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Ambisawrous

Oak Sleepers

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I’ve been told that green oak sleepers can rot fairly quickly and that you should really use seasoned even for landscaping if you want them to last a long time. Thoughts?

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11 minutes ago, Ambisawrous said:

 

I’ve been told that green oak sleepers can rot fairly quickly and that you should really use seasoned even for landscaping if you want them to last a long time. Thoughts?

 

That sounds like nonsense to me. I've heard people claim oak/chestnut cut in spring/summer doesn't last as long in the ground as autumn/winter cut but never that seasoned lasts longer - only anecdotal evidence though. No matter what it is after a couple of years it will acclimatise to whatever conditions its in anyway so I can't see how it would make a difference. 

Edited by Jamespepperpot

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it's true to some extent as the moisture already in the timber allows any fungus into the wood that much faster meaning it can rot quicker.

 

timber that has been seasoned for a few years is often a much longer lasting item but it will be species dependant.

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If the sleepers are heartwood I think they stand a better chance green as opposed to green sap wood. Dense timber, lots of tannins. Air dried heartwood oak would be best. But also dependent on the soil type the timber is going into, bog oak can last thousands of years.

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I think you will find it is irrelevant as you are unlikely to find genuinely seasoned sleepers.  Some people advertise things like “air dried 1 to 5 years” but this usually means nearly green.

 

As has already been said sapwood will rot quickly and the chances are Oak cut to sleeper size will have a fair bit of sapwood.  But once this has rotted away the heartwood will last maybe 10 to 15 years in ground contact.

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I think lots of the cheap oak landscaping sleepers are turkey oak, thus piss poor rot resistance. That and 'real' sleepers have had such a good creosote bath they sweat cancer every time the sun comes out.

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1 minute ago, tree_beard said:

I think lots of the cheap oak landscaping sleepers are turkey oak, 

Certainly a lot of those I have seen are, with a high proportion of sapwood.

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