detail.
8.3 Part 3: Fire
Of course, you will want to burn your tree stand at some point. Whether this is due to a kill or just to dispose of it, fire is an important part of tree stand safety.
There are several ways to start a fire. The easiest ways are to either bring along disposable lighters or matches. You will also want to consider what you will use to start the fire. If you have tinder, dried grass, sticks and small branches already collected beforehand, you can save time here. If you have a large tree trunk to lean your hunting stand against, this will take less time as well.
Common mistakes when building a fire include building it in an area that is too sandy (fires can easily spread out of control here), building it in an area that has too much undergrowth (this can lead to a long, smoky fire that might be visible for miles) and building the fire in an area that has no easy escape route (ie.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Contamination of soil with copper, chromium, and arsenic under decks built from pressure treated wood (DE Stilwell, KD Gorny – Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and …, 1997 – Springer)
- Effects of compost and phosphate on plant arsenic accumulation from soils near pressure-treated wood (X Cao, LQ Ma – Environmental Pollution, 2004 – Elsevier)
- Relative leaching and aquatic toxicity of pressure-treated wood products using batch leaching tests (K Stook, T Tolaymat, M Ward, B Dubey… – … science & technology, 2005 – ACS Publications)
- Copper, chromium, and arsenic levels in soil near highway traffic sound barriers built using CCA pressure-treated wood (DE Stilwell, TJ Graetz – Bulletin of environmental contamination and …, 2001 – Springer)
- Exposure to wood dust and heavy metals in workers using CCA pressure-treated wood (P Decker, B Cohen, JH Butala, T Gordon – AIHA Journal, 2002 – Taylor & Francis)
- Release of copper-amended particles from micronized copper-pressure-treated wood during mechanical abrasion (C Civardi, L Schlagenhauf, JP Kaiser, C Hirsch… – Journal of …, 2016 – Springer)
- Cu, Cr and As distribution in soils adjacent to pressure-treated decks, fences and poles (T Chirenje, LQ Ma, C Clark, M Reeves – Environmental Pollution, 2003 – Elsevier)
- In Vitro Bioavailability of Heavy Metals in Pressure-Treated Wood Dust (T Gordon, J Spanier, JH Butala, P Li… – Toxicological …, 2002 – academic.oup.com)