Poplar Wood – Not for Outdoors!
These guys mixed their trim– the one on the left used poplar for the base–and the one on the right had pine baseboard. Pine will last fairly well if it is sealed, but poplar just turns to dust in a few years. The caps, even though they were pressure treated were not sealed. You can see the curve from it soaking up water in both images. Sealing anything that might see standing water (like caps) is always a good idea. Epoxy will always work best.
|Poplar exposed to the elements just turns to dust|
The wrong wood will turn to dust!
I can remember a business in Barrie making old fashioned screen doors out of poplar…2 years and the warranty work started—they were out of business shortly after. After the job was done and I was talking to a 90 year old builder on the site that he pointed it out. With white stain on it he picked out the profile we had to use poplar for.
Poplar is a species of tree that grows along the outside of the forest and grows about 3 times as fast as Maple or Oak. It has no thick sap like pine so it draws water in like a sponge. Since it grows faster–it rots faster. Its purpose in the forest is to break up the ground to allow the more long lasting species to grow stronger. Rotting poplars supply nutrients to help the other trees grow.
So… No POPLAR Outdoors please!
Ps: The trouble with doing this kind of decorative work outside is that the stock trim you buy from the big box stores is mostly poplar–and rookie builders just don’t know. It is a hard lesson to learn and there is very little information even on line. I learned it early on after using it on a tennis court fence and pergola (25 years ago).