Spruces are generally considered marginal species for use as utility poles because of their low permeability to wood preservatives in pressure treatments, a tendency to develop checks, and low natural decay resistance. In areas such as Eastern Canada, where other more suitable species are in short supply, a detailed study of locally grown spruces is essential to determine their suitability for use as utility poles. This investigation was initiated in 1977 and has been supported in part by the Canadian Government, the Canadian Electrical Association, and Domtar Chemicals Group Inc, co-operatively. Detailed information on the background, scope, materials and procedures are presented in a working plan prepared by J.Krzyzewski and J.K.Shields (Branch Study No. EFP-23-191) in January 1977. The objective of the investigation was to assess the effect of various factors (time of felling and peeling of poles, storage period, moisture content, kerfing and incising), on the treatability of eastern spruce poles with varied preservatives and treatment methods, and on their quality and performance in use. It was expected that the investigation would provide the information necessary for improved utilization of eastern spruces in the production of pressure treated utility poles. The results were to be made available to the utility companies, the wood treating industry, and to the Canadian Standards Association. Since this was a long-term study it was planned to report the results as the investigation progresses, with a comprehensive report to be prepared at the completion of the study.
Treatment of spruce species with preservatives for poles and their field performance : investigations of the treating characteristics and performance under subsequent service of eastern spruce preserved under plant conditions