Why Are Heartwood 5in by 5in Cedar Posts Better Than Sapwood 3.5in by 3.5in For Your New Fence?

Louie Kaczmarek

Published on April 26, 2023

You want the best material for your new fence. It protects your home, your children, your pets, etc. So you want to make sure your fence will last for years to come, and hold up against harsh weather.

At Bespoke Fence, we only use Heartwood 5×5 posts for our cedar fences. When comparing a Heartwood Cedar 5″ x 5″ post to a Sapwood 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ cedar post, there are several key differences to consider in terms of their composition and dimensions.

Composition: Heartwood is the strongest wood fence (cedar) material

Heartwood is the inner core of a tree, which consists of non-living cells that provide strength and support to the tree. It is usually darker in color compared to sapwood and is denser, making it more resistant to decay and insects. The natural preservatives present in heartwood make it a popular choice for high quality new fences.

Sapwood, on the other hand, is the outer layer of a tree, located between the heartwood and the bark. As sapwood lacks the same level of preservatives and resistance found in heartwood, it is generally considered less durable and more prone to decay and insect infestation. You’ll want your new fence to be as strong as possible, since it’s a long-term investment.

All of our new cedar fences are built with heartwood cedar posts, the best material possible

Dimensions: We use 5in by 5in posts for our new fences, other companies use 3.5in by 3.5in

A Heartwood Cedar 5″ x 5″ post is larger in size, with dimensions of 5 inches by 5 inches. This size offers greater stability and support compared to a smaller post, making it suitable for structural applications or situations where a larger, more robust post is needed.

A Sapwood 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ cedar post, as the name suggests, has smaller dimensions of 3 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches. This won’t provide as much strength, and can lead to the fence deteriorating or falling apart from bad weather.

These 5x5 heartwood posts will help this new fence (cedar) last 10+ years

Cost: And payoff for your new fence in the long run!

As you may have guessed, 3.5 x 3.5 Sapwood posts will be cheaper than 5 x 5 Heartwood posts. But if you’re already committing to an investment like a new fence, there are some aspects you do not want to cut corners on. Stain color does not affect fence strength and durability, so maybe that would be an area to spend less on. However, the posts are what help support your fence and keep it stable through the seasons.

In general, a Heartwood Cedar 5″ x 5″ post will be more durable, resistant to decay and insects, and provide greater support due to its larger size and inherent properties. It may be more expensive than a sapwood post at first, but given its extreme durability and larger size, it will pay off tenfold in the end, based on how much longer it will last than a 3.5 x 3.5 sapwood post.