Is redwood or cedar better for a fence?

Asked By: Najiba Feinberg | Last Updated: 8th June, 2020
Category: hobbies and interests woodworking
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While cedar and redwood are both strong and durable, redwood is denser and can better withstand weather and split over time. Cedar fences require a high degree of maintenance. If you have an intention to change the paint color very often, cedar fence is the best choice for you.

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Similarly one may ask, is cedar or redwood more rot resistant?

Redwood and cedar naturally contain tannin (a chemical that gives the products their color), which keeps the wood insect resistant. Since California redwood has a higher level of tannin, it could be more rot resistant than cedar.

One may also ask, what is the best wood to use for a fence? The most popular woods used for fencing are pine and cedar, though cypress and redwood are also good options.

  • Pine wood is common because of its relatively inexpensive cost and longevity.
  • Cedar doesn't require much maintenance and the wood contains natural insect-repelling substances.

Likewise, which is more durable cedar or redwood?

Redwood is a harder wood than cedar. It was found to be 23% harder than cedar when the Janka hardness test was used. Because it is a harder wood it will last longer and is more durable. Redwood has more natural occurring chemicals than cedar.

What is better for fence pressure treated or cedar?

For fence posts, cedar can go several years without rotting; however, they tend to be less durable against soil erosion than pressure treated pine posts. For this reason, it may be a good idea to use pressure treated pine for the posts and cedar for the rest of the fence.

39 Related Question Answers Found

What wood will not rot?

Naturally resistant woods that are commercially available include black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), teak (Tectona grandis), ipe (Tabebuia spp.), California redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum). These have the highest resistance to rot over time.

How long should a redwood fence last?

They typically last about 15 years, but with proper maintenance you can prolong the life of your wood fence to 20 years or more.

Is Redwood stronger than cedar?

Redwood tends to cost substantially more than cedar, particularly all-heart redwood. Because of redwood's relative scarcity, all-heart redwood products generally command a higher price than similar cedar products.

What Wood last longest outdoors?

So Which Wood Type Lasts the Longest Outdoors? The general consensus is for hardwoods, such as ipe and teak. Since these species are extremely rot-resistant and durable, they have the best chance at a long life outdoors. These hardwoods are very durable and can last decades with minimal maintenance.

Do you need to seal Redwood?


Applying a clear finish to freshly cut wood will help retain the wood's appearance but will have no effect on its water resistance. Lighter redwood timber should be sealed with an oil-based stain. Oil-based stains seep into wood and provide a better water-wicking seal than surface treatments.

Which wood lasts the longest?

Cedar wood projects typically last more than 20 years without splitting, rotting, or warping. White oak and teak are also long lasting woods that are resistant to decay, twisting, cracking, or warping.

Which is cheaper redwood or cedar?

In general, redwood fencing will be more expensive than cedar due to the relative scarcity of the redwood tree. This is especially true when it comes to wider versus narrow fence boards. White cedar is the most expensive of the three cedar varieties, while red is the most affordable.

Will red cedar rot?

Western Red Cedar, while somewhat weather resistant (old growth, heart wood only), is not for ground contact. It will rot within a few years.

Does Redwood turn gray?

As time goes on, this darkening may be rinsed away by rain and the redwood will weather-bleach to a soft driftwood gray. In drier climates, unfinished redwood may not darken. Instead, the wood will gradually turn a silvery tan, becoming lighter in color as the natural weathering continues.

Why is redwood so expensive?


Redwood is expensive, mainly because it is only found in only one area along the California coastline. However, there are circumstances that make redwood the more attractive option regardless of the cost. Giant redwood trees are only found along the northern California coast.

Does Redwood rot in the ground?

The characteristics of redwood make it a popular choice for outdoor applications. Redwood's color and grain are attractive even in an unfinished state, but more important is the wood's pronounced resistance to decay and insects. Yet even though redwood is more resistant to decay, it will eventually succumb to rot.

Is Cedar Wood expensive?

Cost. While cedar wood is less expensive than some similar lumbers, such as redwood, it is still incredibly costly. As the University of Minnesota mentions, it costs on average about twice as much as pressure treated lumbers, such as yellow pine and fir.

Why is cedar water resistant?

Western Red Cedar is one of the world's most durable woods, as it has a natural resistance to moisture, decay and insect damage. It has twice the stability of most commonly available softwoods due to its low density and shrinkage factors. The heartwood is resistant to decay and subterranean termites.

What is the color of cedar wood?

Red cedar is a popular exterior wood on houses for its natural rich, red color. Used for shingles, trim, house siding, decking, fences, and gates, cedar is cheap, widely available, and functionally weathers well.

Should I seal my redwood fence?


Apply a protective seal.
A high quality product like Preserva Wood with high UV protection and water repellent will give the best results. Use a brush or a roller to apply the stain to your redwood structure. Apply the finish on a cool day without wind, don't treat your deck in the hot sun.

Should you paint redwood?

You can paint redwood as long as you follow the proper preparation procedure. Bare redwood rejects painted finishes unless it receives a primer base coat. Apply a particular type of primer and paint according to the location and function of the redwood surface.

Is Redwood mold resistant?

Redwood is a frequent choice for the construction of decks, patios, fencing and outdoor furniture. Not only is redwood beautiful, it is also highly resistant to insects, mold and rot.