What specifications does Bell Lumber & Pole follow?

ANSI 05:1 – Specifications and Dimensions (for Wood Poles).
REA Bulletin 1728F-700 – REA Specification for Wood Poles, Stubs and Anchor Logs.
AWPA C1 – All Timber Products – Preservative Treatment by Pressure Process.
AWPA C4 – Poles – Preservative Treatment by Pressure Process.

How straight is straight?

It's rare to find a tree that is perfectly straight, but as long as the following criteria are met, a pole will provide excellent service:

The sweep (or crook) is in one plane and one direction, with no more than 1 inch deviation per 10 feet of length.

When the sweep is in two planes (double sweep) or in two directions in one plane (reverse sweep), a straight line connecting the mid-point at the groundline with the mid-point at the top does not lie outside the surface of the pole at any intermediate point.


Why do industry standards mention tree rings?


American National Standards for poles require no fewer than six annual growth rings in the outer 2 inches at the butt. This requirement helps ensure the strength of the pole; fewer rings means faster growth and a greater percentage of springwood, which is less dense than summerwood.

How do I read a pole brand or tag?


The top line is the manufacturing company, Bell Pole Company. The second line is the plant location, in this case New Brighton, and the year the pole was treated, 1998. WCPA is the species and treatment used on this pole. In this case, it is a Western Red Cedar (WC) treated with Pentachlorophenal (PA). Finally, the numbers across the bottom are the class and size of the pole. This tag is for a 2 class, 90 foot pole.