How Long Does Cedar Fence Last

Wood fencing is one of the most popular options for both privacy and security. It’s also a great way to add value to your home. Cedar is an excellent material for fencing because it is naturally rot-resistant and insect-repellent. It’s also a beautiful wood that will add curb appeal to your home. Most people looking for long-lasting cedar fencing may wonder how long a cedar fence lasts.

Cedar fences can last upwards of 15 years to 30 years with proper care and maintenance. However, the lifespan of your fence will also depend on various factors around its treatment, installation, and environment.

To keep your fence in top condition and maximize its lifespan, it’s important to treat your cedar fence with a sealer or stain. This will help protect it from the elements and keep it looking great for years to come. You should also have your fence inspected and repaired regularly to catch any problems early and prevent them from getting worse.

How Long Does Cedar Fence Last: What You Need to Know

Cedar fencing has been around for centuries, and its popularity is due to its many benefits. Cedar fencing is a type of softwood that is reddish-brown in color. It is durable and weather-resistant, which makes it a popular choice for homeowners.

Cedar fencing comes in panels, pickets, and posts. You will also need post caps and finials. The easiest way to get started is to purchase a pre-made kit that includes all of the materials you need. Next, you will need to mark the property line and dig holes for the posts. The holes should be at least 3 feet deep and 18 inches in diameter. Pour concrete into each hole and let it dry over time.

Once the concrete has set, it’s time to install the posts. Insert them into the holes and use braces to secure them in place until the concrete sets completely. Then attach the panels or pickets to the posts. This can be done with nails or screws. If you’re using screws, be sure to countersink them so they’re hidden.

How Long Does Cedar Fence Last

Average Life of a Cedar Fence

Cedar is a popular type of wood for outdoor construction projects because it does not require any special treatments to resist weather damage. The oils in cedarwood naturally protect it from rot, decay, and insect infestation. This makes cedar an ideal choice for fence posts, decks, and other exterior applications where durability is important.

Cedar is less likely to warp and shrink than other types of wood, even when exposed to moisture or extreme temperatures.

The longevity of a cedar fence depends on the type of cedar and how you maintain it. Untreated fences can last up to 15 to 30 years, while treated ones may last 40. The lifespan will also vary depending on the environment and how well you take care of it.

Cedar Fence vs. Other Wood Fence Materials


Spruce is the most common type of wood used for fencing. It is a softwood that is light in color and has a straight grain. Spruce is easy to work with and takes stain and paint well. Plus, spruce is an economical wood and can be a good choice if you’re on a budget.

Spruce fences have an average lifespan of 4 to 7 years if untreated but can last up to 20 years when treated. They are less durable than cedar and more susceptible to rot, decay, and insect damage.


Pine is another type of softwood that is often used for fencing. It is rot-resistant and has a straight grain. Pine is easy to work with and takes stain and paint well.

Pine fences can last about 5 to 12 years if untreated but can last up to 20 years when treated. This type of fence is susceptible to damage from insects, so it’s important to inspect your pine fence regularly and treat any problems immediately.

Factors that will Influence How Long a Cedar Fence Last


Weather conditions have a big impact on how long your fence will last. If you live in an area with a lot of rainfall or harsh winters, your fence will not last as long as it would in a more temperate climate. The sun can also be tough on wood, so if your fence gets a lot of direct sunlight, it will not last as long as one that is in the shade most of the time.


Pests can also shorten the lifespan of your fence. If you have termites or insects that eat wood, they will damage your fence over time. Additionally, animals like rodents and rabbits can gnaw on your fence, causing it to deteriorate.

Quality of the Wood

Most people assume that just because a fence is made of cedar, it will last a long time. However, the wood’s quality greatly affects how long your cedar fence posts will last. If you buy cheap, low-quality cedar, it will not last nearly as long as high-quality cedar.


When you have plants growing next to your fence, they can shorten its lifespan. Plants that have roots that grow close to the fence can damage it, and vines or other plants that climb the fence can also cause damage.

Soil Conditions

The condition of the soil can also affect how long your fence lasts. If the soil is too wet or too dry, it can cause the wood to rot or crack. Additionally, if the soil is too sandy, insects can tunnel underneath the fence and damage it.


If you treat your fence with a sealant or other protective coating, it will obviously last longer than a fence that is not treated. However, even treated fences will eventually succumb to the elements and deterioration.

Maintenance Tips for Cedar Fencing

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Get Your Fence Stained Every Few Years

Fence stains help protect the wood from weathering, UV rays, and pests. A good quality fence stain will also bring out the natural beauty of the wood. You should stain your fence every 4 to 7 years to keep it looking its best and to extend its lifespan.

