Log round pathways?

coachsmyth(4 Canada NWBC)July 16, 2005

I find myself with access to an almost unlimited supply of good sized log rounds (anywheres from 12" to 36" in diameter and my choice of length). My question is, has anyone successfully seen or used these in creating a nobedan like path way in lieu of rocks or even in tandem with rocks? Is this an acceptable pathway material in Japanese gardening? Any pictures to satisfy my curiosity?



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bambooo(6 CT USA)

They look very good bedded in gravel.
Last I knew folks soaked them in hot parrafin or watco to make them last longer, but good gravel drainage helps.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 3:55PM
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patjonking(z7 VA)

I don't know... It would probably look good for a while, but any wood that lies on the ground will start to rot. On the other hand, a stepping stone path could last as long as you do. Do you want to put all that work into a path that will only last 10 years or so?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 10:07AM
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davissue_zone9(z9 Sunset 14)

I have them as the pathway in my japanese garden and it looks good, The termites have made short work of them, but they were only poplar, and I didnt think to treat the with preservative first. Im on vacation and not on my own computer,otherwise I'd post a picture for you. Sue

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 8:28PM
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Cypress or redwood at least 5" thick would last several years. Most woods would do good to last 2 years. You might want to make a cut from the outer edge to the center to keep checking controlled.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 6:29PM
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MrNorth4(Sweden ZOne 1)

The only negaive I can think about when using logs as path-stones is that they dont give the same sense of "density" and "robustness" as stone do... Stones alway give me that feeling of lasting forever... wood is a different matter..

but hey, thats just me ;)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 7:10AM
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harrycb(z5 MA)

I saw this at a camp in Vermont last summer. They were rotting and falling apart. Very unattractive.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 11:17AM
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I agree that they can look very good, embedded in gravel. They aren't perfectly round & they vary in size & that adds to their attraction. But they do tend to have short lives - though if you have an endless supply of them, perhaps that doesn't matter..

On the other hand, wooden fence posts that have been commercially treated with some sort of preservative (what the preservative is I don't know, but the posts are described as 'pressure treated') last much longer - I once had to dig one out that had been embedded in the ground for around 15 years and there was no sign of rot.

So maybe soaking the rounds in a bath of preservative would work? But there may be objections to this - first that the preservative might contaminate the soil & kill nearby plants & second that some preservatives give the wood a colour - e.g. an artificial-looking green - that might look out of place.

One another thing though - a path of log rounds may be better in a dry climate than in a damp one. When we lived in Tsawassen I made, between the house and some shrubs, a short path of log rounds surrounded by gravel. It looked very nice, but it wasn't used very often - mostly to get at the windows when they needed cleaning. Tsawassen is relatively dry, but I recall that at times, the rounds were rather slippery to walk on. So I suspect that a path of log rounds might not be all that good for a well-used path especially if there's constant dampness.

Anyway, why not try them & see? If you decide after a year or two that you'd rather use a different material, you can always lift them, put them somewhere to dry, and then use them for firewood.....


    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 1:21PM
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