Q: Must every RUS pole have a brand/tag applied to it?
A: Yes, all RUS poles must be either branded on tagged on the face.
Q: What is the "face" of a pole?
A: RUS defines the face of a pole as "the concave side of greatest curvature in poles with sweep in one plane and one direction, or the side of greatest curvature between ground line and top in poles having reverse or double sweep." The gain on the pole should also be placed on this side of the pole, directly in line with the brand/tag, so if you should ever have to try to find the brand on an older RUS pole, look on the side directly below where the gain is.
Q: How far up the pole from the butt should the brand/tag be placed?
A: For poles 50' and under in length, the bottom of the brand/tag must be placed 10 feet + 2 inches from the butt surface. For poles 55' and over, the bottom of the brand/tag must be placed 14 feet + 2 inches from the butt surface.
Q: How do you read a brand? insert Mike's nifty new table
A: Here is an example of a typical RUS brand with an explanation of all of the information required:
Q: What are the different species and preservative abbreviations?
A: The most common abbreviations are as follows:
Q: Does the retention listed on the face of a pole mean that there must be that much preservative in that individual pole?
A: No. The retention noted in the brand refers to the minimum RUS retention required for all poles in a treated charge. Poles are treated in groups that may consist of as many as 200-300 pieces, depending on the size of the treating cylinder and the size of the poles being treated. This group is called a charge. After treatment, RUS requires that the charge be sampled for preservative retention and penetration. This sampling is done on a statistical basis, with a specific number of poles in the charge (usually 20 pieces) being bored, the borings being combined into one sample, followed by a laboratory analysis of this combined sample. If the analytical result of the combined sample meets the minimum RUS retention, then all of the poles in that charge are considered to be conforming for retention. The actual retention in individual poles will vary from the charge average, but the RUS retention standards have been set high enough that even poles that are on the low side of the average will perform well in service.