How to prepare wooden poles for different uses

vineyard dropper poles

How to prepare wooden poles for different uses

Treated poles have a number of different uses in today’s world. A variety of gum pole sizes, as well as other timber poles, can be used to construct dwellings, erect fencing, or in a variety of services like telephone lines, street light poles or to hold signage and act as supports to decking, or maintain landscaping features.

Whether they are being used in an agricultural purpose, in big construction projects or providing support for home design projects, these wooden treated poles hold a variety of purposes. Due to their versatility, wooden poles are used in a range of environments, be that water, concrete or sand.

These different surfaces mean that there are different methods of securing the poles. Read on to find out what you need to keep in mind…


Uses in Concrete

When setting treated poles into concrete, it is important to ensure that the concrete only surrounds the sides of the poles. There should not be a concrete layer directly under the pole or else any water collection cannot drain away effectively. The pole instead is rested on dry stones which will allow water to drain while concrete can then be poured around the sides of your wooden pole for stability.

use in telephone poles

A reliable concrete foundation is one that is built using a 2:3:1 ratio of stone, concrete sand and cement. This concrete mixture should be compacted around the pole as it is poured into the hole surrounding the pole and then ‘watered’ while setting to create a firm set.


Use Directly in the Ground

You may be interested to find that the majority of the road sign poles you see alongside the roads every day are not actually surrounded in concrete when planted into the ground. Where the ground is relatively hard, and not too sandy, you may be able to use the compacted soil to secure the wooden telephone poles in place. It is important to also check that the structure you are trying to build does not get the full force of the wind and is somewhat protected. Also of note should be that the area it is standing in is not affected by rain runoff or other factors that could compromise the structure, such as invasive tree roots.

pole use as a fence

If you are planning not to use concrete to secure your pole, be sure you have enough length of the pole sub-surface to ensure the structure remains stable. This could be as much as one-third of the length of the pole. Wooden poles not supported by concrete at the base could also be supported through an A-frame structure or stay wires.


In Water

While there are many methods to affix wooden poles in water for docks or jetties, some of these approaches prove very expensive and utilise specialised machinery including hydraulic pumps. Jetting in posts can also be destructive to the underwater environment.

If you are looking for a DIY method for setting wooden poles in the water, then the simplest solution is to use a large bucket filled with concrete in which the wooden pole can sit. This entire structure is transferred to the water.

pole in water

This method is only acceptable in places where there is not a strong current or no icing up in the change of seasons. A chain system to secure the buckets may need to be constructed to ensure that they remain upright and do not roll or move if dealing with a steep bank or tidal movements.


No matter what your intention for your wooden pole usage, it is advised to always invest in treated timber that has already been cut to your desired size.

If you are looking for a specific size of treated timber for your project, get in touch with us at