Landscape timbers can provide structure to the garden, reduce erosion and correct flaws in your yard or garden. Landscape timbers are large square cut pieces, typically 4-inches-by-4-inches or 6-inches-by-6-inches. Environmental concerns, cost, and looks all factor into choosing landscape timbers for your yard and garden projects.
Treated wood is the most common choice for landscape timbers. While most types of untreated wood rots when exposed to the elements, preservative treatments can prevent the damage done by mold, fungi, moisture, sun and air. Oil and water based chemical preservatives are used. The most common preservatives used are creosote, pentachlorophenol (penta) and CCA mixtures (copper, chromium and arsenic). According to the University of Minnesota, creosote and penta may leave an oily residue and an offensive odor, and can damage some plants. Choose CCA treated wood if you opt for this inexpensive landscaping option.
Naturally weather-resistant woods
A substantially more costly solution, naturally weather-resistant landscaping timbers are available. Redwood and red cedar stands up to molds, fungi, temperature changes and moisture for years to come without damage. These woods also lend a natural beauty to your yard and landscaping. Cedar timbers may be painted or finished with outdoor paints, stains and sealers for a longer life or a different look if you prefer.
If you prefer a modern, user-friendly and ecologically sensitive landscape timber, consider recycled plastic. Recycled plastic landscaping timbers come in a variety of styles, sizes and colors, ranging from some that look very much like wood to basic black. They link together with simple notches at the corners and are safe for children and pets and for use in the garden. You can expect durable recycled plastic timbers to outlast wooden ones and offer easy care and an attractive appearance over the long term.