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Author Topic: Fence posts  (Read 2881 times)

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Offline chipandcharm

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Fence posts
« on: February 05, 2018, 08:55:05 PM »
Iíve been reading many of the discussions on here and am interested in using hedge posts or black locust. Iím in north Georgia. Most everyone here uses pressure treated pine. Can anyone give me some direction on where to find these other woods? Iím putting up 3000í of fencing for horses. Much Thanks!

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2018, 10:52:32 AM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum, chipandcharm!

Up here, the Amish refer to the Black Locust as being the permanent fence post!

IMHO, I think they'll outlast the pressure treated stuff!
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Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2018, 11:16:51 AM »
I have just regular pressure treated 4x4's as fence posts after about 10 years the core of the 4x4's started rotting out.
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Offline Bay Beagle

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2018, 02:50:47 PM »
In my pastures, I use cedar. I have found that the ones that grow in the forest last longer, than the ones found in fence rows or along field edges.  Figured it has something to do with the growth of the field vs the one found in the woods (grow slower, tighter core)  ??? ........ always heard that Locust was first choice for fencing

Online Don P

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2018, 07:35:11 PM »
The same forest vs field grown applies to locust too. The old timers will let them season before putting them in the ground as well.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2018, 08:27:21 PM »
Osage orange,hedge is probably the best .Black locust is good .Believe it or not catalpa .Red mulberry which is a second cousin to hedge is good also .

Offline Kwill

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2018, 08:29:45 PM »
We got some cedar post on the place that have been there since the early 80s
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2018, 06:39:36 PM »
ChipandCharm - It's believed that Black Locust is native to the Southeast, including northern Georgia, however, the exact native range is not known, since it has been spread to all of the lower 48 US (as well as to other countries). Odds are there is some of it growing somewhere not too far from you.

I don't think I've ever seen it for sale in local lumber yards, but when I need some for a post for some project or another, I just go out and cut some down from a stand on my property.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2018, 09:26:28 AM »
They say when the nail rots out your black locust post is half used up.   Its pretty hard to find where i am now though.  I had a few sapplings in my woods someone actually stole.


Ive been seeing really good rot resistance in sourwood which is sorta useless other than for bees and arrows.
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2018, 09:37:01 AM »
I had a few sapplings in my woods someone actually stole.

Someone stole your Black Locust saplings? Around here, they are considered weeds. My forester tried to convince me to cut all of the small population I have growing not far from the house, so they wouldn't spread. I declined, since I have some good use for them.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2018, 12:18:52 PM »
A lot of people are really poor where i live, and theres lots of abandoned property so if you need some kinda junk you just poke around.  I dug 2 fenceposts and a dish antenna post up a month ago from the burned house next door for a project.

  I wasnt living here at the time, but had a picture of the tree in full thorns and knew exactly where it was, stump is there, and i didnt cut it.

:shrug:

 
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Offline wesdor

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2018, 10:54:55 PM »
Welcome to the Forum Chipandcharm.  
I agree with Al Smith - Hedge are the best.  We have some here on the farm that are over 70 years old.  Locals claim that hedge doesn't rust as quickly as nails (laugh).  

One downside of hedge is that you need to use it soon after it is cut or it becomes VERY HARD.  The old posts that we have here would challenge anyone to drive a staple into them - they are as hard as a rock.


Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2018, 07:54:48 PM »
My grandmothers farm, she was a widow, was about 2 miles deep .The line fences where all hedgerows  My cousin and I would cut the posts when we were teenagers with at that time a brand new 250 McCulloch chainsaw with a bow bar and a slow as a snail Clinton  .Thousands of them  .Granny bought the saw, paid us I think 20 cents  a pop and sold them for 50 to 75 cents each .She always sold out come spring time .Good money for a kid plus we got grannys cooking .In the years we did it we never got completely around the farm .

That said she passed in I think 1996 .The last I was ever on the farm .However at that time there were still stout fences erected by uncles in the early 50's when I was just a little boy and they were still bull strong posts .Fence was getting a little rusty .

