Does Red Cedar Make Good Fence Posts?

When it comes to choosing the right material for fence posts, one option that often comes to mind is red cedar. The answer lies in understanding the properties of this particular wood and how it stands up against the harsh elements that fences are exposed to. This makes it a viable option if aged properly, with the selection of posts that exhibit less white wood and more of the desirable red wood at the core.

Can You Use Untreated Cedar for Fence Posts?

Cedar fence posts have long been recognized as a durable and reliable choice for outdoor constructions. This natural resistance makes cedar an excellent material for fence posts, especially when compared to other wood options that may require chemical treatments for protection.

In addition to being economical, cedar also offers a beautiful aesthetic appeal. The natural grain and rich reddish-brown hue of cedar creates an attractive visual element that enhances the overall look of your fence. This natural charm can add value and curb appeal to your property, making it an appealing choice for homeowners.

By avoiding the use of chemical treatments, you’re reducing your ecological footprint and contributing to the preservation of natural resources. Cedar is a renewable and biodegradable material, aligning well with eco-friendly practices.

Lastly, untreated cedar fence posts are easy to work with. They’re lightweight and have a relatively low risk of splitting or warping, making installation simpler and more efficient. This advantage is particularly important if you plan on DIY installation or if you need to make adjustments or repairs in the future.

Not only are they resistant to the suns rays and the elements, but they also provide cost savings, aesthetic appeal, environmental sustainability, and ease of use.

In addition to it’s natural durability, Western Red Cedar also offers beauty and versatility, making it a popular choice for fence posts. But when it comes to selecting the right type of cedar for your fence posts, there are a few factors to consider.

What Kind of Cedar Do You Use for Fence Posts?

These tannin oils act as a natural preservative, making Western Red Cedar highly resistant to moisture and insect infestation. This makes it an excellent choice for fence posts, as they’re constantly exposed to outdoor elements and are often in direct contact with the ground. The natural properties of Western Red Cedar ensure that fence posts made from this wood will have a long lifespan and require minimal maintenance.

In addition to it’s durability, Western Red Cedar also has a beautiful and distinct appearance. It’s a reddish-brown color that can vary in shade, adding warmth and character to any outdoor space. This makes it an attractive option for homeowners who want their fence to not only serve a practical purpose but also enhance the aesthetics of their property.

It’s a relatively lightweight wood, which makes it easy to handle and install. It’s also less prone to splitting and warping, making it more forgiving for DIY enthusiasts who may not have professional woodworking skills.

It’s a renewable resource, as it can be sustainably harvested without causing significant damage to the forests. It’s natural resistance to decay and rot also means that additional chemical treatments or sealants aren’t necessary, reducing the environmental impact even further.

Other Types of Cedar That Can Be Used for Fence Posts

Yes, other types of cedar can also be used for fence posts. While red cedar is commonly used due to it’s natural resistance to decay and insects, other cedar species like white cedar and western red cedar offer similar qualities. White cedar, also known as arborvitae, is known for it’s durability and resistance to rot, making it suitable for fence posts. Western red cedar is another popular choice for it’s natural resistance to decay and ability to withstand harsh outdoor conditions. Both types of cedar can provide long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing fence posts.

Source: Inform Yourself! Know the Difference Between Types of Cedar

Pressure treated pine posts are often used for fence construction because they’re highly resistant to rotting and can withstand soil erosion better than cedar posts. While cedar can last for many years without rotting, it may not be as long-lasting as pressure treated pine when it comes to withstanding environmental factors.

Does a Cedar Post Last Longer Than a Pressure Treated Post?

The durability of cedar posts compared to pressure treated posts is a topic of interest among fence builders and homeowners. Cedar wood is known for it’s natural resistance to rot and decay, which allows cedar fences to last for many years. In fact, a well-maintained cedar post can withstand the test of time and still look great decades after installation.

Soil erosion can occur over time, especially in areas with heavy rainfall or poor drainage. The constant contact of soil with the bottom portion of the cedar post may lead to some degradation over an extended period. To mitigate this issue, ensuring proper drainage around the fence line and using gravel or concrete around the base of the posts can help prolong their lifespan.

On the other hand, pressure treated pine posts are chemically treated to resist rot, decay, and termite damage. This treatment process involves infusing the wood with preservatives that provide protection against moisture and insects.

Ultimately, the choice between cedar and pressure treated posts will depend on various factors such as the local climate, budget, and personal preference.

Pros and Cons of Cedar Posts

Red cedar is a popular choice for fence posts due to it’s durability and natural resistance to rot and insect damage. One of the main advantages of cedar posts is their longevity, as they can last for many years without needing to be replaced. Additionally, cedar has a high natural oil content, which acts as a natural preservative, further enhancing it’s resistance to decay.

However, there are a few factors to consider when using cedar posts. One potential drawback is the cost, as cedar can be more expensive than other types of wood. Another consideration is the tendency for cedar to split, especially if it isn’t properly sealed or treated.

Overall, cedar posts are a great choice for building fences due to their durability and natural resistance. However, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons to determine if they’re the right option for your specific needs and budget.

This step is essential for ensuring the longevity of your cedar fence post. By adding a layer of aggregate at the bottom of the posthole, you create a drainage system that prevents excessive water accumulation. In the next section, we will discuss the next steps in properly installing cedar posts in the ground.

What Do You Put in Cedar Posts in the Ground?

Does Red Cedar Make Good Fence Posts?

To further enhance the lifespan of your fence posts, it’s important to properly prepare them before installation.

One key step in preparing cedar posts for the ground is to insert aggregate into the posthole. After digging the hole, it’s recommended to add approximately 6 inches of aggregate at the bottom. The purpose of this is to provide proper drainage, preventing excess moisture from coming into contact with the cedar post. By minimizing water contact, you can reduce the risk of rotting or decay over time.

To ensure optimal drainage, it’s important to make sure that the bottom of the post extends a few inches into the aggregate. By taking this extra step, you can significantly enhance the longevity of your fence posts and, in turn, your entire fence structure.

This includes ensuring that the posts are properly spaced, securely anchored, and treated with preservatives to further protect against decay. Regular maintenance, such as sealing or staining the cedar, can also help prolong the life of the fence posts.

Inserting aggregate into the posthole is one such step that can greatly enhance drainage and reduce the risk of moisture-related damage.

How to Prevent Pests From Damaging Cedar Fence Posts

  • Keep the area around the cedar fence posts clean and free from debris.
  • Trim any nearby vegetation that may provide hiding spaces for pests.
  • Inspect the fence posts regularly for signs of pest infestation, such as holes or chew marks.
  • Apply a protective sealant or stain to the cedar fence posts to deter pests.
  • Avoid using materials that pests are attracted to, such as certain types of mulch, near the fence posts.
  • Consider using natural repellents, such as vinegar or essential oils, to deter pests.
  • Install a physical barrier, such as wire mesh or gravel, around the base of the fence posts to prevent burrowing pests.
  • Keep the surrounding area well-maintained and free from excess moisture, as damp conditions can attract pests.
  • If you spot any signs of pests, consider contacting a professional pest control service for further assistance.


While the outer white wood may succumb to rotting, it’s the inner red wood that exhibits relatively high resistance. This careful selection can contribute towards ensuring the durability and longevity of the fence, ultimately resulting in a more reliable and robust structure.

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