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How to Choose the Best Wood for Your Backyard Fence

One of the most popular fencing materials is wood. This has been true forever, and will remain true for decades to come. But when it comes to building a backyard fence, selecting the right type of wood is essential for durability, appearance, and overall performance. With numerous wood options available, it's crucial to pick one that can withstand outdoor conditions while complementing your landscape and design preferences. Let's talk about some of the best types of wood for a backyard fence.


cedar wood fence

Cedar is one of the most popular choices for outdoor fencing, and for good reason. Cedar has strong natural resistance to decay, rot, and insect infestation. Its inherent oils act as a natural preservative, making it highly durable and long-lasting, even in harsh weather conditions. Cedar also boasts a beautiful reddish-brown hue and attractive grain patterns, adding warmth and character to your backyard. While cedar may be pricier than some other wood options, its durability and aesthetic appeal make it a worthwhile investment.


Similar to cedar, redwood is prized for its natural resistance to decay, rot, and insects, making it an excellent choice for outdoor fencing. Redwood has a rich, reddish-brown color that deepens over time, giving your fence a timeless and elegant appearance. Its straight grain and minimal knots contribute to its aesthetic appeal, creating a cohesive and uniform look for your backyard. Again, redwood is often more expensive than other wood species. Still, like cedar, its durability and beauty make it a premium option for discerning homeowners.

Pressure-Treated Pine

Pressure treated pine wood fence

Not all of us have the money to spend on a premium wood species. That's where pine comes in. Pressure-treated pine is a budget-friendly option for backyard fencing that offers reasonable durability and versatility. Through a chemical treatment process, pine is infused with preservatives that protect against rot, decay, and insect damage, making it suitable for outdoor use. Pressure-treated pine is readily available and easy to work with, making it a popular choice for DIY fence projects. While its appearance may not be as rich or distinctive as cedar or redwood, pressure-treated pine can be stained or painted to match your desired aesthetic and is great for homeowners on a budget.


Cypress is a hardwood species. Like other woods on this list, it sports a natural resistance to decay, rot, and insect infestation. Its light golden color and subtle grain patterns lend a rustic and charming look to your backyard, while its durability ensures long-term performance and minimal maintenance. Cypress is also relatively lightweight and easy to work with, making it a practical option for fence installation. While less common than cedar or redwood, cypress offers similar benefits at a potentially lower cost if you can find it available near you.

Tropical Hardwoods (e.g., Ipe, Mahogany)

For homeowners seeking unparalleled durability and beauty, tropical hardwoods such as Ipe and Mahogany are ideal choices for backyard fencing. These dense and resilient woods are naturally resistant to rot, decay, insects, and moisture. Tropical hardwoods boast rich, deep hues ranging from reddish-brown to dark chocolate, adding a depth not found in other woods on this list. While the upfront cost of tropical hardwoods may be higher than other options, their exceptional longevity and stunning appearance make them a worth the investment for homeowners with the budget.

If you're in the market for a new fence on your property, picking the right wood is important. When selecting the best type of wood for your backyard fence, consider factors such as durability, appearance, cost, and maintenance requirements. Whether you opt for cedar, pressure-treated pine, a tropical hardwoods, or another wood not featured here, choosing the right wood will ensure a beautiful, long-lasting fence that enhances the privacy, security, and aesthetics of your outdoor space for years to come.


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