…two of which at least were useful as we set off to make a survey of the block so that an order for the trellis posts can be placed next week. This represents the biggest investment since buying the land and I have thought long and hard over the right way to go, not only in terms of the training choices, height, end assemblies etc (of which their will be much more in future posts,) but about what materials I would use.
The standard choice is CCA (copper, chromium, arsenic,) treated pine. It lasts well, although it tends to brittleness, and is relatively inexpensive. While there have been few issues with chemical leaching, I have encountered the occasional whisper that, in areas of intensive planting, the arsenic residues in the soils are building to levels that might become a concern in the future.
As everything involved in building a vineyard must be done with an eye to the future, I have settled on a new product from the wonderful Ashley Davidson at Woodshield comprising an untreated machined pine post sheathed in a recycled 6mm plastic outer. These posts have higher breaking strains than treated pine and are suitable for organic viticulture. While admittedly there are higher initial costs, hopefully they will be offset by long-term savings and minimal environmental impact. And I feel that I am doing the right thing.