Cedar Fence Post

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I have an abundance of cedar on my property and was wondering what you all think about cedar fence post? What should I be looking for in picking out the right trees? These would most likely be corner posts. What diameter? What is the normal drying period for these? and how deep should I plan for them to be in the ground? Thanks ahead of time. And I used the search box and came up empty handed. Unless i'm not using it right :?
 

Running Arrow Bill

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A lot depends on your location.

For corner posts I'd thnk 5 to 6" diameter. Depth should be 3 to 4 feet for corner brace posts.

Drying time depends on your location, climate, and moisture, if the posts are from "green" trees.

Cons: Cedar burns well in wildfires.
If you're in a "damp" climate, even cedar will rot over time.

Otherwise, those using wood posts can give you more & better info. Here, we just use welded steel corner & brace posts set in concrete, 3' deep.
 

CowboyBlue

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Cedar makes excellent line posts, and will last quite a while. My parents have a fence on the east line of their property with some 40-year-old cedar posts in the wire. However, it should be noted that some of those posts have rotted in the ground and most of the fence is being held up by steel T-posts, driven deep into the hard, unforgiving, rocky, dry West Texas earth by yours truly.

My dad uses slender cedar posts for "staves," as he calls them, posts that are put between steel T-posts for added support to the fence. For example, if your fence has a steel T-post every 8 feet, you could put in a cedar stave at 4 feet. Now, some may say that's a wall, not a fence, but Daddy liked to build them high and tight, and I guess I inherited that outlook.

I don't think I would use cedar for corner posts, but then again, I am partial to re-purposed telephone poles. I have seen plenty of cedar corners and H-frames around West Texas and in Central Texas, though, so I know some people use them. I don't have any idea about drying time.

Anyway, there's my 2-cents worth.
 

dun

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I use anything from 4-8 inch cedars as posts. Takes about a year to be dry enough that they wont bend if you really tension a strand of wire to them. All I look for is that they're straight.
 

hogzilla

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I agree, cedar makes good line posts. The more red heartwood you can have in each post the better. The white
outer wood doesn't last very long.
For corner posts I would use osage orange or some other
hard, rot resistant wood for corner posts. It's best to cut them
when the sap is down in late fall or winter. Osage orange or
hedge apple as we call them will last practically forever.
The problem is finding any straight enough to use.
 

Running Arrow Bill

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Some people use the used railroad crossties that were originally saturated with creosote. Can last almost forever. The Osage Orange (aka Bois D' Arc) are about as tough as steel and nearly impossible to drive a fence staple in. The used utility poles also make sturdy posts when cut to length.
 

upfrombottom

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BeginningFarmer":1u4vj2kp said:
What should I be looking for in picking out the right trees?

The perfect ones are about 8 inches in diameter and growing on the property line. Trim a few limbs and nail the wire on.
 

slick4591

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I have Bois D' Arc corner post on my place that were put in in the 1930's by my granddad. Still holding up like the day they were set.
 

cowman

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You will be fine with cedar. 6-8 for corner posts. Need to cut in winter when sap is down. I would use them for the whole fence if i had them.
 

novatech

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cowman":kk8mrf01 said:
You will be fine with cedar. 6-8 for corner posts. Need to cut in winter when sap is down. I would use them for the whole fence if i had them.
And pick those with very thin sap wood (The white wood around the edge.). Fast growing cedar has thicker sap wood and will not last near as long. The slow growing Texas hill country cedar was supposed to be the best but I have had our local cedar last a pretty good while on the larger posts.
 

hillrancher

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We use cedar post in X fence since the steel has gone so high. The older and gone neighbors said to cut in Dec. in the dark of the moon and drying time should go through the summer. I like the cedar on the river when the river washes them out they will float to the top and wont get buried in the sand ect.
The white cedar are the best they are heavy and closer grained. The corner post we use are about 18 in X plus and line post are if you can lift it drive it. Our rocks get soft enough in the spring after the freeze we do not sharpen the post just drive them. Field cedar is not worth the time to cut. Get the slow growth on rocky ground with a lot of red only about 1/4 in of white sap wood. they will last many years. Our cedar only have 5% moisture in them, is what the cedar log home builders tell us. The native cedar log home have taken all the big trees in our area.
 
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I'm located in central Mississippi. I have a couple Osage Orange trees on my property but I don't believe they are tall and straight enough to use as posts. I do plan on cutting them down soon though so maybe I can find some use for em. We don't really have much wildfire threat around here so I wouldn't be too worried about fence post burning. I have so many large cedars that are soaking up rainfall and throwing out shade on the pasture so that's why I want to cut em down and would like to use it for something. Thanks again for the advise. I'm really getting addicted to this site!
 

hillbillycwo

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I use cedar all over my farm. Both in line and cross fencing. I use 5-8 inch for line posts and 8 inch and up for corner and brace posts. The H bar is from 4-6 inches. My fences are tight. I use hi-tensile wire and the ratchet tightners. The more red in the post the better and I set them 2-3 feet deep. Most cedar posts around the home home farm has been in the ground for 20-30 years and still has some useable life left.
 

hillbillycwo

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I use cedar all over my farm. Both in line and cross fencing. I use 5-8 inch for line posts and 8 inch and up for corner and brace posts. The H bar is from 4-6 inches. My fences are tight. I use hi-tensile wire and the ratchet tightners. The more red in the post the better and I set them 2-3 feet deep. Most cedar posts around the home home farm has been in the ground for 20-30 years and still has some useable life left.
 

dun

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hillbillycwo":2qkmko7i said:
I use cedar all over my farm. Both in line and cross fencing. I use 5-8 inch for line posts and 8 inch and up for corner and brace posts. The H bar is from 4-6 inches. My fences are tight. I use hi-tensile wire and the ratchet tightners. The more red in the post the better and I set them 2-3 feet deep. Most cedar posts around the home home farm has been in the ground for 20-30 years and still has some useable life left.
Your soil must be like ours, shelf rock that won;t let you go very deep. I use them for both line and ends and also for the floating brace. Living trees I use for high tensil if they're in the right spot. If you use a loop around a living cedar for your insulators to hang on, stick a pir=ece of wood or something between the wire around the tree and the tree. A 2x4 is enough. If the tree grows and there isn;t any spot for the cambium layer to grow past the wire the tree will die.
 

dun

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Waldershrek":3l7s2wpr said:
I sure hated pounding nails and staples in to cedar fence posts when I was a kid!
Better cedar then oak or even worse, hedge
 

lavacarancher

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slick4591":k9nq5nvm said:
I have Bois D' Arc corner post on my place that were put in in the 1930's by my granddad. Still holding up like the day they were set.

Never seen it spelled out but I'll bet it's the same wood. Folks around me call it "boardarc". Folks would ask what to use for corner posts and my old daddy would answer "boardarc". If this is the same wood, you're right. I've got one corner post on my place that's been there for at least thirty years and its "boardarc".
 

slick4591

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lavacarancher":1zg275pl said:
slick4591":1zg275pl said:
I have Bois D' Arc corner post on my place that were put in in the 1930's by my granddad. Still holding up like the day they were set.

Never seen it spelled out but I'll bet it's the same wood. Folks around me call it "boardarc". Folks would ask what to use for corner posts and my old daddy would answer "boardarc". If this is the same wood, you're right. I've got one corner post on my place that's been there for at least thirty years and its "boardarc".

Yep, it's the same. And the fruit it produces is horse apples. :)
 
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