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How to get the most life from a cedar fence post

 
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I need to put some fence posts in the ground.  They are eastern white cedar and were cut two days ago.  My normal approach (based on zero experience/research) is to peel them with a drawknife, dig a hole, stick them in and pack the sandy soil around them with a digging bar.  I usually put them 2.5' deep.

Older posts I've removed from the property are rotted out in the area that is up to 1' underground due, I presume, to biological activity in the soil at that depth.  When I backfill my posts, I use the deeper, sandier subsoil in the hopes that there will be less biology acting on the posts for a little while.

With this new round of posts, I'm wondering if I'd get more life from the posts if I peel them and let them dry for a month before installing them?  Or if peeling them with a bark spud so I get all the way down to the white wood is better than the draw knife where thin layers of the brown/red under bark is still on the post?  I'm not sure if the red stuff is the cambium but it's just the tiniest bit of material that is just outside the white wood of the tree.
 
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Mike Haasl wrote:I need to put some fence posts in the ground.  They are eastern white cedar and were cut two days ago.  My normal approach (based on zero experience/research) is to peel them with a drawknife, dig a hole, stick them in and pack the sandy soil around them with a digging bar.  I usually put them 2.5' deep.

Older posts I've removed from the property are rotted out in the area that is up to 1' underground due, I presume, to biological activity in the soil at that depth.  When I backfill my posts, I use the deeper, sandier subsoil in the hopes that there will be less biology acting on the posts for a little while.

With this new round of posts, I'm wondering if I'd get more life from the posts if I peel them and let them dry for a month before installing them?  Or if peeling them with a bark spud so I get all the way down to the white wood is better than the draw knife where thin layers of the brown/red under bark is still on the post?  I'm not sure if the red stuff is the cambium but it's just the tiniest bit of material that is just outside the white wood of the tree.



I don't know this from experience, but I've always been told the posts have to be dry to be rot-proof.  I was told that black locust needs to dry a year before being used for posts.  I'm sure that depends on temp, humidity, etc.  I don't think it is necessary to remove everything down to the white wood, but it makes sense to me that the posts have to be dry or they will rot pretty quickly.

I hope you get some definitive answers.  I'm cutting down all the cedars on my land to help with cedar apple rust, I'd like to use the trees as posts too.
 
Mike Haasl
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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That does make sense.  Hopefully others chime in soon to confirm.  I'm not sure where I could find dry cedar posts in time to build the fence.  For starters, I'll get the bark off asap and put them in the sun to start drying.  Thanks Trace!
 
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