What Wood Was Used to Make Fence Posts?- A Guide

While various wood species can be used for this purpose, pine dominates the market as the most common choice. Pine, especially when pressure treated, can withstand environmental elements and pest resistance for an impressive lifespan of up to 30 years. However, it isn’t the only viable option. Redwood and Sweetgum are also popular choices known for their longevity. Moreover, there are certain tree species that possess natural resilience and don’t require treatment, offering a lifespan of up to 25 years. Among these, Black Locust and Osage Orange stand out as primary candidates. By understanding the characteristics and longevity of different wood types, one can make an informed decision on what wood to use when constructing fence posts.

What Were Old Fences Made Of?

What were old fences made of? One of the earliest types of fence was the Paling Fence, these were constructed of vertically positioned branches or saplings with sharpened ends. This type of fence provided a simple and cost-effective way to enclose land and protect crops or livestock. As sawn lumber became more common, flat planks or boards replaced the rustic timbers. These boards were typically made from a variety of wood species, depending on what was available in the local area.

One of the most common woods used for making fence posts was cedar. Cedar wood is naturally resistant to decay and insect damage, making it a popular choice for outdoor applications like fencing. It’s natural oils and tannins also give it a pleasant scent, which can help deter pests. Cedar fence posts were durable and could withstand the elements for many years.

Oak is known for it’s strength and durability, making it a reliable choice for supporting fences. It’s dense grain structure helps prevent rot and decay, allowing oak fence posts to last for decades. However, oak can be a more expensive option compared to other woods.

Pine was also a popular choice for fence posts, particularly in areas where it was abundant. Pine is a softwood, which means it’s less dense and less durable than hardwoods like cedar or oak. Pressure-treated pine, for example, is infused with chemicals to improve it’s resistance to rot and decay.

In some regions, a fence made of redwood was a sign of prestige. Redwood is a highly resistant wood that holds up well against moisture, insects, and decay. It’s natural beauty and rich color made it a sought-after material for fencing. However, the rarity and high cost of redwood limited it’s use to more affluent individuals.

Wattle Fences: Wattle Fences Were Commonly Used in Areas Where Wood Was Scarce. These Fences Were Made by Weaving Flexible Branches or Twigs Together to Create a Sturdy Barrier.

Wattle fences were commonly used in areas where wood was scarce. These fences were made by weaving flexible branches or twigs together to create a sturdy barrier.

When it comes to constructing permanent fences, farmers rely on decay resistant fence posts for long-lasting durability. Among the wide range of options, pine pressure treated with CCA stands out as the most common choice. These posts, noted for their greenish hue, offer enhanced hardness and longevity compared to traditional treatments like creosote and Penta (penta-chlorophenol).

What Wood Do Farmers Use for Fence Posts?

Farmers often use pine pressure treated with CCA (chromated copper arsenate) for fence posts. These posts are highly resistant to decay and offer long-lasting durability. They’ve a distinct greenish hue, which makes them easily recognizable. Compared to older treatments like creosote and Penta (penta-chlorophenol), these CCA-treated posts are known for their improved hardness and longevity.

The choice of wood for fence posts depends on the specific requirements of the farmer. Pine, due to it’s abundance and affordability, is a popular choice. Pine also performs well when pressure treated, enhancing it’s resistance to decay and ensuring it’s longevity in harsh outdoor conditions. Additionally, the treatment process ensures that the wood maintains it’s structural integrity, even when exposed to moisture, insects, and other potential hazards.

In selecting wood for fence posts, farmers understand the importance of using materials that can withstand environmental challenges. Decay is a significant concern, especially when posts are in contact with the ground. Pine, when properly treated with CCA, provides the necessary protection against decay-causing organisms such as fungi and bacteria. This makes it an ideal choice for farmers who need posts that can withstand the test of time.

This treatment improves the woods resistance to decay, ensuring it’s longevity and durability. By selecting the right wood and treatment, farmers can build strong and long-lasting fences that serve their needs efficiently.

Alternative Types of Wood for Fence Posts Besides Pine, What Other Types of Wood Are Commonly Used for Fence Posts and What Benefits Do They Offer?

Aside from pine, there are several alternative types of wood that are commonly used for fence posts. Some popular choices include cedar, oak, redwood, and cypress. Each of these woods offers it’s own unique benefits.

Cedar is known for it’s natural insect and rot resistance, making it a durable and long-lasting option. It also has a pleasant aroma and attractive grain patterns.

Oak is a dense and strong wood, making it highly resistant to damage. It’s particularly well-suited for areas with harsh weather conditions or heavy use.

Redwood is another durable and resistant wood that’s often chosen for it’s aesthetic appeal. It’s a warm, rich color and a natural resistance to decay.

Cypress is a wood that’s renowned for it’s natural resistance to rot, insect damage, and decay. It’s also a sustainable choice, as it’s typically sourced from responsibly managed forests.

When selecting an alternative wood for fence posts, it’s important to consider factors such as cost, availability, durability, and the specific needs of your fencing project. Consulting with a professional or knowledgeable supplier can help you make an informed decision based on your unique requirements.

