The potential of wood-based composite poles
Wood-based composite utility poles are receiving increasing attention in the North American pole market. This interest is being driven by many increasing factors such as increasing: (1) disposal costs of solid wood poles, (2) liability and environmental concerns with traditional means of disposal of solid wood poles, (3) cost and concerns of long-term availability of pole-sized timber, and (4) environmental concerns and awareness of the general public regarding recycling, forest sustainability, groundwater contamination, etc. There have been several research projects over the years that have explored various methods of developed wood-based composite poles with varying degrees of success. This paper summarizes the past and current efforts of developing wood-based composite utility poles with an emphasis on recent collaborative efforts based at the Louisiana State University AgCenter. The omission of any wood-based composite pole efforts is unintentional, and we ask readers to bring such omissions to our attention.