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About Plum Play Wood & Wood Splits.

Wood is an organic material, it is always trying its hardest to adapt to its changing environment. It moves, it swells and it shrinks; all normal behaviour.

Often, naturally occurring splits will appear in the poles. In warm sunny weather the wood shrinks, in wet weather it expands; the moisture content can reduce by 50% in warm weather conditions depending on where you are in the planet. These environmental changes cause the cracks. We design our round poles to be thick and strong so natural wood splits won't affect the overall strength of the pole.

Safety is as important to Plum® as having fun and we’d like to reassure our customers that the majority of wood splits will never become deep or wide enough to affect the reliability and strength of our swing sets. 


Our round pole timber, Scots Pine, has fabulous natural properties making it durable and very strong. After the trees are grown for up to 30 years, the complete tree trunks are stripped of their bark and rough materials to be left in all their natural glory. The timber is then dried, treated and cut to size; ready to be constructed into our famous round-pole swing sets.

The heartwood on Scots Pine timber is surrounded by softer sapwood which is susceptible to changes in the environment, causing some splits in the wood. This is a completely natural occurrence and doesn’t affect the strength or integrity of the timber in any way. Our 3.3m frames are load tested to hold a 500kg weight – that’s the same as a polar bear - for over one hour with no damage!

For extra reassurance and to ensure it is as resilient as possible, our round pole timber is vacuum pressure treated to safeguard it against wood-destroying insects and fungi that can sometimes cause wood rot. As a result of the copper-based pressure treatment solution interacting with the resin in the wood, occasionally a green mottling can appear on the pole. It’s completely harmless and we like to think that this only adds to the charm of the timber. If not to your taste you can carefully sand away any surface scaling or discolouration on the poles.

Like with our dimensional timber, we do recommend annually treating your round pole swing set with a water based stain.


Small openings and hairline splits will occur when the dimensional timber becomes wet and then dries out. This often happens when the timber is doused in a rain shower and dries out afterwards in the sun. Each Plum® wooden playset has tolerances built into it, to allow for natural occurrences such as these; they are designed to ensure that the structural integrity is not compromised. 

Our square cut, or dimensional timber for our Lookout Towers and Monkey Bars, is manufactured from Norwegian Spruce and Scots Pine, native to the woodlands of Northern and Central Europe. Trees selected for our dimensional timber products are grown for 90 to 110 years before they are strong enough to be transformed into your outdoor toy.

The Square Cut timber is relatively low maintenance and weathers into a soft silver-grey colour. We recommend that you treat your dimensional timber set with a water-based stain each year to get the optimum life from your product. You may also want to sand down any small splinters that may occur.

This hardy timber is very versatile and can be cut and sawn into different wood profiles, making it the perfect choice for Plum® play equipment of all shapes and sizes.


Certified FSC® pine from Northern and Central Europe is used in both Plum® round pole and dimensional playcentres and swing sets. To make sure it is as resilient as possible, the wood is vacuum pressure treated. This safeguards it against wood-destroying insects and fungi that can cause soft-rot.

After the treatment process it is natural for a green mottling to become visible on the surface of the wood. This colouration is caused when the copper based treatment, which serves as the preservative, reacts with the resin already present in the timber.

Pressure treatment is a vitally important process in increasing the long term resilience of the wood. Innovation in our timber treated products ensures that the preservative is both weather-resistant and safe to humans and your garden plants alike.

Wood is a natural product so requires some care and maintenance as it weathers over time. Periodically check over the whole product, sand away any sharp points and surface scaling and follow the timber advice in the instruction manual. It is important to maintain the condition of timber products to ensure both safety and longevity, full maintenance guidelines are provided with each Plum play set.


Every effort is made to reject parts where loose knots cause splits to spread, however in the unlikely event you feel a part has a possible fault in the timber, contact Happy Active Kids immediately with pictures of the parts so they can be reviewed.