Cedar vs. Pressure Treated Fencing Materials

Which the better fencing materials: cedar or pressure treated pine?

Western Red Cedar is the best lumbar for any type of board or picket fence. Western Red Cedar is the sturdiest and longest lasting grade of cedar wood. It provides the strength and stability needed for a reliable fence but is also soft and pliable for more decorative and intricate styles. Western Red Cedar fence boards provide a beautiful and durable solution for your fencing needs. With its natural tannins, Western Red Cedar resists insects and decay making it the natural choice for your fencing project. Western Red Cedar does not warp, shrink or split. A fence using cedar will have a nicer look after 10 years than a fence that used pressure treated pine. Western red Cedar is a light weight wood which causes less stress on the posts and framework, resulting in a longer lasting fence.  The natural decay resistance of Western Red Cedar comes from the chemical components (thujaplicins) found within its heartwood.  The natural water repellency and lubricity of Western Red Cedar comes from a variety of phenolic compounds found within the cedar. Cedar lumbar costs more than the fast grown southern yellow pine, but it is well worth the extra expense. Cedar should last 30 years or more and will stay straight.

Pressure treated pine usually originates from the southeastern U.S. and can be a southern yellow pine or mixed pine species. It is a fast growing tree. After this tree has been cut to size it is first kiln dried to remove all the moisture. Then it is bundled into tanks and a water based solution of micronized copper azole is forced into the wood fibers under pressure. This process makes the wood very heavy and gives it a dark green appearance. This pressure treated pine is guaranteed not to have insects or decay damage for 20 years. It is not guaranteed against shrinkage, warping or splitting. Pressure treated boards can warm and shrink as quickly as in a month after installation. It is recommended to use pressure treated posts and a Western Red Cedar fence.