April 30, 2011 | Wallace from Midway, GA asks:
“[What do I] need to know about fungus destroying CCA lumber?”
Huck DeVenzio of Arch Wood Protection Reponds:
From your question and e-mail address, I’d guess that you have heard reports from a guy (Sam Brooks) saying that there is a strange fungus destroying CCA-treated wood in coastal areas. He says his company has a solution.
I’m amazed that this non-story is getting as much attention as it has. From all we have been able to piece together, there is no strange and destructive fungus. The photos he shows involve an occasional condition called tracheid separation or salt-killed wood. It does not involve a fungus and it is not a failure of CCA preservative. It is caused by wicking of salt into some pieces of wood. A document (link provided below) published by experts at Mississippi State University is attached; it explains the phenomenon. This was written in March, largely to counteract the assertions appearing in the Charleston-Savannah area. I have another technical paper if you need more information.
This “salt kill” can cause problems for marine piling, but it tends to be scattered and it is not caused by fungi. I do not know anything about the solution offered by Mr. Brooks, but you have to be suspicious when he doesn’t even understand the cause of the problem.
Click here to read the report from Mississippi State University.