This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
We give in another column a sensible article on Catalpa posts. It shows that what we have said about the variable nature of the same kind of timber, deserves close attention. There is no doubt but the duration of timber depends on a host of circumstances that are rarely noted. Timber from a mature tree, or from a very young tree, is not likely to last as long as timber from a lusty middle aged tree. The season when cut makes a great difference. And again the circumstances surrounding the post has much to do with durability. Not long since the writer asked the foreman of a lot of track layers how long the white oak railroad sills lasted, he replied, "on this embankment not more than five or six years, but there in that cut, where the earth is damp and cool, they will last twenty or twenty-five years".
There is in fact no question in which circumstances alter cases so much, as in the duration of posts and exposed timber.