Cedar vs Redwood Fencing: Unveiling the Best Choice for Your Property

When it comes to choosing the right wood for your fence, you’re likely considering cedar and redwood. Both are popular choices, but which one is really the best for your needs? In this article, we’ll delve into the distinctive qualities of both cedar and redwood, helping you make an informed decision for your fencing project.

From durability to aesthetics, cost to maintenance, there’s a lot to consider. We’ll break down the pros and cons of each wood type, giving you the insights you need. So, whether you’re a first-time fence builder or a seasoned pro, you’re sure to find the answers you’re looking for. Let’s dive in and explore the cedar vs. redwood debate.

Key Takeaways

  • Cedar and redwood are both popular choices for fencing due to their unique qualities, including overall durability and aesthetic appeal. However, they both have specific pros and cons to remember.
  • Cedar is noted for its excellent resistance to rot and pests, while redwood stands out for its superior quality and longevity. On the aesthetic side, cedar has a rustic look, and redwood has a rich color.
  • Initial costs for cedar are usually lower, making it a more budget-friendly choice, while redwood might be costlier upfront but pays off in the long run due to its endurance.
  • Maintenance requirements differ somewhat: cedar needs frequent resealing, while redwood demands regular staining or sealing. Regardless of the wood type, constant care, using eco-friendly products, is paramount.
  • If sustainability is a concern, cedar might be a better choice as it is usually sourced from sustainable practices. Redwood, specifically old-growth varieties, has a history of overharvesting.
  • In terms of their environmental impact and relation to climate change, cedar trees offer better carbon uptake due to their fast growth rates, while mature redwood trees provide substantial carbon storage.
  • Ultimately the choice between cedar and redwood for your fencing comes down to personal preferences, budget considerations, and maintenance comfort. Factors like local climate and expected wear and tear should also influence your decision.

Understanding Cedar and Redwood

Delve into the properties of cedar and redwood, two widely accepted materials for fencing. Acquaint yourself with their characteristics, which prove instrumental in making an informed decision.

Cedar’s Traits

Cedar, specifically western red cedar, boasts about its impressive downfall resistance. Its natural oils fend off rot, fungus, and pests such as termites. Moreover, cedar’s aesthetically appealing reddish-brown hue complements various landscapes. Over time, it weathers to a silvery gray, adding a dose of vintage charm. Nevertheless, cedar, with a lower initial cost, demands resealing every few years, impacting your maintenance budget.

Redwood’s Characteristics

Unlike cedar, redwood fetches a higher initial cost, but repays with its top-notch quality and durability. It sports a coveted rich, reddish color, providing a vibrant backdrop for any setting. Redwood’s intrinsic resistance to shrinking, warping, and cracking gives it an upper hand in durability. Moreover, this wood type thrives in damp conditions due to its high resistance to decay. ‘Sequoia,’ a redwood variety, scores high in terms of longevity, typically lasting over 30 years with appropriate care. Although, not forgetting, even redwood requires periodic staining or sealing to maintain its allure.

Cedar vs Redwood: Environmental Impact

Factor in the wood’s sourcing methods if you’re environmentally mindful. Cedar, predominantly harvested from sustainable sources, aligns better with green building standards. On the contrary, redwood, especially old-growth varieties, has been a victim of overharvesting, sparking concerns of deforestation.

Understand every characteristic of cedar and redwood to reveal their benefits and drawbacks. Remember, both woods, with their own unique attributes, make excellent fencing materials. Rest assured, armed with this knowledge, you can negotiate the cedar vs redwood debate more effectively.

Comparing Cedar and Redwood for Fencing

When deciding between cedar and redwood for your fencing needs, several factors come into play. Take into account, durability, aesthetics, cost, and maintenance, as you evaluate your options.

In terms of durability, both cedar and redwood score fairly high marks. However, a critical factor to consider is cedar’s superior resistance to rot and pests. This wood variety is typically more resilient and lasts longer, even in harsh weather conditions. On the other hand, redwood fencing might require a more regular maintenance schedule to maintain its integrity over time.

From an aesthetic perspective, both redwood and cedar present unique allure. Redwood tends to have a richer color, while cedar fencing can offer a more rustic appeal. Remember, cedar fences might require resealing every few years, potentially altering the initial color or texture of the wood. Consider these variations when matching the fence with your home’s exterior.

The cost can be a deciding factor for many homeowners. Cedar is generally less expensive than redwood, making it a more budget-friendly choice. Redwood, while costlier upfront, may prove cost-effective in the longer run due to its longevity and premium quality.

