Cedar tree's for pole barn.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Oldcountryboy, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. Oldcountryboy

    Oldcountryboy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If a person found some nice sized cedar trees, how well would they work for pole barns and chicken coop. I'm hoping to relocate my chicken coop and build a small barn to keep my tractor and various other equipment in. I've been bringing home some first cut sawmill lumber to use for siding. It's gonna look quit rustic except for maybe the tin roof. Hope to get started real soon if I can find some poles to use.
     
  2. arcticow

    arcticow Well-Known Member

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    Seen plenty of sheds built with 'em. Just get 'em about 4 inch at the tops...
     

  3. Allen W

    Allen W Well-Known Member

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    They need to be deep red inside with very little white outside to last.
     
  4. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    As Allen W said you want the red not the white. The white will disentegrate quickly.
     
  5. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    I can't tell where you're located, but I've seen cedar posts and/or piling rot off in NJ and MS. The type of soil plays a part in how long the posts last. I've seen them rot off in less than ten years. That might work for a chicken coop. I'd want something to last longer for pole barn construction. If you live in or near a coastal area and you can afford them, buy the posts with 2.5# CCA treatment. Those have a shot at outlasting you and your kids. Maybe longer since they're rated for at least 25 years IIRC in salt water.

    FWIW I've got a stack of red cedar boards that I had sawed out of piling that came out from under a house after they rotted part of the way through at ground level. That cost the homeowner about $35,000. The house mover used 2.5# CCA treated piling as replacements.
     
  6. Oldcountryboy

    Oldcountryboy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Okay, I'm located in N.E. Oklahoma and am not sure just what kind of cedar trees we have here. The bark is more white looking but don't really know what color the bigger trees have on the inside.
     
  7. arcticow

    arcticow Well-Known Member

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    Probably Eastern Red Cedar, in your dirt, under a roof , should outlast you at least.
     
  8. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    I use them for all my outbuildings... I use the largest logs I can scrounge up from my log pile. I salvaged a couple dozen huge logs a while back from a clearcut. I don't care if there's sapwood on the log, as long as there's lot of heartwood.

    I also salvaged some 50 year old cedar poles from another barn... they're still solid in the middle.
     
  9. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ...........Borrow a tractor with a 9 inch posthole digger , dig the holes a couple feet deep and find some of those cardboard tubes and pour your cement about 6 inches above ground level . Then , stick a one foot long piece of 5\8" rebar about 8 inches into the concrete while wet then you've got a 4 inch peg you can slide the cedar post over when you get ready to erect your barn . , fordy
     
  10. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Their Red Cedar I would Square them up with Chainsaw cutting all the White off,should work good.

    big rockpile
     
  11. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    Here in Oklahoma the best wood for posts is bodark (also called a hedge apple tree.) A bodark post will stand strong until it's pulled from the ground. I have some that are way more than 70 years old and solid as a rock. The old timers around here claim the posts will last over 100 years, but my old posts look like they'll make it much longer than that.

    The only drawback is that if you ever have to put new wire to old posts, it's like trying to drive a nail into concrete! When I have to repair fence, I use a air gun to shoot staples into them.

    Another good thing about using bodark is that it grows everywhere, is usually about the right diameter for fence posts, and most people will let you cut all you want for free and a few will even pay you to clear it off their land. :)

    Cedar makes good posts too. Red cedar is what grows here. Out of curiosity I checked into getting some white cedar for something I wanted to build. I was told I'd have to have it shipped in from out west cause white cedar doesn't grow in Oklahoma.

    I have a cedar post out front that's been there a few years. It's about 12" diameter and other than being weathered, it's in excellent condition.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  12. Oldcountryboy

    Oldcountryboy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    For some reason, i don't see very many straight bodark trees around here. We have quit a few around, they just aint very straight looking. But I've got permission to cut red cedar trees off a ladies property and she's got quit a few there to choose from.

    Fordy, I like your ideal. I have thought about doing that. I had a Uncle that built his barn that way many, many years ago and the building still stands today. He's long gone.

    Thanks everyone for your input, very much appreciated.
     
  13. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Another good choice is white oak. Char it about an inch deep and it lasts for decades.
     
  14. swamp man

    swamp man Well-Known Member

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    They don't much tend to grow straight, bein' the reason that bowyers will pay a fortune for staves from a good, straight trunk....arguably the best wood for bowmakin' on the continent.

    Definitely, cedar makes danged good poles. Papaw built an open air shed at the family cabin in Tennessee over forty years ago using cedars he cut for tye uprights, and they're solid as a rock. We raplace the store-bought 2x's on the roof once in a while, but them poles ain't going anywhere for a loooooong time.
     
  15. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    For straight bodarks, you have to find a thick stand of them. If they are close together they grow straight, but if they have "room to roam", they reach out every which direction twisting and turning. It's rare to find a single tree that is straight. The old timers around here used to plant them in patches for cutting and it straight lines very close together as living fences. It takes about 8 or 10 years for them to grow to post size.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009