Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Fence post.  (Read 4822 times)


  • Joined Nov 2008
Fence post.
« on: October 31, 2021, 02:57:51 pm »
Due to heavy snow lastSpring we have had to replace a lot of broken fence posts. Many had broken at their base. After talking to my local farmer who takes my muck heap it seems fence post no longer last any time at all. he was telling us wood does not get the treatment they used to use down to a law the EU brought in a while ago. Now the post round our veg plot have started breaking again at the base. Some have only been in 4 years. I hate to think what it will cost farmers in the long run to keep fencing. The fields around here that are used for crops have had their fencing taken down.


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Fence post.
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2021, 03:56:57 pm »
I used metal Metposts and square ended fence posts for my picket fence.  Two years down the line it's still secure. They're a wee bit expensive but cheaper in the long run than replacing a whole row of fence posts
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age


  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow: despoiled in summer and villages left half-empty in winter.
Re: Fence post.
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2021, 04:09:03 pm »
Not sure what regulation your farmer neighbour might have knowledge of, but there is certainly a reg' preventing private individuals from using creosote.  I don't know of another, but that doesn't mean there isn't one.  However, not too many years ago, I did come across a reference to double-tanalised/pressure treated timber while I was researching fencing.  (I didn't go the timber route so didn't follow-up on - no doubt a bespoke order.)

If some of your posts have only lasted 4 years, have you spoken to your supplier ?  Also, it depends on post diameter:  if that is, say, just 60mm, then they can be prone to breakage due to weakness rather than rot:  smaller diameter posts obviously come from the tips of trees and can have very knotty branch-whorls along their length that have little lateral strength compared to the wood between the knotty whorls.

Just some thoughts.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2021, 04:12:12 pm by arobwk »


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Fence post.
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2021, 05:38:56 pm »
have you looked at re-cycled plastic posts ?


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Fence post.
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2021, 06:35:05 pm »
have you looked at re-cycled plastic posts ?

We are trialling some now.  Our fencing guy said they were tricky to bash in as they flex, and it was 3 times as hard to hammer staples into them.  They are too wibbly for the larger animals, I think the ponies and cattle will have the fence leaning over in no time, so if we do use them again we might decide to put them alternately or something.  But they stop the pigs eating the posts, and they are fine for sheep.

The fencing guy talked about a machine which can heat-seal plastic (like big boys' clingfilm, he said) over the tip of a wooden post, which would stop the water getting into the tip and rotting the post.  He thinks that is the better way to go.

The other option is to stop using softwood, which needs to be tanalised for any longevity, and go oak or other hardwood, which should last for 10-20 years with no treatment necessary.  But I expect there are environmental reasons, as well as cost, that all posts are softwood these days.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Fence post.
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2021, 07:33:05 pm »
Just an observation:

We only bought half of the land here, so a new perimeter fence was put up just before the sale, using round posts. Then when we moved in, we re-did all of the internal fencing using square tanalised ones.

Ten years on, the round posts have mostly failed, whereas the square tanalised ones are still going strong.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Jun 2017
  • Dumfriesshire
Re: Fence post.
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2021, 08:10:46 pm »
I had a professional fencer do some work recently and he did the job with tanalised soft wood posts.

The local farm supply shop used to have genuine creosote about five years ago, available for agricultural purposes. They replaced it with creocote which is watery and rubbish in comparison.


  • Joined Apr 2019
Re: Fence post.
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2021, 06:14:20 am »
2 options I've seen, but may not be practical due to scale, are black jacking the post to 4-6" above ground level and also if you gauge in your fence posts filling the bottom of the hole and around the piston with clean stone and concrete the too with the top sloping away from the post.

I've seen the fence post sleeves online but never seen them for sale at a trade rate, just at a price for putting in a few around the garden, I think theres merit to this idea if you can get the price down though


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  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Fence post.
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2021, 06:51:39 am »
You can buy creosoted posts .... they obviously cost much more .    Creosote was taken off market for good safety reasons. It can still be bought by farmers .   

Just think yourself lucky you dont have the gravity problem we have .... slopes mean everything, including posts move downhill .... !

