Using non PT posts in ground?

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Forum topic by LearningAsIGo posted 08-13-2013 04:06 PM 1688 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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50 posts in 2833 days

08-13-2013 04:06 PM

I need to fence off my garden to keep the dogs out and I was given some 4×4 hardwood posts recently for free. I’m pretty sure that they are not pressure treated. I’m trying to do this as cheaply as possible but I would prefer that it last longer than a season. My solution to fencing it off would be to just attach some 2×2’s to the posts as a top and bottom rail and staple poultry netting to them.

How long do you think they would last in the ground and can I do anything to prolong their life? I have heard of using roofing tar or Thompson’s water seal. Is it better to cement them in the ground to keep bugs away?

19 replies so far

View mporter's profile


253 posts in 2775 days

#1 posted 08-13-2013 04:17 PM

They will last about a year. Two max. I don’t know the name of the product or if it’s even legal anymore, but farmers will dip post in a creosote like product before they bury fence posts. It may be cheaper and easier to but PT wood.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2684 days

#2 posted 08-13-2013 04:51 PM

pour concrete footers, use a post anchor, it keeps the post off the concrete and the ground. Your posts will last 10-15 years usually.

I don’t use the cheap PT posts from the home centers anymore. We installed 32 new power pedestals on 6X6 pt posts and they were warped horribly within a week.
I now spend a couple dollars more and order cedar.
It ended up a lot cheaper than fixining all those posts.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3774 days

#3 posted 08-13-2013 04:56 PM

Some post will last a long time in the ground like White oak,cedar or southern yellow pine ,but if your not sure what your post are I’d go with Dallas suggestion.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 2888 days

#4 posted 08-13-2013 04:59 PM

This product will add years to the life of an in ground post, PT or not.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View Don W's profile

Don W

19006 posts in 2765 days

#5 posted 08-13-2013 05:18 PM

it depends on what kind of hardwood. Growing up on the farm all of the fence post where driven directly into the ground. Some locust and white oak may out last you. Red oak would be 2 years tops. Poplar may not get you till fall.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3168 days

#6 posted 08-13-2013 05:21 PM

TimBor or Cuprinol. Stand post in bucket containing solution.

View LearningAsIGo's profile


50 posts in 2833 days

#7 posted 08-13-2013 06:04 PM

I’m not really sure what kind of wood the posts are.

I thought that the only wood that will last in-ground is pressure treated? I didn’t know you can put cedar in the ground? I thought about getting post anchors but looks like that will cost about as much as buying new pressure treated posts.

View GNP's profile


12 posts in 2700 days

#8 posted 08-13-2013 07:20 PM

I would try to find out what type of hardwood it is, and go from there. Folks were putting wooden posts in the ground for thousands of years, before pressure treated was invented. Around here black locust is a favorite.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19006 posts in 2765 days

#9 posted 08-13-2013 08:05 PM

My dad had two locust gate post he put in the barn yard before he went into the service in 1945. They were still holding the gate when he sold the farm a few years ago. The only way you could get a fence staple into them was find a split close to where you wanted the wire.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View JayT's profile


5957 posts in 2408 days

#10 posted 08-13-2013 08:36 PM

You can go out of town here to farms and ranches and find hedge wood (Osage Orange) fence posts that the grandfather of the current 70 year old owner installed when he homesteaded the place. Hardwoods like locust and hedge that are naturally insect and rot resistant will outlast any pressure treated softwood.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View waho6o9's profile


8516 posts in 2774 days

#11 posted 08-13-2013 08:37 PM

Secure set doesn’t absorb moisture when it rains. Concrete does
and that’s why the bottom of the posts rot out.


View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 3040 days

#12 posted 08-13-2013 08:57 PM

How big are your dogs? Here's one that looks stronger -Jack

View watermark's profile


483 posts in 2140 days

#13 posted 08-14-2013 12:37 AM

Concrete footings would be your best bet but Henry’s roofing tar does the trick too. Just go a few inches higher on the post then you plan to bury. Watch out for underground utilities when you dig too.

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

View bondogaposis's profile


5086 posts in 2548 days

#14 posted 08-14-2013 01:10 AM

Depends where you live, Arizona, maybe last a long time, Virginia, not so much.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View CharlesA's profile


3351 posts in 1995 days

#15 posted 08-14-2013 01:39 AM

Next time I need to do this, I’m buying black locust from the local sawmill here. Will last for decades.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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