As a key component in the North American electrical infrastructure, wood poles and their expected service life is an important consideration for utilities, regulators and others. Fortunately, wood poles have an extensive documented history of service in the most demanding conditions.
Depending on the environment and other factors, wood poles can last on average for some 50 years. In some locations, wood poles have remained in service for as long as 70 years or more. Factors that can impact a wood pole's service life include weather and maintenance of poles in service.
Maintenance and remediation can have a significant impact on extending the life of a wood pole in service. Review the benefits of remediation and links to NAWPC-affiliated companies that offer pole remediation treatments and services in the Remediation section.
Explore the impressive service record of wood poles, the impacts of fire and severe weather on poles as well as long-term performance issues with other materials.