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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 2005
    Location
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Posts
    1,380

    Default Fence Boards - Oak or Pine?

    Well, the barn goes up this week, so the new task is fencing! Going to do 2x4 woven wire with a top board.

    Talked to fence guy (number 1) and told him what I want - he'll be coming out this week to measure and get me an estimate, complete with a few options (black mesh vs. galvanized, etc.). In our conversation today, we talked about what to use for the top boards - he prefers treated rough-cut yellow pine - says the boards are thicker/heavier (1 1/4" vs. 1", I think), so they last a long time. Other option is white oak - not as thick, but cheaper (by 65 cents a board) - fence guy says that it's harder, and stands up to cribbing/chewing better than the pine. Current horse is NOT a cribber or chewer, but who knows about future horse/s?

    Wondering if there are any pros/cons that I'm not seeing - fence guy prefers the yellow pine, but the oak is cheaper... and this project is big enough (perimeter fencing for 6 acres +) that 65 cents a board could make a pretty big difference!

    Other factors - I'm not planning on painting anything right now - perhaps down the road a bit, but for now, boards/posts are going to be "au natural". Climate is MidAtlantic - hot humid summers, damp chilly winters. Occasional hurricanes and heavy snows, but certainly not the norm. Fence is intended to keep horse (and my dogs) in, and neighboring animals (geese, dogs) out. Centaur/vinyl top rail isn't really an option, because the increased need for bracing will make it cost more (per fence guy).

    What would y'all do?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    8,497

    Default

    Oak. Horses think pine is DELICIOUS.

    Oak is usually stronger than pine, too. Personally, I like the way oak weathers more than pine, too.

    Rough cut is the way to go in either case, it will save you money and you get true dimensions.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Posts
    11,256

    Default

    Oak.

    G.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 27, 2010
    Location
    SE VA
    Posts
    1,251

    Default

    I would go with oak, it is harder and stronger than pine and I think it is prettier. It is way more than pine where I live or we would have used it for our 3 rail fence. Oak is the bomb!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    8,264

    Default

    Hands down, oak!
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

    http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    37,326

    Default

    Rough cut oak, hands down, not even a contest.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2007
    Location
    Maryland USA
    Posts
    1,674

    Default

    I've got a mixture. Previous owners seemed to be indecisive. Some oak, some pine. Some nails, some screws. Some square posts, some round, some half round. If only I had detailed records one when each board was installed it would be a really useful study on fence strength and longevity.

    The pine stays straight as it ages. Oak seems more prone to warping.

    The oak starts out and stays stronger. When horses mess with it, the pine is more prone to breaking or splitting as it is pushed off nails.

    If you get a quote for the same dimension boards, the pine is probably significantly cheaper.

    We have electric on all our top rails now, but I think the ones with the most tooth marks on them are old, soft oak that probably should have been replaced anyway. I don't have any real chewers here, but they don't seem to have eaten any board that looks less than 15 years old, either pine or oak.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 12, 2010
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    389

    Default

    We use rough coat oak now after the pine weathered too fast



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2003
    Location
    somewhere. out there.
    Posts
    2,444

    Default

    Oak. Hands down.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 31, 2004
    Posts
    4,775

    Default

    I have post and split rail and used both oak and pine. The oak bowed severely and rotted. I lost most of those rails in just over 5 years. So next time I used pine and though the horses will chew on them if you have chewers at least they stay in place and don't bow. I prefer the pine over oak.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2011
    Posts
    1,245

    Default

    Oak, no other wood will hold up to horses.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2011
    Posts
    2,966

    Default

    Definitely oak. We put our 4-board oak fencing up back in 2000, never painted it, & it's still going strong. And as others have said, the horses have no interest in chewing on it.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    14,819

    Default

    poplar
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2009
    Location
    nw ct
    Posts
    951

    Default

    what tangledweb said.
    i've only used pine as replacements and they stay straighter than the oak, which can really bow. my horses will chew either but especially the old and softer oak.
    either way, electric is your friend!!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 2005
    Location
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Posts
    1,380

    Default

    Thanks, y'all!
    This has been VERY helpful!

    Will re-post once the decision has been made!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 31, 2004
    Posts
    4,775

    Default

    You didn't mention the posts, I used locust because they can last 100 years. There are ancient posts in my back yard still standing. I don't know why they don't sell locust rails.



    Quote Originally Posted by Susan P View Post
    I have post and split rail and used both oak and pine. The oak bowed severely and rotted. I lost most of those rails in just over 5 years. So next time I used pine and though the horses will chew on them if you have chewers at least they stay in place and don't bow. I prefer the pine over oak.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 2005
    Location
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Posts
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    Default

    I thought about that, but fence guy hasn't said anything about posts yet... he's supposed to be coming out one day this week (while the barn is going up) to measure and get me an estimate...



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2010
    Location
    Southern Maryland
    Posts
    664

    Default

    I also have both on my place. The pressure treated pine has been up several years longer than the oak. It has outlasted the oak and stayed straighter. I have the pine as a top board above no-climb woven wire fence. I put a single hot wire along the inside of the boards. Where I have oak fence I also had to add hot wire.

    When the oak begins to go it really goes, kind of rots and get's soft and the horses bite big hunks out of the boards.

    Personally, I don't think I'd go with boards again. I'd put up the flexible polymer rails that Ramm Fencing makes if I could afford it. Sooooo much safer and durable.

    chicamuxen



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 27, 2010
    Location
    OH
    Posts
    416

    Default

    Not sure if this is an option in your area but mine are poplar. The horses don't chew on them and they stay straight as an arrow.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 31, 2004
    Posts
    4,775

    Default

    I don't know why I've never seen it in PA. It may be cost prohibitive but I think someone did mention to me that poplar was a very good wood for fence.


    Quote Originally Posted by manentail View Post
    Not sure if this is an option in your area but mine are poplar. The horses don't chew on them and they stay straight as an arrow.



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