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.
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  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Fence post.
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2021, 09:52:24 am »
Put in 5ft 6" round 3" dia  plastic posts  15years ago   , just the same as  wooden to knock in  and only slightly harder to staple  , were looking just the same 2 years ago  .   Had oak posts out at 2,500 ft that had been in 30yrs and still so hard it was almost impossible to get a staple in . Used to be larch was the go to wood for fencing  but on the estate larch was considered rubbish  ,it grew so straight and tall that it was the first to blow down and non of the  wood mills wanted it  , so they used it to make rails  and strainer posts for own use

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: Fence post.
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2021, 06:54:54 am »
Perhaps a silly question but how did snow in spring break your fence?

When manufacturers moved to tanalith treatment about 10 years ago a lot of shocking fencing was produced.  It has improved a lot since then as sawmills have learned you have to dry wood properly before treating it and, sometimes, incise posts to allow the treatment further into the wood.

I've just put in a fence with softwood posts which have a 30 year warranty.  I have very carefully kept the labels from the posts just in case i need them!

Of course there is also proper creosote which is available (although not recommended if you are the one that has to handle them).


  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Fence post.
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2021, 12:17:28 pm »
We had 10ft of heavy drifting snow that lasted 2 wks. The older fence post (15 years ) were fine. The newer ones bought from our local farm store were not. All the post were sold as treated wood. David who I buy my straw from has had the same problem.


  • Joined Mar 2019
  • North Shropshire
  • Dreamer with docile cow and sheep!
Re: Fence post.
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2021, 04:47:48 pm »
Its heartbreaking!

We were fenced here, properly, almost the whole place in 2006, around 1000 posts (how we never had escapees before then we will never know. Swore by mains electric!).

From 2008, a couple have had to be replaced, then another, then another. I think within 10 years, they have all been done. The last few years have been expensive, even the "guaranteed for 15 years" posts rot, so don't believe that, YET posts that were put in in 1991 (due to a bypass) are still standing and half of them lie in water half the year round.

I miss creosote! - But, same with the henhouse, every year creosote, NO MITES, creosote banned and hey presto, scratchy chickens! Pretty colour Cuprinol is useless. So I use DE now and that keeps the critters at bay.

I was curious though, why don't they use Alder wood for fence posts? I read that Alder actually gets harder the wetter it goes, so theoretically, the best wood for lying in water areas?

We replaced 150 posts last year, by hand (someone offered to help, no post rammer, he whacked them in with a mallet!) and when counting, I counted another 50, on a wet boundary that needed to be done. During a spot check this year, DEFRA noticed them lying in water and asked about them, I told her, couldn't do it last year as the help disappeared (here between September & November) and waste of time putting in new posts in wet round in winter. Still waiting for them to go in and have just shut that field off as its already started to "pool" and we've only had a bit of rain.
Halter train the cattle to keep them quiet but watch your back when they come a'bulling! Give them all names even those you plan to eat. Always be calm. Most importantly, invest in wellies with steel toe caps and be prepared for the clever cow who knows where the toe caps end!!

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: Fence post.
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2021, 07:05:06 pm »
Alder is very durable when it is under water but not when it is expressed to a combination of air and water.
To an extent, all wood is like this, that's why posts usually rot at ground level - that's where they are wet but also exposed to air nearly all the time.

It's actually quite common to find that posts in dryish ground rot before posts in wet ground as damp soil is a better (for rot) combination of air and wet than a waterlogged soil is.


  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: Fence post.
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2021, 01:14:23 pm »
It would be nice to sit back and think one day - ah, its all fenced.

Doesn't happen :(

I'm only a decade or so into small holding - although got 69 acres and loads of boundaries - fencing is an ingoing thing.  - but i tell you this - some of the posts that were here when I bought the place are doing fine - but the ones I have fitted over the last ten year - all mangled and rotted - they dont treat the wood - its a scam (sic sorry) to get you to buy more posts and chop down more trees (even more sic lol)

If they treated the wood - it would last and not rot.
I dont understand

Mind you - you can still buy posts that will last from companies that have passed probably some really huge paperwork pile.  Dont buy cheap posts - if you do - stand them in last years old 'oils' you've drained out your vehicles. ;)


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