Maintenance is yet another dimension to consider. Cedar’s occasional need for resealing contrasts starkly with redwood’s low-maintenance credo.

Finally, consider the environmental footprint of your fence choice. Cedar usually boasts a more sustainable origin due to faster growth and wider availability. Redwood, by contrast, has historically been associated with overharvesting and long recovery periods.

Remember, choosing materials for your fence isn’t just about selecting a look. It’s part of responsible homeownership, balancing aesthetic preferences, budget constraints, and commitment to our environment.

Environmental Impact of Using Cedar or Redwood for Fencing

Building a fence contributes to Earth’s health, contingent on the materials used. Between cedar and redwood, both possess environmental implications.

Cedar counts as a more sustainable choice compared to redwood. Rapid growth rates characterize cedar trees. For every cedar tree harvested, many sprout to take its place, mitigating deforestation concerns.

On the other hand, redwood’s environmental impact paints a different picture. History carries tales of redwood overharvesting resulting in fewer old-growth redwoods today. Harvesting mature redwoods leaves a significant environmental footprint due to long regeneration periods. Hence, selecting sustainably harvested or reclaimed redwood can limit your environmental impact.

Taking both trees’ carbon uptake into account – the process of absorbing carbon dioxide – diversifies the picture. Trees in their growing stage absorb more carbon dioxide than mature ones. Cedar, with its quick growth rates, offers greater carbon uptake, reducing carbon footprint. But do not underestimate redwood: mature trees may lower carbon absorption rates but provide substantial carbon storage.

Choosing cedar contributes to a smaller carbon footprint, given its fast growth and high carbon uptake. Picking redwood can lead to longer-lasting fences, reducing replacement needs. However, the environmental toll heightens with each new redwood fence if sustainable sources aren’t used.

In both cases, ensure using wood that meets the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, a measure of responsible and sustainable forestry. In addition, localize your wood source, cutting down transportation emissions.

The environmental impact of cedar versus redwood fencing hinges on several factors beyond the wood type: the stage of timber, the source, and even the whereabouts of your wood. It’s crucial to acknowledge these aspects when you’re considering the environmental impact of your fence.

Maintenance and Care Required for Cedar and Redwood Fences

Upon choosing the right material for your fence, understanding its maintenance and care requirements is worth considering.

Cedar fences, famous for their built-in resistance to rot and pests, still command preventive maintenance. Using a high-quality sealant provides an extra layer of protection against weather conditions. Annual inspections ensure early detection of potential damage points, allowing timely repairs. Similarly, washing your cedar fence with a mild detergent cleans it and removes accumulated fungi or algae.

On the flip side, redwood fences, renowned for their quality and longevity, require a similar degree of attention. Regular sealing, preferably every two years, layers the fence against moisture, UV rays, and different climatic impacts. Regular inspections for signs of deterioration, pests, or rot aren’t redundant, given this is an all-natural product. As with cedar, cleaning a redwood fence annually with a gentle wood cleaning solution sustains its lustrous appeal.

Despite the initial expense, redwood fences justify the outlay with their enduring beauty and resilience, given adequate maintenance. Conversely, cedar fence maintenance may include stricter surveillance against pests – notwithstanding its inherent resistance – and more frequent resealing, particularly in harsh climates.

From an environmental standpoint, maintenance practices for both types emphasize the use of eco-friendly sealants and cleaners. It propagates sustainable care, aligns well with the natural characteristics of cedar and redwood, and promotes conscious fencing solutions, a theme consistent with the preceding section on the environmental effects of fencing materials.

Remember, irrespective of the material, proactive, and consistent upkeep extends the life of your fence, bolsters its look, and maximizes your investment. However, the maintenance required for cedar and redwood can differ based on your local weather conditions. Adapt your care routine accordingly based on these factors. In the long run, assuring a well-maintained fence means securing the valuation and aesthetic quotient of your property.

The Verdict: Which is Better for Fencing – Cedar or Redwood?

Taking into account key elements such as durability, aesthetics, cost, and maintenance, no single answer meets everyone’s needs when it comes to choosing between cedar and redwood for fencing. That said, it’s essential to consider your specific requirements and budget constraints before making a decision.

In terms of long-term resilience, redwood’s quality and longevity stand out, despite an initial cost that might be higher than cedar. Favoring redwood suggests that you’re prioritizing value over cost, an investment that can pay off in terms of fence lifespan and enduring elegance. Redwood’s superior resistance to decay and pests translates into an advantage in the long-run, particularly if your area experiences extreme weather conditions.

