Is landscaping timber ok for small fence posts? Newbie here :-)


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Hey guys and gals.  Im Michael and I just signed up.  Im looking forward to meeting and learning as much as possible.

But just like the question states, can I use it?  I want to build a small (country / barn look) fence around my new shed I just built to keep my dogs out.  They're not jumpers.  Just a wooden fence about 3' high or a little less.  And the timbers in question would give me that rustic country look.  Thx for any feed back. 

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This really depends on the timbers and the life you expect to get out of the fence. Landscape timbers can come with a couple different types of treatment for rot resistance. Some are rated for below ground use and some are only rated for above ground. If you want your fence to last as long as possible, you will want posts that are rated to go below grade. The rest of the fence can be just about any kind of landscape timber you find.

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Around here, what they sell for landscape timbers are all the same.  They aren't treated anywhere nearly as good as posts treated for "ground contact".  I learned that the hard way.  We have a horse farm, and when we first started it, I built a fence using landscape timbers.  It turned out to be a temporary fence.  That was back when treated lumber was treated with more toxic stuff than they use these days, and termites were in the posts, or most simply rotted away, in three or four years.

 

I built some cavelletti out of them for the cross poles, and 2x4s for the X's, probably 20 years ago, and they are all still good because the pole (landscape timber) has never contacted the ground.

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+1 on what Tom says.  I too lived on a hobby farm for a lot of years.  Ground contact is hard on posts, even the treated ones.  It's too expensive to set them all in concrete and even then, if dirt gets over the top of the concrete you're going to get rot.  When I set posts I got 8' long 5" dia. PT posts and set them 36 - 48" into the ground (did I mention I have a power fence post auger?).  Tops can be trimmed to a consistent height with a chain saw, hand saw or, if you're close enough to an outlet, a circ saw.  

 

Around here I've paid between $8 and $15 a year for those posts.  They're less expensive in winter but also harder to find.  They aren't going to last forever either, but it'll be more than 4 or 5 years.

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Nice dapple gray!  My boy is a registered Ap without a lick of spots.  I pulled out some posts like yours at my old place it was amazing how much material was missing and didn't show above ground.  They would've lasted a few more years but ground contact can be harsh!

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He was less than a year in that picture.  No more dapples now at 11, but he's teaching jumping lessons.  He's a Connemara.  Those Leyland Cypress are now about 40 feet tall.  Fence still looks good. I just remembered that picture was on my Wife's website, and easy to find, when fences came up.

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