Split Rail Fence Materials That Last

August 14, 2014 ~ Posted By Kathy Crum

One of the most economical options homeowners often choose for their property is a split rail fence.  Some may know these fences by other names such as a log fence, a zigzag fence, worm fence or snake fence due to its layout.

A split rail fence is one of the oldest style fences in our culture and they remain a very popular option—particularly on large properties and farms as they are an economical way to create a border that sprawls across several acres of land.  Your typical split rail fence is comprised of long pieces of wood, usually split lengthwise to form two to four or more rails inserted into holes within the fence posts and are often held in place by their own weight.  Rails are usually 8 or 11 feet long and can be round, half-round or even square or diamond-shaped. 

Split rails remain popular as they are very simple in their construction and you can build these fences almost anywhere, even on hard or rocky ground.  Split rail fences also provide a much more open view than other types of fencing, which is especially great if you have a dog who likes to keep an eye on what’s going on in the neighborhood.  Many of our homeowners say they enjoy the traditional yet professional look to their landscape a split rail fence creates.

At Frederick Fence, we recommend using the following split rail fencing supplies because these materials require little to no maintenance and will last a number of years:

Pressure Treated Pine Split Rail

At Frederick Fence, we use pressure treated southern yellow pine, which is a type of wood that usually comes from the southeastern part of the country.  Known for its rapid growth, it’s also one of the few types of wood that can be pressure treated.


Pressure treating is a process that forces a chemical preservative deep into the wood. The wood is placed inside a large cylindrical holding tank that first gets depressurized to remove all air. Next, the tank is filled with a water-based solution of micronized copper azole under high pressure that gets forced deep inside the wood.  This process makes the wood very heavy and it also makes it quite unappetizing to all vermin, insects, and fungus, which means the wood can last for 20 plus years even under the harshest conditions.

Locust Split Rail Fence

Another highly durable option is a locust split rail fence. Locust split rail is made from the very hard, strong and heavy wood of the black locust tree. This type of wood has a distinct greenish-yellow tint when first cut which deepens to a golden color over time. What distinguishes this wood from pine is that it is simply a much heavier and stronger piece of wood that has a very high shock resistance. And just like pressure treated pine, locust wood is extremely resistant to rot, decay and termites.

Vinyl Split Rail Fence

If you love the simplicity and charm of a split-rail fence but want a fence that will last a lifetime, the best split-rail fence you can purchase is vinyl split rail fencing.  Vinyl fences are built to last and are made of highly durable materials that do not fade over time.  Vinyl split rail is also easy to work with when you are assembling it and is the most durable type of split rail fence you can buy.  Homeowners like woodgrain vinyl fences because there’s no worrying about mold, rot or cracks in the fence—a simple rinsing from your garden hose keeps the fence clean!  Vinyl split rail fences are also less expensive than using solid panels and— because it lasts a lifetime— means you will install just one split rail fence when you use this material.


Ready to install split rail fence materials that last?  Give us a call at Frederick Fence and we’ll help you design one that meets your needs and your budget!

Got a split rail fence that shows off your property?  Share your pictures with us!

Photo Credit: all images ©2014 Frederick Fence Co. All rights reserved.

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