Preserving Wood Cookies for a Garden Path

Preserving Wood Cookies for a Garden PathSpringtime means the end of cabin fever and the start of outdoor projects.  Recently, we have received several inquiries about a popular “Do It Yourself” (DIY) outdoor project which involves using green (or fresh cut) wood slices (or “cookies”) to make a garden path, outdoor walkway or patio.

Although the idea is a marvelous one and it looks great, there are several drawbacks:


– The wood cookies are all end grain and will crack, split and warp as they dry, especially being exposed to the sun and wind

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– Water is wood’s worst enemy as it promotes rotting and deterioration

Here are the steps we recommend to our customers for preparing the wood to make a project like this last:

Step 1: Stabilize

To prevent the wood from cracking, first treat it with Pentacryl, the green wood stabilizer.  If the wood has been cut for a while and has a lower moisture content, use the Wood Juice.  This is a stabilizer for semi-dry wood to prevent it from cracking further.  For full treatment directions, see the guide on treating cross-cut sections of wood. Be sure to dry the wood slowly.

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Step 2: Seal

Since the wood will be exposed to the weather, it will need to have a sealer applied.  This will keep the Pentacryl and/or Wood Juice from leaching out.  Once the moisture has dried out of the wood, we recommend using a heavy duty sealer like a marine spar varnish. Apply 2-3 coats on all surfaces of the wood – including the bark. This will protect the wood and help it to last longer.

Step 3: Lay the Wood

To keep the wood from sitting directly in the dirt, we recommend laying small stones or gravel down first.  This will help with the drainage and keep the wood slices above any standing water.

Step 4: Admire your Work!