On the other hand, if upfront cost is a major concern for you, cedar emerges as the more cost-effective choice. Its affordability compared with redwood, coupled with decent resistance to rot and pests, makes cedar a popular option for fence constructions. Moreover, cedar’s rustic allure can enhance the aesthetic value of your property, making it a worthy consideration for homeowners seeking functional and visually pleasing fencing options.

Practically, maintenance for both fence types is pretty similar. Regular applications of sealants, routine inspections, and an adaptation of care routines based on your regional climate are paramount for sustaining the life of cedar and redwood fences alike. Aligned with eco-conscious choices, employing natural sealants and cleaners is a recommended step in preserving the inherent properties of cedar and redwood fences while promoting environmental sustainability.

Thus, the better choice between cedar and redwood for your fencing ultimately drills down to your personal preferences, initial and long-term budget allocations, and maintenance comfort. Embrace a fence type that aligns with your property’s visual appeal, strengthens its valuation, and satisfies your individual needs for fence installation and preservation.

Tips on Choosing the Right Wood for Your Fence

Selecting the best wood for your fence isn’t just about comparing cedar and redwood. Consider several other factors that impact long-term satisfaction, durability, and return on investment. Every type of wood brings unique qualities and, consequently, distinctive advantages and disadvantages.

Start by defining what you desire most in a fence. Do you prioritize aesthetic appeal, durability against harsh weather, or minimal upkeep? Once you’ve established this, match your preferences with the suitable wood type, either cedar or redwood. They both hold unique benefits, defined by factors like color, grain, weight, and strength.

For instance, if affordability is king, cedar often wins out. Rain, sun, and pests attack fences. Cedar combats them all with impressive rot resistance and pest discouragement. Similarly, its aesthetic pliability serves your property’s visual harmony.

On the flip side, if you’re chasing durability and quality, redwood could be your top choice. It’s no secret that redwood offers superior resistance and lifespan, bracing harsh weather like a champion. The expense is a factor, particularly at the start. Yes, redwood requires greater upfront investment, but this pays off over time as the extended lifespan minimizes replacement costs.

Don’t overlook regular maintenance, as both cedar and redwood demand constant care. Starting with similar protocols including sealing to prevent moisture buildup and inspections to spot potential decay, these routines protect your assets, fostering their health and appearance. Don’t forget to tease in eco-friendliness with sealants and cleaners, reinforcing not only the life of your fence but also the health of the earth.

Lastly, consider your locale, specifically, your pattern of weather and local pests. Certain regions command specific care or wood types, playing into your selection process. Weather extremes take a toll on any wood type, affecting both cedar and redwood. However, weighing up these considerations guides you effectively towards an informed, beneficial choice in fencing.


Choosing the right material for your fence boils down to what you value most. If you’re after an affordable option that doesn’t skimp on aesthetics, cedar’s your pick. It’s rot-resistant, pest-resistant, and it’ll give your property a charming look. But if you’re ready to invest for the long haul, redwood stands out. It’s a bit pricey initially yet its durability and resilience make it worth every penny especially in harsh weather regions. Remember though, no matter what you choose, maintenance is key. Regular sealing and inspections will prolong your fence’s life and keep it looking its best. So go ahead, weigh your options, consider your budget and maintenance willingness, and choose the fence that suits you best. Whether it’s cedar or redwood, you’ll be making a smart, informed decision that adds value and beauty to your property.

What makes cedar a good choice for fencing?

Cedar is a cost-effective option that boasts resistance to rot and pests, contributing to its durability. It adds to the aesthetics of a property, making it a popular choice for homeowners.

How does redwood compare to cedar for fencing?

Redwood is renowned for its superior quality and longevity, although it comes with a higher initial cost. It makes a good investment in the long run, especially in areas with extreme climate conditions.

What kind of maintenance does a cedar or redwood fence require?

Both cedar and redwood fences require regular maintenance like sealing and inspections to protect them from weather conditions, pests, and rot. It’s recommended to use eco-friendly products for sustainability.

Does regional climate impact the choice between cedar and redwood?

Yes, regional climate can impact the choice. Redwood, with its durability against extreme weather conditions, would be a better choice in areas with harsh climates, whereas cedar can suffice for milder climates.

How to decide between a cedar and redwood fence?

The decision between a cedar and redwood fence depends on personal preferences, budget, and comfort with maintenance requirements. A cedar fence is a cost-effective choice that offers good durability, whereas a redwood fence involves a higher upfront cost but offers better resilience and longevity.