This report is to present data obtained in an examination carried out on apile of incised and non-incised spruce poles in Delson, Quebec, on August 14, 1979. The examination was part of a study titled "Investigations of the Treating Characteristics and Performance under Subsequent Service of White Spruce Poles Preserved under Plant Conditions". The working plan (EFP-23-191) was prepared by J. Krzyzewski and J.K. Shields in 1977.
A total of about 850 PCP-treated southern pine poles from four supplier/year combinations were inspected by a contractor. Their core samples were cultured to isolate wood-rotting basidiomycetes and thin sections were examined under the microscope. The incidence of decay based on inspections and basidiomycete isolates, excluding S. brinkmanii, was 4% for TDL-85s, 3% for TDL-86s and 1% for TD4-85s. Microscopic examination revealed comparatively little damage in the groundline region. This was consistent with the lower frequency of isolation of basidiomycetes at the groundline compared to the Bell attachment position. It was also consistent with the distribution of decay and extensive end-grain penetration of preservative found in the intensive examination of selected poles. Conclusive evidence for pretreatment infection as the origin of the decay problem came from the pattern of dacay found in the intensive examination. This origin would also explain the distribution of fungi in the poles in service and the failure of some poles, due to decay, within five years of installation. At least 3% TDL-85s could continue to lose strength unless there is sufficient preservative retention and penetration to prevent this.
The objective of this market analysis is three-fold: (1) to assess current market conditions for the domestic treated wooden utility pole stock in Canada's domestic market, (2) to confirm or put to rest speculations regarding Canada's inability to satisfy its own domestic demand for premium length pole stock, in lieu of increased import activity, and (3) to conduct a limited economic analysis of the feasibility of joining roundwood to form premium length pole stock.
The following rudimentary investigation is based upon readily available information pertaining to the domestic pole market, direct correspondence with prominent buyers/suppliers of the industry, and a survey of pole buyers in Canada undertaken by FCC's economics department.