In a previous post we have discussed the various style of wood fences. In this post we will examine the types of wood used for fences.
The most common wood is pine, typically pressure treated to protect it from termites. The pine wood used in fences is also usually treated with a water repellant to extend the wood’s life.
While pine is among the least expensive among the various wood options for a fence, which has long made it the most popular wood used in fencing, the necessary treatments do increase the price.
While pressure treatments do increase the cost, the energy and chemicals used in the treatments to resist rot and insects has raised questions among eco-focused consumers and contractors.
Even with the cost and environmental questions, the practicality of pine — a fast-growing wood that can be farmed — for fencing can’t be overlooked when deciding on wood for a fence.
Spruce is the name of a specific type of white pine and is another popular wood for a fence. While it can be pressure treated, spruce is most commonly used in prefabricated fence panels and cross sections used between pressure-treated fence posts.
While pine and spruce are favored for affordability, more expensive wood options include ones harder and more attractive than pine. They include:
- White oak. Known for its toughness and hardiness against the elements, it is also favored by horseowners as horsed like chewing pine fences but can’t chew on white oak.
- Red Cypress This naturally aromatic wood grows in the swamplands of Virginia. It is known for the consistency in color, density and hardness.
- South American Woods These woods are among the most durable and beautiful fences. Among the wood types are Ipe,Tigerwood and Brazilian Cherry. These woods are so dense contractors typically must be pre-drilled as a simply hammer and nail can’t be used without pre-drilling.
The downside of these woods are their high price and environmental arguments opposing them given that they are harvested in tropical regions and need to be shipped north.
While the exotic woods discussed in this post are among the most expensive options for a wood fence, and the pine and spruce are among the most affordable, there are options in between the two.
The wood fence options, red cedar and redwood, will be discussed in our next post.