How Long Will Cedar Fence Posts Last?

| 12/17/2008 12:00:00 AM

Tags: fence posts, cedar,

If I use cedar trees that I cut myself, is there anything I need to do to them before I can use them as posts for my fence? Also, how long will they last before they rot away?

There are a number of kinds of cedar. Eastern red cedar, found from east of Colorado and into much of New England is actually a juniper, a member of the cypress family. True cedars are members of the pine family.

Junipers are tough, resilient trees that make excellent fence posts, either whole or split. You do not need to treat or debark the posts. As to how long they will last, that depends on how moist the soil conditions are and the amount of freezing and thawing the posts will endure over their lifetime. In the Midwest, Eastern red cedar fence posts have been found to last for decades.

Here is the life expectancy (in years) of some wood fence posts, from the Virginia Cooperative Extension:

Black locust, 20 to 25

Hickory, 5 to 7

Zach French
11/9/2011 8:30:54 PM

Call Discount Cedar at (281) 852-8453

Zach French
11/9/2011 8:30:15 PM

Great deals on red cedar posts @

Sarah Hill
8/14/2010 5:29:28 AM

Plastic just tends to trap moisture & encourage decay. Concrete can be protective; but has the potential to work either way. It depends on the type of wood, what treatment its had & the climatic and environmental conditions; under some conditions concrete can wick moisture from the ground into the wood. If using concrete, make sure the top of the concrete is domed so it sheds water, & not dished so that it traps it! If some posts rot off, having a lump of concrete where your replacemt post needs to go is rather inconvenient... Personally, rather than the increased time, labour & expense of concreting, I'd opt to spend the money on top quality posts, that will last.

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