red cedar fence posts

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MtnCows93

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anybody here know how long some good red cedar posts will last? ive come across alot of good slow growing trees they are almost all red in the center very little sapwood and diameter andwhere from 3 inches to a foot
 

SmokinM

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Heart wood will last a long, long time probably 50 yrs. or so. You have to cut trees that are growing in the woods. Anything out of a field or a fence row won’t last at all. Find one that is deep in a stand of hardwoods that is standing dead and bleached white and it will be there when your not anymore.
 

kenny thomas

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I have some my grandfather put in. He died in 1957.
Get as much red as you can because the white sapwood will rot away fairly quick. Also skinning the bark off helps.
 
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MtnCows93

MtnCows93

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yea i cut them deep in the woods. alright sounds like thell last longer than store bought posts then! that makes me and my wallet happy!!
 

Lucky_P

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For sure, longer than today's treated posts.
I cut some big ones out of the woods here when we were fencing the creekbottom field in 2000; lots of heartwood, almost no sapwood. Big enough that I split them into quarters. A couple have rotted/broken off, but most are still standing.
 

Ebenezer

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You never know how long the post will last. Some last forever and some do not. For a HT fence they are a poor choice. For soft wire woven and barbed wire they will do.
 

Little Joe

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My dad put in a cedar post and a treated post at the same time about 10 years ago and the treated has rotted in the ground and the cedar is as sturdy as the day they were put up.
 

ClinchValley86

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Yes. And just because the red is there does not mean that they will not rot. Likely due to high rainfall and clay soils. Some make 40 years and some make 6.

This place was fenced with split locust posts 50 or 75 years ago. Many are still standing. We have soils similar to what you describe.
 

Lee VanRoss

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Would that I could find something to eat red cedar bringing a buck and a quarter a pound and a decent rate of gain.
Oh joy ! I have cut them by the hundreds over the past 50 years and I am still outnumbered.
 

SmokinM

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What usually happens is that there are pockets of sap wood thru the heart and that is what the critters eat and moisture destroys. It is worse in trees that get more sun. If you cut one out of a fence row and look at it it will appear almost marbled like a steak with sap pockets. The deeper in a stand of hardwoods you find them the more solid they are likely to be. A cedar grows til it is all heart and then dies hence the ones standing dead in hardwoods are the best posts they have done the full cycle and there is little to rot on them.
 

gitnby

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if u get a solid red one it will last longer than you will...
 

puzzled in oregon

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The red cedar we used on the west coast was from mature trees. At least 3 to 4 foot diameter with bark off, deteriorated in the center. They were split and the exterior wood used for post, they held up very well. I wish I had a forty acre stand of them, this last summer reports I saw showed red cedar at $1500-$2000/mbf (thousand board feet)
 

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