Railroad ties for Gardens
Railroad ties, also named railway ties, railway sleepers or rail sleepers, are the rectangular supports for rail tracks. Generally they are laid perpendicular to the railroad Steel rail, which can transfer heavy loads to the tracks, ballasts and sub-grade base, helping to hold the rails upright and keep the correct gauge.
Railroad ties were traditionally made of wood in the past, but now pre-stressed concrete ties or composite railroad ties are widely used all over the world, especially in Europe and Asia. Huge quantity of wooden railroad ties is removed out. How to deal with seemly useless used wood? Of course, people can find many ways to further make use of them. The more common and important way is landscaping with railroad ties.
I. How do wooden railroad ties relate to garden building?
Wooden railroad ties are the enormously popular garden building materials. Indeed, they have been used in garden landscaping for some time. How do they relate to garden building?
From the public’s opinion, attention grabbing and cost sensitive, wooden railroad ties are the perfect hard landscaping materials. The aged wood gives an aesthetically appealing and natural quality to the garden. They look absolutely beautiful and they are solid like rocks, they last more or less forever when properly maintained. In addition, There is no heavy lifting required, construction can be performed by a single person and no power tools are needed at all.
Great fun! The most of people are in love with them for the above merits, especially for gardeners. They will be perfect for the planet-friendly, organic gardens.
II. Which kind of wooden railroad ties shall we choose?
There is a range of varieties of wooden railroad ties, which mainly includes the followings:
1. New railroad ties and Used railroad ties
Although here the topic is about used railroad ties, new railroad ties are positively bought by some people. Because they think new railroad ties appear more durable, brilliant and natural, which are in better condition than used railroad ties and can easily vary in colors from light brown to grey by painting. Used railroad ties, also called reclaimed railroad ties or old railroad ties, tend to have a lot more personality, each unique and ready-weathered. Original reclaimed railroad ties will be aged and will have holes drilled in them. They will be usually creosote treated which helps achieve a longer lifespan.
2. Treated railroad ties and Untreated railroad ties
New railroad ties are usually untreated with no need for any chemical treatment. Used railroad ties are mostly treated. Even though the used railroad ties are untreated, they can occasionally be deposits of oil or diesel on the surfaces, which maybe have fallen from passing trains over the years. In the west, Creosote is often used for treatment of ties. For example, used Dutch oak tie and used British pine tie, etc. Used Australia Jarrah tie and used African Azobe tie are often untreated. Cypress ties are naturally resistant to termites and decay, which makes them ideal to use when landscaping. Treated or untreated, railroad ties can be handled out according to the requirements. But It is always worth considering how to preserve the ties.
3. Hardwood and Softwood railroad ties
Hardwood railroad ties are much higher in density than softwood. Their weights are up to 50 kg each, which makes them longer lasting and makes them ideal for retaining walls and permanent garden structures. Softwood railroad ties are usually easy to handle, cut and drill. The colors of softwood ties will gradually change to grey color. Softwood ties are lighter and smaller, so they are easier to manoeuvre.
III. Different uses for wooden railroad ties
If you’re planning a garden landscaping project, do you want to find some fantastic ways of making your garden a little more unique? There are many different uses for wooden railroad ties in garden design for decades. Everything is depending on your garden and your taste.
1. Common uses for wooden railroad ties
- a. Raised bed Raised bed is a very popular use for vegetable or flower. Raised bed is filled with soil and plants. Wooden railroad ties can be used to build outside container of bed.
- b. Steps in the garden Steps in the garden can be built by wooden railroad ties, which will make great rustic garden steps and simply be an alternative to concrete steps. They are very easy to be installed.
- c. Raised pond A pond like fish pond can create a relaxing place, but it is the bigger project for a family garden. People often think that it is quite difficult to dig and built in a garden. A raised garden pond is to use wooden railroad ties to build a wooden container and lay a pond liner for keeping water without any need to dig up the garden.
- d. Retaining wall A retaining wall is a structure that holds or retains soil behind it. The main purposes for retaining walls are for erosion control and stabilizing soil on landscapes that slope or where the land drops off at certain levels. Railroad ties retaining wall is often an inexpensive and simple choice. Railroad tie retaining wall can be featured for various landscaping purposes which include garden walls, walls for steps and stairs, fence systems, to level out yard locations, garden borders and walkway borders. For example, super-strong fencing, or as an alternative to a low brick front garden wall
- e. Garden furniture Wood is an important material for the manufacture of furniture. Wood used to manufacture all the railroad ties are of high quality, so why not try building customized garden furniture using them? Customized benches, tables and chairs are bound to put a personalized mark on the garden and create a conversation starter at the next garden party.
2. Other creative uses for wooden railroad ties
- a. an entire garden paved with wooden ties instead of flagstones, gravel or paving
- b. lawn edging built with wooden ties
- c. to make walls to divide the garden into different “rooms”.
- d. as a pillar to stand a bird feeder or bird bath
- e. wood carving made of wooden ties
- f. pile them up to create a giant wooden Jenga like garden sculpture
- g. line a pit with wooden ties to make a semi-subterranean seating area
- h. children’s sandpit
IV. Where to buy railroad ties?
Where can I buy railroad ties? Where to buy used railroad ties? Now it is Internet times, you can get information from all over the world. In China, nowadays most of railroad ties are made of pre-stressed concrete, so you can buy used railroad ties for sale from here.
In China most of wooden railroad ties are made of Larch. National standard specification: 220mm(W)×160mm(D)×2500mm(L) in size, 70kg/pc in weight. For the other ties in the other shapes, sizes and treatments, believe that we can find and provide for you!
In China, railroad ties prices are relatively lower, so railroad ties cost for building your own garden or public garden is absolutely lower than the other countries and areas in the world.
Wooden railroad ties are the extremely versatile and stylish components to include in any kind of garden design. They can be a fantastic way of adding unique personality to your garden or public garden and can allow one to really explore exterior space.
Thanks to their rustic nature, wooden railroad ties can comfortably fit in a large range of creative garden designations from the traditional to the contemporary. These resilient ideas will last for many years compared to the other flimsier options. Because wooden ties are completely natural and made of nothing but solid wood, so they are bound to fit into any garden comfortably.
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