As you drive through the great state of Washington, nothing catches the eye more than the beautiful fences which neatly skirt the streets securing the properties behind them. The majority of fences range in styles from picket fences and post and rail fences to the shadow box type all of which are constructed from materials which include vinyl, wood, wrought iron or chain link. However fences made of cedar seem to be the popular choice among the residents of the Northwest.
Keeping in mind that Washington is known for heavy rains, choosing a fencing material for your property can be a tough decision. However in order to make this decision easier you need to ask yourself three important questions. 1. What fencing material will last the longest? 2. What material will require the least amount of maintenance? 3. What material will blend in well with your home and landscaping? Cedar fences, which are known to withstand the wettest of conditions, are the obvious choice for residents of the Northwest. The four most common types of cedar are Alaska, Port Orford, Incence and Western Red. Of these the Western Red Cedar is the one which is most often used as a fencing material.
Cedar fences regulate the temperature of the property by keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter. This is due to the fact that the wood has air pockets which give it insulation properties. This property of cedar makes it a better temperature regulator than most other fencing materials like concrete, brick and other types of wood. Besides blocking cool winds from entering the yard in the winter and regulating temperature, cedar is an effective sound blocker and blocks as much as 70% of sound ( almost as good as concrete). So if you decide to throw a barbeque or a party in your yard you can be sure that you will not be causing any disturbance to your neighbors as most of the noise will be trapped in your yard.
Cedar also secretes a distinct rich odor of cedar oil which is a natural insect repellent. So you can worry less about moths, mosquitoes or termites. Cedar is also one of the most durable conifers and it owes its long life to the fact that it does not decay very easily. This is because it contains naturally occurring fungicidal compounds called thujaplicins.
Cedar is known to be extremely light and flexible while exhibiting amazing strength at the same time. Its fine, straight grain and uniform texture makes it ideal for sawing and nailing and also because of the absence of pitch or resin it provides a nice base for any kind of paint or stain.
It is no wonder that for centuries humans have used cedar for building their canoes, houses and other objects. Cedar was commonly called the “tree of life” by the natives for good reason. It was also the chief material used in the construction of King Solomons Temple and the Ships of Alexander the great. So if not for the reasons stated above at least history makes it clear that the “tree of life” is the obvious choice for a fence.