I need to install some new fence panels into concrete posts, the kind with a slot intended to allow you to drop panels in from above, however there are overhanging trees that will render this traditional method of installing the panels impossible. I've tried removing the strips of wood at the top and bottom of the panel that keep it rigid and bending them in, but I'm unable to bend them far enough to get them into place (maybe with assistance I'd be able to do this, but unfortunately I'll have to do this job by myself). Are there any other tricks I might be able to use to get the panels into the slots?

  • I think more information is needed to be able to answer. First off a picture would be very helpful. But short that it would be good to know: (a) How high are the posts with the slots? (b) How far apart are the posts with facing slots? (c) How wide are the slots - in other words - how thick are the wood panels? (d) How much clearance is there at a minumum from the tops of the posts to where trees and branches begin to interfere?
    – Michael Karas
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 14:42
  • The posts are 6' tall and 6' apart. The slots are 2" and the panels just slightly narrower. There's about 2-3' clearance before the branches interfere.
    – Jules
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 14:58
  • One slight complication: in at least one instance the post has sagged and will only be far enough away from its pair to accept a panel if it is levered outwards while the panel is inserted.
    – Jules
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 15:07
  • can't you push the tree limbs out of the way or trim them back? Commented May 28, 2014 at 15:52
  • the tree is a rather large willow, and the limbs in question are rather large and lack the flexibility to be pushed out of the way. I'd rather not trim them as the tree provides valuable screening that I'd like to keep.
    – Jules
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 17:52

2 Answers 2


Cut the panels (horizontally) into strips short enough (vertically) to slip between the limbs and the top of the posts. Stack as many strips as needed to get the full height.

So if you have 2 feet of clearance and 6 foot tall panels, cut them in to 3 strips, insert each strip. If you have 3 feet of clearance, cut them in half. If you have 18" of clearance, 4 parts...one variant of the type of fence you describe uses strips (boards or sometimes concrete "boards" when going for a "never have to do that again" method) that are only 6" or so tall. Stack 12 of those and you've got your 6 feet (tall.)


If the tree branches wont bend and cannot be cut, then I would suggest a more unorthodox approach which is to make the fence panel flexible. Can you cut it and apply some hinges so it remains together but can be bent enough to get into the posts?
You mentioned the top and bottom beams of the panel were removed, so I would assume when putting those back the panel will then be rigid again.

  • Nice suggestion! Will definitely give this some thought. :)
    – Jules
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 16:53

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