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Attaching Fence to Tree?

Posted by diana_noil 5 (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 30, 08 at 13:46

I NEED to install something for privacy on the north side of my property (neighbor issue). I can't do a hedge because the property line runs <3 ft. next to a huge set of bay windows on my house so I have to do a fence.

I have received quotes for a cedar fence and all have mentioned that because there is a short width between two trees that straddle both my and my neighbors' property line, they can post in the middle between the two trees and try to avoid damaging the roots but the ends will need to be attached to the tree directly.

In concept, I understand they can't (and shouldn't) drive posts into the base of a tree but I did want to ask to see if anyone has had any ill effects from a similar process where the fence will be braced to the tree on either side?

Thank you!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Attaching Fence to Tree?

Not only would that be harmful to the tree, but they aren't taking into account that the tree will continue to grow in circumference.

RE: Attaching Fence to Tree?

Not sure I'm visualizing exactly what you're proposing, but growing up in Louisiana, we often utilized trees (Southern Red Oak, White Oak, Southern Pines, Sweet Gum, etc) as fence posts. Usually there were no repercusions other than the barb wire grew into the trees.However, occassionally the tree dies. Not a big problem in the middle of a bunch of woods, but a bit of a hassle if the tree is near a house or electric lines, or you depended on it for shade, etc.
Not a recommended practice, but it can be done.

RE: Attaching Fence to Tree?

Another possible option, although not ideal, and requiring some creativity on the fencer's part, is to drive 2 t-posts next to the trees, attach a "false" post to them with wire, and attach the boards to the posts. It wouldn't be as sturdy as attaching to the trees, but a gap could be left, or allowed for (with future cuts with a saw), so the boards don't end up cutting into the trees or the trees growing over the boards.

If you didn't want to use t-posts, then the plastic footers they now have for foundations, with a base for a post to be slotted into, could be dug into the ground a foot or so from the tree(s), and the gap could be allowed for that way. This would need more digging than the t-posts, but....., Or you could just put the fence posts in the ground as normal, but the same foot away from the trees, and carry on as above. Both the latter options depend on how and where the tree roots grow, as cutting a major root is NOT recommended.

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