What Type of Wood Fence Lasts the Longest?

Many people in the Minneapolis area opt for a wood fence, since it brings a classic and natural look to a home. However, not all woods are the same. While you may choose a wood for its appearance, the wood you select for your new fence will impact its longevity.

On average, a wood fence will last about 15 years or more. That time length is affected by the climate, the environment, maintenance provided, and the type of wood. When the fence does begin to age, you won’t necessarily have a large expense all at once. Individual boards or beams can be replaced as needed.

Here’s a look at some of the most common woods used for fences:


Cedar fences last the longest, generally about 15 to 30 years. Cedar is one of the most popular choices. It is naturally resistant to insects and slow to rot. If treated, cedar fences can even last up to 40 years. A sealant can be chosen to match the sun exposure and conditions the cedar will be subjected to. A good-looking wood at the start, treatment is not required, and as the wood ages, the cedar will turn silvery gray. Cedar can be painted, but many people stick with stains since it is such an attractive wood. Cedar is often used for privacy fences.


Cypress and redwood are similar to cedar in properties and longevity, but they are more expensive. Cypress is expensive since it has to be shipped in from the South. This wood can be an excellent choice if you’re concerned about termites, since it is naturally resistant to insects. When treated, it is slow to rot. Cypress has a nice smell and few knots. It turns honey gold as it ages.


Redwood is likely the most expensive wood choice. It has similar benefits to cedar, but some people choose it for its reddish-brown color. As it ages, though, it will also turn silvery gray. A clear stain, sealer, or oil once or twice a year can maintain its color longer.


Pine fences last 12 to 15 years and will last longer if sealed or painted every few years. Pine is a common wood option that has a lower price. Offsetting the cost is the increase in maintenance. Pine is a softwood and needs to be painted or sealed to prevent rot and insects. These treatments minimize damage from UV radiation and organic materials on the wood. Some pine woods are also pressure treated to repel insects and avoid rot. These types of pine can last up to 20 years. Pine can be prone to warping and cracking.


Spruce is a low-cost wood option, but it does only last for about four to seven years. When treated, it can last for 20 years. Like pine, it also needs a lot of maintenance. It can be prone to warping if it’s exposed to a lot of water. Spruce turns silvery gray with age, so a clear stain can be used if you enjoy this color. Spruce is often used in prefabricated, stockade-style, or picket fences.

In addition, Security Fence & Construction makes sure your fence will last as long as possible by using aluminum or steel nails plus other fixtures to make sure your fence stays strong and in place. Concrete stands keep your fence securely in position. We also only work with the best materials.

Security Fence & Construction is happy to help you choose the wood that is right for your fence. For more than 30 years, we have served homeowners and commercial businesses in the greater Minneapolis area. Contact us with any questions or to request a quote.