Treating cedar fence posts

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by JimmyStew, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    Any suggestions on what to use to treat a cedar fence post that is below ground? I pulled a couple of cedar posts at my place that have only been in the ground 4 or 5 years and I was amazed at how much wood had rotted away. The soil around the yard is very well drained, high sand content. I have a fence project coming up in a couple of weeks and the homeowners are fairly particular. I do not want a call back from them in a few years because the posts are starting to rot away. I was thinking something along the lines of Cuprinol, but to be honest, I'm not sure they even make that anymore?
  2. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    Are you certain that your posts were cedar? 4-5 years is far too short a span for posts in the ground (assuming a base diameter greater than 4").
  3. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    Yup, it was a 12' cedar pole with about a 6" girth. The section that was underground, I'd say close to 1" had rotted away in places. It had actually been in the ground 6 years - or just under.
  4. maintenanceguy

    maintenanceguy LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 156

    The soft wood in cedar will rot away in a few years. The rest will last a long, long time.

    Loosing 1" on a 12" post doesn't worry me. Once the lighter colored wood is gone, the darker stuff will still be there.
  5. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    pole was 12' long, diameter of post was only 6"
  6. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    Hey, I'm not even sure about that: diameter is distance across, girth is circumference which would make the post plus or minus 4" diameter.
  7. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    A momentary laps in judgment. Posts are 6" in diameter, not girth or circumference.
  8. moose203

    moose203 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 122

    was this a raw cedar pole or milled ? if it was raw the wood loss is normal

  9. RusticLandscapes

    RusticLandscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    How many years could I expect to get out of 8-10" diameter raw Eastern Red Cedar posts set 2'-3' in ground with concrete?
  10. betmr

    betmr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,663

    I like to put gravel in the bottom of the hole and set the post on that and back fill. Gives the water a place to go, Keeps the wood drier. The way I look at it, you take these 100 year old barn's that have never been painted, would gets wet, wood dries out. no problem.dry wood doesn't rot, it's the wet wood that rots. Ever go in a crawl space and see a lot of "Dry rot"? ever notice how damp it is down there? Makes you wonder why they call it "Dry Rot".... Anyway just my opinion, the post doesn't sit in a pool of water that way, the water goes down to the the gravel sump.

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