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My neighbour moved and kindly left us 80 8 ft long very straight! balsam fir (maybe a couple of spruce) which would be ideal for fence posts. I had planned to get cedar this fall but wondered if these could be used as well. If not, they won't go to waste, we'll use them for rafters in a pole barn. If I can use the balsam, how would you treat it?

Thanks
 

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I think you'd be better served building your barn with this lumber and using cedar for your posts. In our area, cedar, locust, cypress (if you can find it), and white/post oak have long lives as in ground fence posts. Good luck.
 

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I would not use pine ,it will rot off bellow ground. use them on your pole barn. I agree with ' Ramblin ' use cedar , locust , cypress or treated posts for your fence.

Sometimes you can find old power or telephone poles at salavage prices. Cut to length these make very good fence posts or gate posts.
 

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Balsam is a relatively weak wood and it seems to rot pretty easily to boot. I would not recommend it for fence posts, even if properly treated. Like most woods it has a pretty good compression strength and would be ok for vertical applications like studs or posts. Rafters...maybe a little dicey. They don't seem to have a lot of lateral strength and deflect pretty easily.

Just my thoughts/experiences with using balsam.

Whistler
 

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CSA again said:
Sometimes you can find old power or telephone poles at salavage prices. Cut to length these make very good fence posts or gate posts.
These are the best if you can find them. Even older, used ones will more than likely outlive/outlast the person that puts them in the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks - I'll use them in the building then. Like I said, they won't go to waste :) I'll have to check to see if any poles are being replaced in my neck of the woods.
 

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I wouldn't use balsam or spruce below grade. They tend to rot quickly.

I happen to think balsam is pretty good wood. I built this using balsam logs.
 
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