Planting Herbs in a Pallet

Does anyone know if pallets are pressure treated (which means they contain arsenic) or have toxic chemicals in them? I was thinking of using a pallet for planting herbs.
  7 answers
  • Some pallets are pressure treated and if they are older (because they are upcycled and sent back) then they could have arsenic. Many places need their pallets back or you can pay the rate in your area to buy them. New treated wood is not supposed to have arsenic. I have even seen pallets that are not pressure treated and just pine which will rot after a couple seasons. You should be safe to use if it looks like a new pallet. Hope this helps.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jan 17, 2014
    There should be an IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention) stamp on the pallet. If the stamp has an HT it means the pallet was heat treated. If it has an MB it indicates the pallet was fumigated with methyl bromide.
  • Spheramid Enterprises Spheramid Enterprises on Jan 18, 2014
    There is no right answer to that question, pallets can range from simple USA made of varied hardwoods and soft , to foreign sources of any tropical species, and no matter what is printed or painted or stenciled, unless you have some way of knowing it's past life, you have no clue what was on it or what boards may have been replaced. You have no clue if it was in a flood of sewer like Katrina or Sandy , or in a site near a coal mine spill..pallets are not intended to be decorations in most uses they are made for. If you want to be safe, copy a pallet with a known wood , from a clean source, esp is you are handling it often or growing food in it.
  • Sally Sally on Jan 18, 2014
    I used the black stuff to prevent weeks. I stapled it into the entire inside. This also kept the plants and the soil inside without falling down. It was easy to clean at the end of the season by just pushing it up from below. I also bought a section of roof gutter to cut and slip in there. Seemed like too much work. I didn't even know there was bad stuff in wood!
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Jan 19, 2014
    I am with Spheramid Enterprises, as Momma used to say, don't put that in your mouth, you don't know where its been! We get some pretty aggressive chemicals shipped in on pallets...sometimes they leak....Not something I would want to grow a garden in.
  • Julie Julie on Jan 19, 2014
    Thanks, @Donna Dixson, your comment makes perfect sense. Maybe I'll just grow flowers in them!
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Jan 19, 2014
    I think they are great for flowers Julie. Some of the projects I have seen on here have been really creative.