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Benefits of Cedar Fence Materials for Portland Homeowners

Lattice Top Cedar Fencing MaterialsChoosing a fence material for your Portland home is a huge decision. You want a fence that will last as long as possible, require as little maintenance as possible and blend well with the aesthetics of your home and landscaping. In order to find the best fit, it’s also important to consider what types of materials will stand up under Portland’s heavy rains.

While there are more low-maintenance synthetic fencing options available now than ever before, cedar remains a preferred choice for many Northwest homeowners. In fact, cedar fencing is, by far, the most popular type of fencing in the Pacific Northwest. Following is a look at the benefits of using cedar fence materials for your Portland fence.

Regional History

There are many types of cedar that grow around the world; however, cedar from the northwestern and western United States is known as some of the finest and highest quality cedar in the world. The four major species of northwestern cedar include Alaska, Port Orford, Incense and Western Red. Of the four, Western Red provides the best balance between durability and cost-effectiveness as a cedar fence material. Portland homes often feature fences made from Western Red cedar.

Northwest cedar trees are not only native to this region but have been historically utilized by indigenous people as a preferred building material. Local Native American tribes thrived on the Pacific Northwest’s abundant cedar for thousands of years; a local Indian name for the cedar tree translates into “tree of life.” Hence, today’s cedar fence materials link back to a proven history of the wood’s importance and utility in the region.

Hardiness in Tough Climates

Because the Northwest is prone to long, wet winters and rainy springs, durability is one of the most important traits found in any cedar fence material. Portland homeowners rely on cedar’s unique weather resistance and ability to withstand heavy rains.

Cedar fence materials are hydroscopic, which mean they can absorb and release moisture in such a way that they maintain equilibrium with the surrounding atmosphere. This gives cedar fence materials superior protection against warping in wet climates.

Rot is another important concern for Northwest wood fence owners. Thanks to Western Red cedar’s inherent fungicidal properties – due to naturally occurring compounds in the wood known as thujaplicins – it’s especially resistant to the fungi that cause decay. Cedar fence materials, therefore, are less likely to rot than other woods.

Finally, cedar fence materials also have natural protection against pests, which can invade and even destroy a wood fence. Cedar’s distinct odor is a natural insect repellent that can help keep away moths, mosquitoes and even termites.

Environmental Efficiency

Many foreign tree species have invaded North America over the last few hundred years, but history has shown that invasive species are often detrimental to an eco-system’s health. Because Northwest cedars are indigenous to this region, they are also fully adaptable and environmentally efficient. In other words, Northwest cedar is especially durable as a Portland fencing material precisely because it is made for this region.

When purchasing cedar fence material, Portland homeowners are taking advantage of local value and efficiency. Buying local cedar also benefits the big picture: Because cedar grows close by, transportation and energy costs are much lower compared to other fence materials.

Easy to Work With

Cedar is a soft wood, which makes it flexible and easy to work with, but don’t confuse softness with weakness. Although cedar fence materials are anywhere from 25-35 percent lighter than redwood, they possess as much as 80 percent of the strength of oak.

Additionally, Western Red cedar features a uniform texture and fine, straight grain, which makes sawing and nailing easier. It also lacks pitch or resin, causing adhesives to readily bond with the surface and providing a strong base for stains and sealants.

While there are many great low-maintenance fencing materials on the market, none have come close to reaching the popularity of cedar fence material. Portland cedar fences are attractive, durable and a natural choice for an area rife with native cedar trees.

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