When it comes to the best wood for fence installations, choosing the suitable species can help you save money over time because quality wooden fencing is less prone to repair and replacement. The best option is a wood that is rot and insect resistant, such as cedar or cypress.
Cedar contains natural oils, and cypress has a naturally occurring chemical called creatine that deters insects. Both are rot-resistant and have a longer lifespan than other wood types.
With its on-trend good looks and natural resistance to weather conditions, insect threats, and fungal growth, cedar stands out as one of the best woods for fencing. Western red cedar is a popular choice, but you can also use Alaskan yellow cedar or Japanese cedar for a similar aesthetic and performance at a lower price point.
Northern white cedar contains natural oils that protect it against rot, mold, and insects without chemical treatments. It’s also a very stable and durable timber, so it resists warping and shrinking over time.
For the highest quality, look for construction, select, or premium-grade wood. Less expensive buildings or better grades may contain knots and imperfections that tarnish the appearance of your fencing. Choosing suitable timber for your climate is essential for your fence’s lifespan. Cedar holds up well in wet and humid areas, while pine is more susceptible to the elements and is at a greater risk of rotting.
Those living in the southeastern United States may wish to stray from cedar and consider cypress. This durable, tropical hardwood has natural properties that resist insect infestation and moisture, making it perfect for homeowners seeking a sturdy fence that will last for years.
Cypress is also more affordable than pine and has a light, yellowish-brown hue that’s easy to stain to match any shade you’d like. It’s usually available in knot-free boards, although it does develop a honey-gold look within its first year.
In addition to its durability, cypress is more resistant to termites and carpenter ants than pinewood and most types of cedar. Moreover, it doesn’t rot as quickly as most softwoods, making it ideal for posts.
Pine wood is a soft, versatile, and affordable choice for fences. It has a long lifespan, is rot-resistant, and provides an attractive, warm look that many homeowners prefer. It also doesn’t cost as much as cedar or cypress, but it still has a few drawbacks that could affect its usefulness.
Pine fences must be pressure-treated with chemical preservatives to withstand the elements. They must be cleaned and inspected yearly, and any rotting pieces must be replaced. They must also be sealed or re-stained regularly, which can add up over time. Pine is more sensitive to weather exposure than cedar, which means it’s at risk of buckling and shrinking, even with regular chemical treatments. It’s also less durable than cedar and has fewer natural insect-repellent properties.
Redwood is the best wood for fence, as it adds beauty and enhances curb appeal. It naturally resists pest infestation and rot and is one of the longest-lasting types of wooden fencing. It is more expensive than other options, but it is well worth the investment for homeowners who intend to remain in their homes for a long time.
A cheaper alternative to cedar is cypress wood. This wood is rot-resistant and has natural insect-repellent properties because it contains creatine. Cypress is light in color and readily accepts staining, which helps preserve its appearance.
Another option for a low-budget wooden fence is spruce. This wood is a little harder to work with than pine, but it can still last up to 20 years and is more durable than other wood species. However, spruce requires frequent painting or staining to protect it from the elements. It also provides less privacy than different types of fencing.