a little education here: the tag on the bottom gives the length of pole and class size; length of pole is easy as 35, 40, 45 and up. 30-65 is typical with up to 100 ft which is rare for wood, especially now of days. the single number 2,3 or 4 refers to class size with the smaller the number the bigger round the pole. 30 to 40 lengths are usually class 4. 45's and up can vary from class 2-4 depending on use. birth date of pole is normally burnt into the side of pole at about 12 to 18 feet from the bottom. method of treatment is different from manufacturer to manufactures and region of country. now as for used poles, when a pole is placed in the hole or "set" gravity will pull treatment out of the pole and into the surrounding ground. this plus the absence of oxygen at the depths of the pole insures the longevity of the pole. poles are removed from service after a number of years due to "butt rot" or that area of the pole at ground level. butt rot greatly reduces the strength of the pole and i emphasize "greatly". resetting a pole is somewhat risky for pole building as some unknown portion of the treatment has leched out of the pole and additionally when set in a new hole there is little treatment left to help sterilize the new hole. now all this said, there are many pole barns built with used poles that have seen a long life and will continue for a long number of years. i might add that poles of today do not seem to last as long as poles from 30+ years ago. poles due to their taper are more difficult to set plumb and their shape may have changed over the years therefore they my be difficult to square also. personally, i would use 4x6 treated posts.
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