Preservative-Treated Wood Poles
Engineered by Nature. Enhanced by Technology.

Welcome to the North American Wood Pole Council website. NAWPC is an independent council representing the producers of wood poles and crossarms in North America. The Council is supported by member companies from the Western Wood Preservers Institute, Southern Pressure Treaters' Association and Wood Preservation Canada.

What's New


Benefits of wood crossarms detailed

For as long as there have been wood poles, there have been wood crossarms. The often overlooked benefits of wood crossarms compared to alternative materials our oulined in a new publication Wood Crossarms: Six Overlooked Benefits from a Century of Performance.

The one-page technical sheet reviews the extensive performance record of wood crossarms, which can be found throughout North America. Wood crossarms are a vital component that carry wires and other equipment to bring electricity to the continent.

Common misperceptions, such as wood crossarms are heavier, are explored in the sheet. It also notes that alternative materials are often three to four times more expensive than wood for crossarms that are functionally equivalent.

Click here to review the crossarm publication.

Customizable coloring book highlights wood utility poles, safety

ColorBookUtilities can get an assist in expanding their community affairs activities and communicating important safety information on overhead lines with a new, customizable coloring book.

The 16-page book “Electricity from Tree to Me” is designed for children from kindergarten through elementary school. It explains how wood utility poles are made from sustainable and renewable trees. reviews the structural criteria that must be considered in determining the proper wood pole for specified loading, wind, ice and other conditions.

NAWPC has created a companion Teacher's Lesson Plan for teachers who want to use the coloring book in the classroom. The lesson plan provides learning objectives and suggestions for classroom discussions to engage students.

The book is designed to be customized with utility information on the inside cover page and the back cover. The pages can feature colored artwork, such as a utility or company logo, so it can be integrated into utility community affairs programs. Click here for information on how to order customized coloring books for your utility.

Custom color books are available for less than a dollar each for 1,000 or more copies. Quantities of 500 and 750 copies are also available at discounted prices.

Click here to review the coloring book.


High cost of hiding power lines explored

Hiding power lines underground is significantly more expensive than using overhead systems, potentially costing utility customers millions of dollars. The high cost of going underground and other potential issues with burying lines are explored in a new Technical Bulletin Undergrounding: Hidden Lines, Hidden Costs.

The new bulletin reviews government studies that show moving lines underground cost as much as 10 to 20 times more than overhead systems using utility poles. It also explores the supposed improved reliability of underground systems and the potential safety issues when such systems fail.

Click here to review the Technical Bulletin.


Fallacy of "wood equivalent" poles exposed

The misleading claims that steel, concrete and fiberglass poles can be substituted as "equivalent" to wood poles are explored in a new Technical Bulletin. The bulletin, "Wood Equivalent" Utility Poles and the NESC, details wood's unique structural properties that are recognized in the NESC.

The bulletin notes there is no universally universally applicable “wood equivalent” pole made from steel, prestressed concrete, fiber-reinforced polymer, or other nonwood material because of the differences in relative strengths inherent in poles manufactured of different materials by different methods.

Click here to review the Technical Bulletin.


Learn more about wood pole standards

Understanding national wood pole standards and how they apply in designing overhead electrical systems are critical for utilities. A new presentation National Wood Poles Standards helps create that understanding with an overview of the standards process and basic wood pole design information.

The presentation was developed by Nelson Bingel, chairman of the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC).

Click here to review the presentation slides.



ANSI standards for wood poles, crossarms revised


National standards defining the minimum specifications for the quality and dimensions of preserved wood utility poles and crossarms have been revised and are now available for purchasing online.

ANSI standards O5.1-2017 for poles and O5.3-2015 for crossarms were revised through the ASC O5 Committee, which is composed of utility companies, manufacturers, government, academia and other general interest members.

Each standard can be purchased from ANSI for $50. The standard is only available as a PDF download; no printed copies are offered. To order, use the following links:

ANSI O5.1-2017 - Wood Poles, Specifications and Dimensions

ANSI O5.3-2015 - Solid Sawn Wood Crossarms and Braces


Top 10 reasons why wood poles are the best choice

The many benefits of preserved wood poles are highlighted in an updated paper, Ten Features Often Overlooked About the Extraordinary Wood Pole.

Compiled into two easy-to-read pages, the paper details why wood poles continue to be the choice for utilities throughout the country. Readers will learn about the proven performance of wood poles and crossarms, the outstanding physical properties and the preserved wood industry's ability to provide thousands of replacement poles after natural disasters such as storms and hurricanes.

Click here to download the Ten Features paper.