Naturally Decay Resistant Wood

Grown in Michigan



Bungalow Builders is a fully insured general contracting firm licensed in the State of Michigan with LEED accreditation by the US Green Building Council.  We offer Green consulting, designing & building services.  As a custom builder, we work closely with our clients and all members of the integrated design team.  In addition to the above, we are now in the position to offer Black Locust as a natural alternative to treated lumber; see below.

When early settlers moved into Michigan, they brought with them the knowledge of which fence posts last a long time in the ground.  This turned out to be wood from the Black Locust tree (Robinia Pseudoacacia).  Since Michigan was not the tree’s native range, folks moved to propagate it here.  Other benefits of Black Locust are erosion control, fast early growth, nitrogen fixation, as well as one of the hardest and most rot resistant woods growing in the US.  What we know now however, is that the Black Locust tree is a non-native invasive species that is hard to eradicate.  Once cut, the tree sends out vigorous runners & shoots.  When the conditions warrant, the Black Locust tends to crowd out native trees.  Well, when God gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  It may take years to fully eradicate this persnickety tree, if we choose to do so.  How can we best utilize this limited resource?   Well, we have a need to continue our agricultural and construction work in a manner that does the least damage to the environment.   This wood is grown in Michigan, so transportation costs are manageable.  Research at MSU and elsewhere suggest that some Black Locust posts have  been known to last as long as 100 years in the ground!  Chemical treatment is unnecessary, further ecological contamination is avoided.  The need to replace rotted posts is greatly reduced.


While relatively straight,  the Black Locust grows with some twists and quirks.  This wood is very heavy to handle.  The hardness of the wood requires the use of only very sharp tools and is recommended to pre-drill before fastening.


Our supplies vary from season to season.  Custom lengths are available.  While rare, the larger trees can be sawn for dimensional lumber.  Typically the tree sizes are suitable for poles.  Poles are sold unseasoned with the bark on and sight graded by us.   Shipping & handling can be arranged or you can pick up from one of our cutting sites throughout the region or at our yard in Benzie County.  Contact us for more information and price quotes.

Cutting & handling vary widely depending upon the site and our prices will reflect that.

 

Cedar (N. White) 5.38 kg/sq.mm

3,960 psi

7,700 psi

12 inches

.8

350 lbs.

850 psi

0.32

24 #/cu.ft

2.2%

4.9%

Fair

Wood Characteristics Compared

Index

Modulus of Rupture

Crushing Strength

Static Bending FSPL

Impact Strength

Modulus of Elasticity (10^6 psi)

Hardness (Janka test)

Shearing Strength

Specific Gravity

Density; air dried

Radial Shrinkage

Tangential Shrinkage

Rot resistance

Red Pine

8.81

6,070

7,000

26

1.63

560

1210

0.46

34

3.8%

7.2%

(untreated) Poor

Black Locust

13.63

10,180

12,800

57

2.05

1700

2480

0.69

48

4.6%

7.2%

Very High

White Oak

10.68

7,440

15,200

37

1.78

1360

2000

0.68

46

5.6%

10.5%

High

SEEDS is a non-profit environmental & energy design firm with programs for youth at risk.  We have done several black locust projects together.

  

  click here to learn more


Collaboration with SEEDS Youth Corps to build black locust boardwalk at the Brown Bridge Pond