Be Careful When Trimming Near the Fence

When you trim your hedges or other plants near the fence, be careful not to damage them. Sharp tools can gouge the wood, and power tools can cause splinters. Using manual tools like shears or pruning loppers is best when trimming near your fence.

Keep the Fence Line Clear of Debris

Cedar is naturally rot-resistant, but keeping the fence line clear of leaves, twigs, and other debris is important. These items can hold moisture against the wood, which can lead to rot and decay.

Inspect the Fence Regularly

It’s a good idea to inspect your fence regularly for signs of damage. Look for cracks, splits, or other damage to the wood. Also, check for loose nails or screws. If you catch problems early, you can usually fix them before they cause major damage.

Get a Rot Board or Mud Board to Protect the Bottom of Your Fence Posts

This is especially important if your fence is going to be in contact with the ground. A rot board is a piece of wood that is placed between the ground and the bottom of the fence posts. It helps protect the posts from rot and decay. A mud board is similar, but it’s made of concrete. Either one will do a good job of protecting your fence posts.

Complete Repairs as Needed

In case you do find damage to your fence, don’t put off repairs. The longer you wait, the worse the damage will get. By making repairs as soon as you notice a problem, you can usually extend the life of your fence.

Benefits of Cedar Fencing

Now that we’ve answered the question, “How long does cedar fencing last?” let’s take a look at some of the benefits of this type of fencing.

Cedar is a Beautiful Wood

One of the main reasons people choose cedar fencing is because it’s a beautiful wood. The rich, red-brown color of cedar is very attractive and looks great in any landscape.

Cedar is Durable

Cedar is a very durable wood, and it’s known for its resistance to rot, decay, and insects. When properly maintained, a cedar fence can last for many years.

Cedar is Affordable

Cedar is a relatively affordable fencing option, especially when you compare it to other types of wood fencing. It’s also cheaper than vinyl or aluminum fencing.

Cedar is Easy to Work With

If you’re planning on installing the fence yourself, you’ll be happy to know that cedar is easy to work with. It’s lightweight and easy to cut, making it a good choice for do-it-yourself fence projects.

Cedar Smells Good

Cedar has a pleasant, natural aroma that many people find appealing. Some people say it smells like Christmas!

Drawbacks of Cedar Fencing

Of course, no fencing material is perfect, and cedar fencing has a few drawbacks.

Cedar Fences Need Regular Maintenance

Cedar fences require more maintenance than some other types of fences. They need to be stained or sealed every few years and should be inspected regularly for damage.

Cedar Fences Can Be Damaged by Water

Cedar is a durable wood that can be damaged by water if it’s not properly maintained. Water can cause the wood to rot, warp, or crack. That’s why keeping your cedar fence clean and in good repair is important.

Cedar Fences Can Be Damaged by Sunlight

Cedar is a naturally rot-resistant wood that can be damaged by sunlight. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause the wood to fade, warp, or crack. That’s why it’s important to protect your cedar fence from the sun with a stain or sealer.

How Long Does Cedar Fence Last

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should Cedar Fences Posts Last?

Ideally, a cedar fence should last for 20 years or more. However, the actual lifespan of a cedar fence will depend on a number of factors, including the type of wood, the quality of the lumber, the climate, and the level of maintenance.

What is the Best Way to Protect Cedar Fences?

The best way to protect cedar fences is to stain or seal them on a regular basis. This will help extend the life of the fence by protecting it from the sun, water, and other elements.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Cedar Fence?

The cost of building a cedar fence will vary depending on the size of the fence, the type of wood, the quality of the lumber, and the level of customization. However, cedar fences are generally more affordable than other types of wood fencing.

Is Cedar Fencing Easy to Install?

Cedar fencing is relatively easy to install, especially if you choose pre-fabricated panels. However, it’s important to note that cedar fencing requires more maintenance than some other types of fencing.

Can I Stain or Paint Cedar Fencing?

Yes, you can stain or paint cedar fencing. However, it’s important to note that the wood is naturally resistant to rot and insects, so there’s no need to paint or stain the fence unless you want to change the color.

Is Cedar Fencing Good for Privacy?

Even though it is not the best in terms of complete privacy, cedar fencing provides more privacy than other types of wood fencing. It can be customized with lattice or other features to increase the level of privacy.


Cedar fences are beautiful and durable, but they require more maintenance than other fences. Cedar is a good choice if you’re looking for a fence that will last for many years. Untreated cedar fence posts could last between 15 to 30 years and could go up to 40 years when treated. Proper maintenance is key to making your cedar fence last. This means regular cleaning and staining or sealing to protect the wood from the sun, water, and other elements. With proper care, a cedar fence can be a beautiful addition to your home for many years to come.