Offline reswire

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2018, 08:41:56 PM »
I cut my own, and treated them with diesel fuel, and copper napathate.  You can buy it in bulk, and mix it at a 2% .  Check out copper napathate on the internet, and it sells in 5 or 50 gallon drums.  My dad put in pine 4x4s and treated them with Cuprinol (same as the two percent solution), and they have lasted over 35 years.  Cheaper, and reliable. 
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2018, 11:03:10 PM »
It might have something to do with the soil conditions .On my grandmothers farm in Knox county Ohio it was gravel  under .In  the  blue clay where I live it could be several  hundred feet of same  before you hit the limestone.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2018, 08:37:08 AM »
   I don't know what kind of wood they used there but strangest sight I ever saw for post or poles was in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. Even though it was very dry there was something in the soil that would eat or rot out a post in short order. I don't know if it was a chemical reaction, microbes or insects. All the telephone poles I saw there were strapped to concrete posts about 6" square. I don't know how much was in the ground but they'd leave 5'-6' sticking up above ground and put 2 metal straps around the poles at the top and bottom of the post. The poles were about 5"-6" in diameter and probably less than 20' tall. All I remember was a single wire running from pole to pole across the desert. Sort of like the old telegraph wire in old western movies.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2018, 01:50:32 PM »
Go with the local standard I would say. Up here above the snow line we always used eastern white cedar. They to are best made from the slow grown stuff. There are still old cedar rail here on abandoned farmland placed there over 100 years ago. They were usually up out of the mud and on rocks that were hand picked from the original land clearing. I do know however that beaver killed cedar will stand for longer than I've been around. ;D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2018, 03:49:24 PM »
Not fence posts but western red cedar is used for utility poles in these parts .Those and southern yellow pine .The pine is treated and as far as I know the  cedar is not .I've pulled 40  foot cedars  out of the ground in the 80's that were butt stamped in the 50's and they were still good .The part below ground never goes bad .Above ground it's the part above the ground,the last foot or so that degrade .
Here of late they use a treated paper sleeve placed about 6 inches in the ground going up another 6 or so the help prevent  butt rot .What it is I have no idea but if it works on a pole I should think it work work on a fence post .

Online Don P

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2018, 06:33:03 PM »

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2018, 06:37:10 PM »
thank you 

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2018, 06:59:00 PM »
Here is a cedar pole from the 1940's, still with the tags. It was knocked down in 2016 when some loggers piled wood by it. It was actually a poor place to pile wood, on the bank of a stream beside a bridge.



Most of these were cut down in the 70's and left and the local farmers collected them for kindling wood. They were white cedar, the same as we would cut from old rail fencing, not red heartwood like red cedar. Western red cedar is quite dark red-brown heartwood. But of course I am used to old growth red cedar, well over 400 years old, not the more juvenile wood that might be lighter in color I suppose. I just could not imagine shipping cedar here for poles way back then when we have native cedar growing here.

I do know that white cedar was used here and not many years ago because the bark was left on them and they would not have been shipped here with bark on. A small community a ways south of here, you can still see some old cedar poles strung for a mile along forested area. The newest cedar posts I saw was near a more remote hamlet with rail service, but those were poles with bark. It is also an area with white cedar 3 foot DBH and rather tall for white cedar, they grow with the red maple and yellow birch and more upland where they get bigger than on swampy ground.


Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2018, 05:49:17 PM »
I've got some commercially made split rail fence that evidently is red cedar .It's only been up about twenty years and has showed no sign of degrading .
A couple friends of mine who are linemen managed to get a slew of the butt ends of 90 foot red cedar poles for free .They hauled them down here by the triaxle trailer load from Detroit  and sawed them into lumber .They all ended with cedar lined clothes closets and sold enough to more than pay for the small Woodmizer bandsaw mill  .I think is was an LT 14 .Couple years ago they sawed up about 3500 BD feet of oak for me .Neat little saw I have to say.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2018, 06:16:35 PM »
Yes, when I worked on one of the islands of Haida Gwaii north of Vancouver Island we had sample plots in forest there were now hemlock, but were red cedar back in the 40's. There was some old logs in the understory, that were 8 feet diameter or more and only rotten on the outside 3" in the sapwood. Little hemlock growing in the pulpy mush, some 8" in diameter. Roots would migrate around the log down to dirt. Rained every day there practically, since it is rain forest. No lack of water. :D Same piece of woods I found this monster cedar they never got. :D



And some of our largest white cedar at 36" dbh. No comparison. :D You can see all the small hardwood around it. It was a clearcut, they left the old cedars. One of them upland sites the cedar get bigger on.




I do know for sure there are some eastern white cedar businesses around, especially Ontario, where they make red cedar telephone poles for sure. Our predominant poles here is treated red pine poles these days. But the rest of their business is mulch and white cedar products. There is a white cedar outfit here that is making everything from white cedar, but not telephone poles. Decking, posts and so on. And Ward Cabin in Maine is a white cedar business making log homes of white cedar since the 20's.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2018, 12:33:59 AM »
Aren't common names fun :D. I think, but who knows, that we have just talked about 4 different kinds of cedar, none of which are actually a cedar  :).

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2018, 06:03:17 AM »
No, we talked about two I'm pretty sure. :)  In forestry and forest products land they are cedars even if not to hard core botanists. ;)

Thuja occidentalis  eastern white

Thuja plicata  western red

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
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Online Don P

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2018, 07:59:26 AM »
Cedar closet lining is juniperus virginiana, eastern redcedar
who knows, I was under the impression some of those phone poles might be atlantic white-cedar, Chamaecyparis thyoides. Sort of like topics about poplar leave me wondering what they are talking about :)

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2018, 09:08:25 AM »
We wasn't talking cedar lined closets though. ;) Posts, poles and cabin logs. And any white cedar companies I have come across up this way and Ontario are using Thuja o and their poles are Thuja p. Ward cabin uses Thuja o. ;D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
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Online Don P

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2018, 07:05:52 PM »
Where you all lost me in common names was talking about red cedar posts for closet lining above, reread post 21. I was thinking WRC isn't closet lining in my world and ERC isn't a phone pole, ain't got a clue what these boys are talking about :D

My only point here is when you use common names that span 2 or more species, only you really know what you're talking about.

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2018, 09:36:30 PM »
I love common names for trees and waterfowl but the one that gets me is calling Atlantic white cedar juniper. If you were raised with these very incorrect names, well that's the way it is and I'm no different in my region .

Online Don P

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2018, 09:53:38 PM »
Yup, I grew up with that being juniper siding. It all works fine within that region but it sure starts to fall apart when we are talking outside of our area. I was working up near the great lakes and a supplier was talking about white cedar, which to me was that "juniper", atlantic white-cedar. He was talking about northern white-cedar... not a big deal because we weren't talking about anything structural, either was fine for those railings. When the confusion is about structural parts it can be a real problem. Although if I were to put WRC in a closet here instead of ERC I would probably be replacing it the next week. Never hurts to be clear  :)

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2018, 04:24:06 AM »
You could, but it would not be aromatic red cedar. ;D :D But wait a minute here, western red cedar is aromatic to, just not the same smell. I've been in buildings out their on the west coast made with the stuff or trim and it does have an aroma. :)

Reading that post 21. I couldn't imagine an eastern red cedar for a 90 foot tall telephone pole to begin with. ;)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Fence posts
« Reply #31 on: March 15, 2018, 05:59:31 AM »
When I put an addition on my house in order to match the original design I used fletch cut cedar on the gable ends .This stuff dates back to the 70's,not so easy to find these days .My lumber yard ordered it from a specialty company in Burnaby BC .I wasn't cheap either .Glad I only needed 2 square .


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