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Synthetic Landscape Timbers

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Synthetic Landscape Timbers

Landscape timbers are used to build planter boxes and raised beds for gardening. They can also be used to separate areas where plants are growing from areas of grass where children and pets are allowed to play. Landscape timbers can be used to form a retaining wall, reinforce a slope, make garden steps, build a picnic table or bench, or edge flower beds and paths. Landscape timbers come in a variety of colors and materials. They are generally available in either 4-foot or 8-foot lengths, and unlike a plain log, these timbers are flat on the top and bottom so that they can be stacked or laid side by side for building. Treated timbers will last for an average of seven years before they need to be replaced, making them a cost-effective landscaping solution over materials that need replacements or repairs on a yearly basis.
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Synthetic Landscape Timbers

There are two basic varieties of landscape timbers: synthetic and natural. Recycled plastic timbers are the most common type of synthetic log. Natural timbers are comprised of various types of wood. Untreated timbers are usually made of redwood or cedar and have some natural resistance to fungal growth, moisture and temperature extremes. These woods have a pleasing color, but they can also be painted to match other landscaping features.
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Synthetic Landscape Timbers

Landscaping timber does not only vary in colors and materials but also in sizes and prices. Mostly, it comes in 4-foot or 8-foot lengths. Generally, landscaping timbers are flat on top and bottom, making it ideal for stacking. Typically, there are two major types of landscaping timbers. These are natural and synthetic. Natural timbers are either treated or untreated. The treated ones are more pricey however they can last longer. If you only have a smaller budget then choose the synthetic timbers since they are much cheaper. Also, they are made from recycled plastic and can last longer.
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Synthetic Landscape Timbers

The most common types of natural timbers are redwood and cedar. Treated timbers are commonly used for landscaping. They are treated with preservatives to keep them from getting damaged. Although, untreated timbers can still resist moisture and fungi. They can also be painted. Synthetic timbers are best if you are planning to do the project yourself since they can be lifted and installed easily. It does not have any chemicals, making it safer for your family as well as your plants.
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Synthetic Landscape Timbers

So which landscaping timber should you use? It actually depends on your particular project. For gardening projects, synthetic or untreated natural timbers are preferable. Wood treated timbers can be harmful to plants and individuals. On the contrary, treated timbers are usually used for creating benches, tables, and retaining walls. They also look appealing on edging and paths. If you want to enhance your curb appeal then treated timbers are the way to go.
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Synthetic Landscape Timbers

Railroad ties and landscaping timbers can be used to create all kinds of decorative and functional landscape structures. Inexpensive and easily-installed landscape materials, landscape timbers and railroad ties are a great alternative to brick or block landscape construction materials. These sturdy landscaping materials can be horizontally, vertically, or diagonally stacked, staggered front to back and top to bottom to create a variety of garden borders, risers for stairs terraces or retaining walls. They can be angled, stood upright or set in a weave pattern to create a unique fence, line a walkway or contain a flower bed. Jumbled, landscape timbers or railroad ties can be placed among boulders to create an artistic, outdoor living environment.
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Synthetic Landscape Timbers

There are certain landscape timber basics all must know before embarking on such a landscaping project. Like many other home materials, landscape timbers come in a variety of colors and materials. They are similar to wood planks in that many of them come in 4-foot or 8-foot lengths. However, the primary difference is that landscape timbers are flat on the bottom and top. As you can imagine, this makes landscape timbers ideal for building or stacking.
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Synthetic Landscape Timbers

