What Type of Wood for Fence Posts is Best for Your Project?
There are a number of factors that will determine what type of wood for fence posts is best for your project. For example, you may be looking for something that is more durable, or you may want a certain color or grain texture. You also need to consider what the climate in your area will be like and how much rain you receive.
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Pine, Cedar, and Whitewood
The most common and commonly used fence woods are pine, cedar, and whitewood. Yellow pine is the most popular choice, especially in southeastern and Gulf coastal areas of the United States. While it can be expensive, it is resistant to termites and other pests and has a long life. It can also be re-treated with chemicals to increase its resistance to rot and insect infestation.
Other alternatives include cypress, redwood, and spruce. These are often more expensive than other fence woods, but they offer better durability and can be treated to resist rot and insects.
Pressure Treated Fencing Lumber
Most lumber for fence posts is pressure treated, which inhibits fungi and insect growth on the outside of the wood. This treatment also helps prevent the wood from rotting or delaminating from moisture. You can find a range of pressure treatments at most home improvement stores.
What to Look For in Fence Posts?
When choosing your posts at the lumber yard, avoid those with excessive knots or bark – both of these decrease the strength of the post and allow moisture and insects into the interior. Additionally, look for posts with tightly spaced end grain from the heartwood of the tree. These are the strongest posts available.
You will also need to check the end grain for peeler cores – these are pieces of wood that were removed from plywood production and are not strong enough to be fence posts. You can sometimes find them at the lumber yard for cheaper prices than the other post options.
If you choose to use a metal fence post, be sure it is rated to support the weight of your fence. Using a lower-rated post can lead to its rotting or delaminating more quickly, which means you’ll have to replace it sooner than you would with other materials.
Regardless of the fence material you select, it is important to remember that it will be exposed to the elements for decades to come. Keeping your fence posts clean, dry, and well-maintained is essential to ensuring they last a lifetime.
A good way to keep the fungi and insects out is to use good quality paint or stain on your fence. You can also spray a water-based product onto your fence to help repel insects.
Other considerations include the type of weather you live in and how many animals will be grazing on your property. If you have large livestock, then your fence needs to be made of sturdy and reliable materials to withstand the demands that they put on it.