preserving fence posts : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

We had nearly $6000 worth of fencing put in this summer. Today my neighbor told me that the wooden posts the contracters used for corner braces are only good for about 5 years, before they rot. The posts are just regular landscaping timbers, from the local Quality Farm & Fleet. My question is, can I do anything to extend their useful life now that they're already in the ground? Some are cemented, some are not. getting this fence in has been a nightmare with this contracter, and I won't be psychologically prepared to deal with it again in just five years!

-- Shannon (Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary) (, October 11, 2000


Shannon! Yes, you can fix it! Don't know what our illustrous EPA would have to say about it but I treat my posts and pole barn poles a real simple way. I used maple and oak posts for the pole building [shop] and soaked them first in a 55 gallon drum with one end cut out. In the mixture was a conglomeration of used motor oil, diesel fuel, old dead gasoline and some bug killer stuff. It won't last forever but after they're already set in crete a body can drill a small hole above ground and angle it downward. About 1/4 inch is a good size. Drill into the center of the post/pole. install a small funnel in that hole and start pouring small amounts of diesel/used oil into the hole. It'll take a bit but eventually it will get saturated with this rot proofin stuff and you're good to go for another few years. It won't hurt to do it every year or so--nuther words, you can't overdo it. I would still put malathion or equiv into the "soup" to help kill termites etc. Hope this helps. Matt. 24:44

-- hoot gibson (, October 11, 2000.

Hi Shannon, Don't despair just yet, we used the same posts, from the same store even, and our fence has been up 6 years now, no sign of rot or decay, and this is a fairly wet climate here. At our former farm, we had used the same type posts, and they were in the ground 10 years when we sold the place, also solid and no signs of rot yet. We were told that the treated lumber should last at least 20 years in the ground like that, was long enough for us! Annie i SE OH.

-- Annie Miller (, October 11, 2000.

Shannon, I don't know where you live . I will tell you this. In 1986, my dad had the farm fenced. The ground there is WET! You can't dig two feet without hitting water. The post holes fill up as quick as you can dig them. The posts he used were untreated locust, about 8 inches square. Everyone said the fence would not last. Well here we are, 14 years later, and we have had no problems. The posts are as stout today as they were before going in the ground. The braces were all small locust posts and twisted wire. Don't let your neighbors make you think that what you did won't last. You and they will probably not live to see the end of the fence.

-- Terri Perry (, October 12, 2000.

Once again, you folks have helped to ease my mind. I'll let my husband decide if he wants to follow Hoot's advice for treating the posts...otherwise, I'm going to stop worrying about it now! Thanks a bunch.

-- Shannon (Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary) (, October 12, 2000.

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