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trees for fencposts

Wudman69 wudman69 at aol.com
Fri Aug 7 15:25:17 EST 1998

>Can anyone tell me about species of trees that make good fenceposts and
>that would grow in the south. I've heard osage orange and black locust
>are really sturdy and rot resistant but I'm not sure if they'd grow here
>( middle Georgia). What I'd like to do is find something I could grow in
>our 170 acre forest that would not interfere with hunting (we lease
>hunting rights to a club) and that I could harvest and sell myself
>without having to deal with loggers, and that is both economically and
>environmentally sustainable. We have a lot of hardwood, so I'm already
>thinking about selling some firewood.
>I'd appreciate any suggestions.
>And I'd like to add that I hope y'all don't mind me intruding with
>ignorant questions. I've found that  the posts in this group are very
>educational and informative. When I was younger I often thought about
>going into forestry but never had the chance, so now with my own little
>piece of land I am looking forward to being able to manage my own
>forest.  Our land has been in my wifes family for close to 200 years and
>I feel a great responsibility to do things right and make sure there's
>something to be passed on to the next generation, so I find groups like
>this a great asset in being able to ask questions of experience folks
>from all around the country and get your various opinions on things.
> Mike
>Mike and Lorri Robinson	
>Monticello, GA

Black locust, eastern red cedar, or bald-cypress (if you have some lowlands)
all make good fenceposts.  The key to a fencepost being rot-resistant is the
amount of heartwood present.  Sapwood of any species quickly deteriorates.  The
heartwood of black locust, red cedar, pine, or cypress would probably outlast
your lifetime.  Black locust grows quickly, but it is also very invasive (I've
been trying to get rid of some on my farm for years).  One of your neighbors
may want to shoot you if you plant that.  Also, its heartwood is very dense and
hard.  Sawing it is literally like sawing a rock.  Eastern red cedar grows
fairly quickly and will grow on very poor sites.  It's wood smells good, and it
provides some good cover for wildlife, but it is not a good firewood species
(burns very quickly--makes good kindling).  Bald cypress also grows very
quickly (native to swamps and drains but will grow elsewhere) and makes good
posts.  It is not good for firewood.  To try to answer your question....I would
recommend red cedar for the upland sites (for fence posts) or bald cypress if
you have any wetland areas.  Stick with oak and hickory for firewood.  

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