Natural Timber

Our playground equipment is made from premium timber. Great care is taken selecting, machining, and treating the timber from our partners in China, before it gets to your backyard.  

All our wood is hygroscopic, which is a fancy way of saying, it will absorb or discharge moisture to keep an equilibrium with the surrounding atmosphere.  

Depending on the product we use Fir wood or Cedar wood. Look for the sustainable forests call outs on our product pages. 

Fir wood is used on our swing sets and monkey bars. It’s fast growing, light weight yet strong and it’s naturally resistant to decay and insects. It’s extremely versatile and can be cut and sawn into different wood profiles - making it perfect for kids' backyard play equipment.  

Cedar wood has a low shrinkage factor in comparison to other timbers, this means that cedar has high levels of resistance to warping, twisting and checking. Cedar is also naturally insect, rot and decay resistant which means we don’t have to add any chemicals to the wood. These properties make cedar, a great choice for our play centres and cubby houses. 

When cedar wood is cut, there can be a slight sheen or little fibres on the wood. This shows that the wood has reached maturity. The fibres are safe, you do not need to clean them, and they will disappear soon. 

PLEASE NOTE: We have applied a waterborne translucent stain to your piece. This is done for colour only. You must add a protective sealant to the wood. This will help protect the wood from the elements and extend its life. We recommend coating all sides of the wood and doing this within 90 days. Depending on your climate conditions, we recommend adding another coat of sealant once or twice a year thereafter. Prior to the application of sealant, lightly sand any “rough” spots on your set. Please note this is a requirement of your warranty. Check out our Care & Maintenance page for special painting and staining tips.

Most of our timber pieces are kiln-dried before they are shipped to you. The timber will still retain a small amount of moisture and will continue to dry when being built and used. Timber dries from the outside to the centre, this is a lengthy process which can take up to 6 years to reach its equilibrium moisture content. Dried timber is stronger, harder, lighter and more resistant to bumps and other damage. 

Ahhh there is a crack in the wood, should I be worried?! 

Like our little rascals, no two pieces of wood are exactly alike – each has its own personality and will react differently to the climate. This can result in timber openings or ‘wood checks.’ A check is the separation of the wood fibres running with the grain of the wood. A wood check does not affect the strength or durability of the wood or structural integrity of the play set.  

As timber is a natural product it may experience changes throughout the course of its life.  

  • The grain of the wood will sometimes lift in dry periods causing splinters or peeling to appear. Light sanding may be necessary to maintain a safe environment. Treating your Product with protection (sealant) after sanding will help prevent severe checking/splitting and other weather damage.  
  • The drying process generally results in the shrinkage of wood, which can develop openings/checks (gaps, slits, apertures, cracks) along the line of the exterior grain.  
  • Colour fade as the timber reacts with sunlight.  

Forest & Frolic is all about providing safe equipment for children to use. We understand you may be worried about the quality of timber when you see any cracks, however all products have set tolerances so that the structural integrity is not compromised when natural cracks take place. We do this by sourcing the correct diameter and size timber pieces to allow for any eventual timber drying cracks. This is recognised and accounted for by timber framers and engineers. 

Just like your home it is important to inspect your equipment regularly (we suggest monthly) to maintain its longevity and safety.  

Wood Crack Instructions

Most of the wood splits will never become large enough to affect the reliability and strength of our products, however, there can be rare cases where splits can occur. This happens when a crack develops past the halfway point from the timber, splitting it into two separate pieces. 

Feel free to contact us with detailed pictures of your product so we can assess and ensure that your playground remains safe. 

ACQ Treatment 

Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ) is a water-based wood preservative method, used on our Fir wood products to protect against decay, rot and insect attack, without the use of arsenic and chromium. This helps ensure that the timber used in your children’s play sets, will last longer than normal untreated timber, whilst still maintaining that earthy look. 

Why ACQ? 

Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ) is one of the safest forms of wood treatment available today. ACQ is completely arsenic free and provides the benefits of stained wood, while remaining completely safe for children. ACQ is a greener preservative and a more sustainable option. Meaning that there is less waste and overall environmental damage from this process.