Source: Fences for the Farm | UGA Cooperative Extension

When it comes to finding the right tree species for fence posts, the options are quite limited. Only a handful of trees possess the natural durability required. Among these, osage-orange, mulberry, black locust, cypress, and certain cedar species are renowned for their ability to withstand the test of time and serve as excellent fence posts.

What Type of Tree Makes a Good Fence Post?

When it comes to the question of what type of tree makes a good fence post, few tree species are renowned for their naturally durable qualities. Among these, Osage-orange, mulberry, black locust, cypress, and certain cedar species have gained recognition for their ability to provide long-lasting service as fence posts.

The Osage-orange, also known as the hedge apple, is a tree indigenous to North America and has been traditionally used for fence post construction. It’s hard and dense wood makes it naturally resistant to rot and decay, ensuring a longer lifespan for fence posts made from this material.

Black locust, a native tree in North America, has long been favored for fence post construction due to it’s high levels of natural resistance to decay and insects.

Cypress trees, known for their exceptional durability, are a popular choice for fence post construction. The natural oils present in cypress wood act as a deterrent against rot and decay, making it an ideal choice for outdoor applications, including fences.

Finally, several species of cedar are known for their excellent natural durability, making them suitable for fence post construction. These include Western red cedar and Eastern red cedar, both of which have a high resistance to decay, insects, and weathering.

Benefits of Using Natural Materials for Fence Posts

  • Strong and durable
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Attractive and natural appearance
  • Resistant to weather and insects
  • Long lifespan
  • Easier to maintain
  • Non-toxic and safe for animals and plants
  • Can be sourced locally
  • Biodegradable and recyclable
  • Helps to reduce carbon footprint

When it comes to choosing the best type of wood for fence posts, pressure treated pine or fir is often recommended. These woods are rated for ground contact and provide excellent durability against soil. While cedar may be an appealing option due to it’s resistance to rot and lack of knots, it’s less reliable when it comes to handling soil conditions. Therefore, if you want your fence posts to withstand the test of time, it’s advisable to go with pressure treated wood.

Can You Use Pressure Treated Wood for Fence Posts?

When it comes to choosing the best wood for fence posts, pressure treated wood is a popular option. But can you use pressure treated wood for fence posts? The answer is yes, you can! Pressure treated wood posts are highly recommended for their durability and long-lasting performance.

Look for pine or fir type wood that’s specifically rated for ground contact. This rating ensures that the wood is adequately treated to withstand exposure to soil, moisture, and insects.

Pressure treated wood undergoes a process where preservatives are forced deep into the fibers of the wood, creating a barrier against rot, decay, and termite damage. This makes it an excellent choice for fence posts that are constantly in contact with the ground.

While cedar is a popular choice for fences due to it’s tight grain, resistance to rot, and lack of knots, it’s less durable against soil compared to pressure treated pine. Cedar may be a suitable option for the fence boards but isn’t the best choice for fence posts, as it doesn’t have the same level of protection against soil moisture and insects.

This way, you can enjoy a sturdy and long-lasting fence that can withstand the challenges of time, weather, and soil conditions.

In addition to their beauty and versatility, pine trees have long been considered for their potential as fence posts. However, there are factors to consider before deciding if pine is the right choice. While secondary limbs of pine trees tend to be softer, making them susceptible to rotting, certain types of pine, like yellow pine, can be harder and more suitable for fence posts. Rotting is primarily caused by insects attracted to the sugar present in moist wood, but there are remedies available to prevent insect infestation and extend the lifespan of pine fence posts.

Do Pine Trees Make Good Fence Post?

When it comes to choosing the right wood for making fence posts, it’s important to consider the durability and resistance to rot. One type of wood that’s commonly used for fence posts is pine. However, it’s important to note that not all types of pine are created equal in terms of their suitability for this purpose.

Pine, which is derived from the secondary limbs rather than the main trunk of the tree, tends to be on the softer side. This softness can be a disadvantage when it comes to fence posts, as they need to be strong and sturdy in order to withstand the test of time.

Rotting is often caused by insects that are attracted to the sugar found in the moisture that permeates the wood. This can lead to the wood becoming weakened and eventually crumbling away. To combat this issue, there are remedies available that can help keep insects at bay and prevent rot from occurring.

One such remedy is to treat the wood with chemicals that repel insects. These chemicals can be applied to the wood prior to installation to create a barrier that deters insects from infesting the wood. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the wood is properly sealed and protected from moisture. This can be achieved by applying a water-resistant sealant or coating to the wood.

However, it’s important to take precautions to prevent rotting by treating the wood with insect-repellent chemicals and properly sealing and protecting it from moisture. By doing so, you can ensure that your fence posts remain strong and durable for years to come.


In conclusion, when it comes to the wood used in making fence posts, pine stands out as the most common choice, with it’s durability greatly enhanced when pressure treated. With a lifespan of up to 30 years, it remains a reliable option. Furthermore, certain tree species offer inherent durability, eliminating the need for chemical treatment. Notable among them are the sturdy Black Locust and Osage Orange, both capable of enduring for up to 25 years.

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