What are the Different Types of Wood Garden Fences?

Dan Cavallari

Wood garden fences vary by design, and the options are seemingly endless. Most designs allow for plenty of sunlight to pass through the slats or posts, and they are often smaller, lighter duty fences that are not meant to bear too much weight. Wood garden fences can feature gates as well that allow access to the garden while still preventing animals and other intruders from entering the garden. The primary function of wood garden fences is to keep out animals who will eat the vegetation, so it must be tall enough to prevent larger animals from jumping over.

A house with a picket fence.
A house with a picket fence.

Many people choose wood because of its aesthetic appeal. Wood garden fences can be stained or painted, or they can be left bare. Leaving the wood bare, however, will allow it to rot more quickly, and it may allow the wood to warp, crack, or otherwise soften. Pressure-treated wood will resist damage from the weather more efficiently, and it can be painted or in some cases stained to improve the aesthetic appeal. Cedar is also a good choice of wood for a garden fence because it is naturally resistant to weather damage as well as bug infestation. Cedar will cost more than most other types of wood, however.

Wood garden fences can be whitewashed or painted.
Wood garden fences can be whitewashed or painted.

Picket fences are one of the more recognizable types of wood garden fences. These fences feature vertical slats that are often pointed at the top and affixed to two horizontal beams, one at the top of the slats and one at the bottom. The panels of slats and beams are affixed to fence posts spaced periodically throughout the length of the fence. Each slat is spaced several inches from the others to allow sunlight to pass through, and the pointed tops can discourage larger animals from attempting to climb over the fence.

Trellises are also common features for wood garden fences. These fence panels feature diagonal criss-crossed slats. The gaps between the slats allows for plenty of light to shine through on the garden, and the openings also allow creeping and climbing plants to affix to the fence. Trellis fences are a great choice for gardens that feature vines or other creeping plants, but the gardener should be aware of the thickness of the trellis; some plants will require a thicker trellis so the weight of the plant can be supported adequately.

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