Plastic landscape edging is not as strong as wood, so it cannot be used in the same manner. When building a structure, such a raised garden bed, a bridge, or a bench, the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the spacing of the timber may be different than if you were using wood. Plastic timbers will also expand. Unlike real wood, which contracts as well, plastic landscape timbers do not reclaim their original shape. Manufacturers typically specify the amount of expansion expected in the product literature. While it is weatherproof, plastic landscape timbers will also warp if they are not stored on a hard, flat surface prior to installation.
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Disadvantages Plastic landscape edging is not as strong as wood, so it cannot be used in the same manner. When building a structure, such a raised garden bed, a bridge, or a bench, the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the spacing of the timber may be different than if you were using wood. Plastic timbers will also expand. Unlike real wood, which contracts as well, plastic landscape timbers do not reclaim their original shape. Manufacturers typically specify the amount of expansion expected in the product literature. While it is weatherproof, plastic landscape timbers will also warp if they are not stored on a hard, flat surface prior to installation.
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For garden timbers, most homeowners go with synthetic or untreated natural timbers. Wood treated with creosote or pentachlorophenol results in oils that coat the roots, stems and leaves of nearby plants. Creosote and pentachlorophenol may also release an odor that is offensive to sensitive individuals. Landscaping timbers that were treated with copper, chromium and arsenic mixtures should not be used around plants for human consumption.
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Landscape timbers come in a variety of colors and materials. They are generally available in either 4-foot or 8-foot lengths, and unlike a plain log, these timbers are flat on the top and bottom so that they can be stacked or laid side by side for building. Treated timbers will last for an average of seven years before they need to be replaced, making them a cost-effective landscaping solution over materials that need replacements or repairs on a yearly basis.
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Property owners who want to use landscaping timbers around a garden may prefer to avoid the chemical aspects of treated wood and instead opt for untreated or plastic timbers. When building a bench, steps, retaining wall, table or another structure out of landscape timbers, the durability and sturdiness of treated wood is a desirable option.

To simplify, landscape timbers are used to build planter boxes and raised beds for gardening. They are also used to separate plants from other common areas of the yard, to build a retaining wall, reinforce a slope, make garden steps or build a picnic table and landscape paths. The possibilities are endless, but before you go and purchase landscape timbers, make sure you read all there is to know about this highly attractive landscaping feature.
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At Green Brothers Earth Works, we stock 6 x 6 x 8, #3 treated landscape timbers that are sure to help you create a sturdy, durable wall, driveway line or other landscape structure. And if landscaping timbers aren’t your style, we stock the very best in #1 railroad ties as well.
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Landscape timbers are used to build planter boxes and raised beds for gardening. They can also be used to separate areas where plants are growing from areas of grass where children and pets are allowed to play. Landscape timbers can be used to form a retaining wall, reinforce a slope, make garden steps, build a picnic table or bench, or edge flower beds and paths.
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There are two main types of landscape timbers; natural and synthetic. For natural, the timber can be treated or untreated. Treated, while more expensive, can last up to seven years before being replaced. Synthetic, the most popular of which is recycled plastic, will last much longer and is cheaper.
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First, lay out all pieces of your landscape timbers. It’s always nice to see the project before it’s fully connected. Then, take your corners and connect them using corner braces. A drill will greatly come in handy at this point. Make sure the corner pieces line up with the remaining timbers. Then, connect the length pieces using mending plates. Put in place and voila!
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If landscape timbers are being used to create a path or delineate areas of the property for different purposes, wood timbers are preferable to plastic because the wood is easier to cut to size. When a natural landscaping timber begins to deteriorate, property owners should promptly replace the decaying log because pests such as carpenter ants and termites are attracted to decaying wood.
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Typically, timbers are small wood boards which have a thickness of 3″ to 6″. Timbers can be bought in hardware, lumber, and other stores. There are a variety of thickness, sizes, and types to choose from. If you are looking for an environment-friendly product then it’s best to inquire about the chemicals being used on the wood.
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Some property owners find that wood treated with creosote or pentachlorophenol results in oils that coat the roots, stems and leaves of nearby plants. Creosote and pentachlorophenol may also release an odor that is offensive to sensitive individuals. Landscaping timbers that were treated with copper, chromium and arsenic mixtures should not be used around plants for human consumption. If handling landscaping timbers themselves, property owners should wear gloves to reduce their chemical exposure.

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