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Learn about Heavy Timber Pergola

Heavy Timber Pergola

Heavy timber pergolas are outdoor structures for shade, picnic areas, and climbing plants. They are made from heavy, naturally rot-resistant wood posts and beams, such as Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, and Hemlock.

Look for locally-sourced, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified wood. To avoid treatment with toxic materials, seek naturally resistant wood species like cedar, hemlock, tamarack, or Douglas fir. Large, heavy, rough-cut lumber is thicker and will last longer in outdoor use than finished lumber. You can even get kits that you can put together yourself, with a couple of extra people around for help. If you avoid painting or staining the structure, it will gradually change to a silver color with age.

A pergola can provide space for growing delicious small fruits in your yard, like grapes or hardy kiwis. If it's made from locally-available, naturally rot-resistant, untreated wood, it has a low ecological footprint, is non-toxic, and can be returned to the earth at the end of its useful life.

Pergolas have been a garden feature for a long time. Over 3,000 years ago, the earliest known surviving garden plans include pergolas covered in plants, for the garden of an Egyptian high court official.