If you live in the southeastern US and are looking for a fence, it might pay to consider departing from the cedar wood that is so commonly used in fencing. You're lucky enough to live in an area where another highly durable wood -- cypress -- is common and affordable. Since this wood grows locally in your area, you can likely find it at rock-bottom prices, and by no means does that indicate that it won't perform well as fencing. Here's a look at the qualities of cypress that make it an excellent fencing material.
Cypress wood has a very clean, pristine appearance. It is easily cut into smooth-edged, even planks to use in a wide variety of fencing, from solid wooden fences to post-and-rail styles. Its pale, yellowish brown color is refreshing, but cypress can easily be stained, allowing you to have a fence of almost any color. Knot-free boards are typically available, but if your like the knotty look, you can find cypress with a few knots for even cheaper. While cedar weathers quickly and tends to take on a grayish appearance as it ages, cypress develops a honey-gold look within the first year and then holds on to that color for many years without further changes in appearance.
Cypress is somewhat resistant to insects, such as wood bees and carpenter ants. It does not repel them as strongly as cedar wood, but its oils are unappealing to these insects, so they tend to stay away while the wood is young. Once your fence is a few years old, you may begin to notice some insects on it, and at that point, you can treat it with insecticides to keep them at bay.
One of the primary reasons why cypress is considered an excellent wood for fencing is that it is so impervious to rot. It will last for years, even in wet conditions, with no need for sealing or painting. Of course, if you do seal or paint your cypress fence, that will make it last even longer.
Cypress, like cedar, has an acidic component that works as a built-in fungicide. Thus, it will not develop mold or mildew. You won't need to spray it with an antifungal agent, and it is a good choice for backyards with fruit trees since it won't harbor or perpetuate the fungal infections that tend to plague them.
Hardness and Workability
Although cypress is a fast-growing, evergreen species and is thus technically classified as a "softwood," it is harder than cedar and most types of pine. Thus, a fence made from cypress is less likely to suffer nicks, dings and scratches than one made from cedar. This makes cypress a good choice if your fence is going up in a busy area, such as a backyard where kids play. Cypress wood is quite strong and will put up with regular wear and tear without cracking.
Cypress' tight grain means it is good at supporting nails, and thus, planks that are nailed onto the fence tend to be stable. There is really no need to use screws. The wood does not, however, bend very well, so fencing options are limited to those with straight boards. While cypress can be carved into more intricate designs, doing so takes a lot of time and precision, so if you should desire one of these more intricate carved patterns for your fence, you should count on paying more.
Cypress wood is an excellent fencing material in the southeastern United States where this wood is prominent. If you're looking to save a little money and still enjoy a rock-solid, durable fence, you can't go wrong with cypress.
For more information about this and other fencing options, contact a local fencing company like Arbor Fence Co Inc.