Commercial trials in a real-world environment are fundamental to the launch of any new wood preservative.

Recognising this, Arxada has engaged in numerous trials of timber treated with Tanasote, an oil-based copper wood preservative. Spanning track timbers, utility poles, agricultural and equestrian fencing, the trials help the market see for themselves how Tanaoste offers a modern alternative to creosote.

Looking specifically at equestrian fencing, working with Calders & Grandidge Tanasote® treated posts and rails have been installed in five UK locations to determine whether horses would crib on the treated timber. Two of the locations were in partnership with Trojan Timber.

Trojan Timber has been serving the agricultural, landscaping and construction sectors with high quality timber for the past 25 years. During this time, creosote treated timber has remained in high demand so in 2019, with further restrictions on the use of creosote being considered, they agreed to participate in field trials of Tanasote treated timber.

Sue Crane, Director of Trojan Timber explains why she and her business partner, Will Dickerson, wanted to observe first-hand how the new wood protection stood up against creosote, especially in the equine sector:
“Before taking on any new products, we have to be confident that our quality promise to customers won’t be sacrificed. I was really interested in how Tanasote treated timber would perform compared with creosote in equestrian settings, which is an important sector that we serve.”

Sue adds, “Because horse cribbing is a concern for the sector, we installed Tanasote at two sites – one home to a prolific chewer and one where horse cribbing has not previously been a concern. At the site where cribbing is an issue, Tanasote treated timber was installed not only in the paddock, close to sections where the horse had chewed, but also in his stable. All sections of the Tanasote treated timber remain untouched, whereas the horse has chewed through the timber treated with a water-based copper preservative, even wire wrapped over the rail, did not deter him from this. At the site where horse cribbing has not previously been an issue, I did try to tempt the horses.”

To try and tempt the horses, Sue applied a saltlick directly onto the Tanasote® treated timber and hung various Himalayan Rock Salts from the posts. To date neither horse has chewed the Tanasote treated fencing. Regarding the initial colour of Tanaoste treated timber, Sue admits that she had concerns:

“I have to admit that at installation I was concerned about the appearance of the Tanasote treated timber. I was worried that the bright green colour would be difficult for the horses to identify, plus I was sceptical that it would transition to a brown colour, similar to creosote over time. Four years after installation I am pleased to report that the horses did not have an issue with the colour, which over time has predominantly turned brown, with pockets of darker brown similar to that of creosote.” Sue says, “It’s been interesting to compare the colour of Tanasote treated timber with that of creosote, water-based copper and untreated timber. From a performance perspective, we have seen no issue with the Tanasote treated sections.”

To date, Arxada reports that there has been no observable evidence of cribbing on any of the Tanasote treated fence rails across the five equestrian trial locations.

For more information visit www.trusttanasote.com

Ben Walton