Picket fencing is THE American classic in the world of DIY fencing.

A freshly painted, white, wooden picket fence with a show of red roses in full bloom; you just can’t top that as part of the dream American home.

Which wood is the best for your picket fencing? Which wood will stay looking fresh and free of rot year in year out?

We reckon there is only one type of wood that will keep your picket fence standing proud.

To discover the best wood for picket fencing, first consider the following pointers:

  • Durability is key
  • Weigh up the costs
  • Fence posts are different
  • Looking after your fence

Let’s take a closer look to find the best wood for a DIY picket fence.

Durability is key

You want your picket fence to look good for many years.

Think of it as an investment and of course you should look after it, so the fence will stand the tests of time.

Cedar ticks both boxes for DIY picket fences.

By sealing the wood rather than painting it, the natural oils in cedar keep termites away and act as a built-in barrier to rot.

To keep the wood fresh and durable all you will need to do is add a new coat of water sealer every few years.

You may paint the cedar wood if you prefer, but you should seal it first, to keep those natural oils from seeping out through the paint.

Weigh up the costs

As with all DIY jobs cost will be a big factor.

You may not want to spend big money on a fence that is going to be purely decorative, but often short-term costs are offset by long-term gains.

Redwood is a fabulous wood and a real talking point when showing people your DIY fence.

It is expensive, however, and may need regular maintenance.

SPF, Spruce, Pine and Fir, is a construction grade wood, but a popular choice for a picket fence for those on a budget.

It will need regular care such as staining and treating for pest resistance, but if you are willing to put in the work, you will have a fine fence for many years.

Cedar is an affordable wood and it has those natural oils, which if you seal into the fence before construction, will keep the pickets looking good for many years.

Fence posts are different

The fence post does a crucial job of keeping the picket fence standing.

The pickets may get all the glory, but without good, sturdy posts the fence will be falling over within a couple of years.

Cedar posts are not a good idea. The cedar pickets will last, but a cedar post will soon rot when put in the ground. The same is true of Redwood and SPF.

The wood is not resistant to the conditions of being buried up to a couple of feet below the surface.

Pressure treated wood is the only choice for fence posts, on any DIY job.

Make sure the wood is rated for direct ground contract before you buy the posts.

Looking after your fence

Cedar is our choice of the best wood for a DIY picket fence.

It looks great and resists all that nature throws at it, but it does require annual maintenance to keep it standing proud.

Whichever wood you choose we always recommend that you care properly for it.

Inspect the fence regularly and fix any broken rails or loose fence posts.

Clean the fence annually and make sure it gets plenty of sunlight and air, to keep rot away.

Plants look great around a fence, but they can be a bridge for termites. Stop grass and branches from growing around the pickets and keep a lookout for termite infestation.

Call us

We love to talk picket fencing.

Our experts will answer your queries and our Draw it and Quote It software helps you plan any DIY job.

Call us today for all your fencing needs.