What is the Best Wood for Fence Posts?
Posts are the backbone of any fence system! They are just as important as your fence rails as they hold them in place and provide stability for the entire structure.
If you are using wood posts, choose a pressure-treated post; they’re stronger and more resistant to wet ground, seasonal elements, and use from your horses. Pressure treatment is the process where posts are pressure-dried by creating a vacuum that extracts moisture out of the wood. The treatment is then released and pulled into the post, which goes deep inside to the heartwood [core]. The heartwood is the hardest, strongest and most resistant part of the post. To determine the quality of the posts you’re looking at, you’ll need to find out the retention level of the post.
Example: a .40 retention level means the post will last 40 years under normal conditions. Once posts are completely dry, you can stain or paint them.
If you're looking to purchase wooden posts for a future fencing project, there are a couple of things you will need to know what to look for. In this video, Debbie explains just what it is you should be keeping your eyes on. Specifically, how CCA pressure-treatment draws more moisture out of the fence so the treatment can go deeper into the heartwood. It's important to check the retention level, so you know the life expectancy of the fence posts under the ground:
Don't be fooled into purchasing posts that are less expensive. If it looks too good to be true, check & double-check again before your purchase. You may think for the best deal, posts are the way to real savings, but you could be purchasing a post with a short life expectancy. Replacing posts is not as much fun as riding or hanging out with your family & friends:
- If posts are not pressure-treated, they may last less than a year if exposed to the underground natural elements! Treated posts are rolled in vats of treatment, where it mostly soaks onto the outside of the dry post, leaving much of the inside still vulnerable to moisture.
- If the post is short, the chances of your horses getting out or animals getting in, are greater.
- If posts are smaller in diameter or a “half-cut" post, you will lose the strength needed to withstand pressure from your horses.
- If posts sit for over a year, they become harder as time goes on; amounting to a lot of time and labor during installation.
*Tip: “post-checking” is when posts split. Checking occurs as a natural process as the post dries out over time. If your post checks, turn it to a side that has no “checking” or cracking and nail to the smooth side. If a post splits into the core, it’s different and you should follow up with your supplier.
Red Pine posts are logged in northern states and they are a softer wood than yellow southern pine, however, both posts work very well for pasture fencing. Prices vary throughout the United States due to the distance that posts are shipped to and from delivery points. Different types of fencing systems can utilize different sized posts.
Different types of fencing systems can utilize different sized posts. Please check out our product pages for post suggestions or speak with a RAMM expert for more information. You can read more on posts here.
Shipping Wood Posts: CCA pressure-treated wood posts are available for pickup at our headquarters in Swanton, Ohio. Alternatively, they can be shipped in large quantities via a flatbed delivery truck. Please ask your RAMM representative for a shipping quote when you call for pricing at 800-434-6296. *Truckload pricing is available.