I know this questions can't be answered, since it depends on so many factors, but let's call this an opinion survey.

Fence will be 5' high, with a 2x4 pressure-treated pine (PTP) wood frame and horse-fencing "panels". Posts will also be PTP, 4x4. Stainless steel fasteners, to avoid corrosion due to the PTP.

Something like this, but with slightly thinner/flimsier wire: enter image description here

Ground is mostly clay, somewhat acidic (pH about 6.5), not impermeable, but also not the most permeable stuff ever.

Since the majority of the surface area is horse-fencing, I'm not expecting the wind to be much of an issue.

Of the following two options, which would you go with?

  1. Use 8' posts and bury them 3' deep, tamped-earth, with gravel at bottom for drainage.
  2. Use 5' posts, anchored at the base to a hot-dipped galvanized post base, either something like an Oz-post T4-850, or a Simpson CB44HDG embedded in a concrete footing?

My main concerns would be:

  • Rot/corrosion. Which will deteriorate faster, a buried PTP 4x4, or a HDG anchor in contact with corrosive PTP wood?
  • Cost. The HDG anchors are expensive! Are they worth it?
  • Time. I'll be digging by hand (digging bar and post digger).
  • Warping. The PTP is very green, very wet. Will one of these two options deal better with the inevitable warping-stress?

What do you think?

  • With just the wire panels I would go with the HDG type post anchors (not much wind resistance there). If it was going to be solid I would use long post with cement around the post.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 5, 2016 at 17:38
  • But in terms of life expectancy of the fence - would burying the posts be better than an HDG anchor that would likely, over time, corrode and need replacement?
    – PhilPDX
    Jul 5, 2016 at 21:12
  • Even PT wood rots especially when in direct contact with earth. It depends on the soil conditions for the true life of any in ground fencing material I have found Steel T posts rusted off at the ground I am sure they were 30 years old maybe more. Today's PT wood is not as toxic to the bugs as it used to be so the posts do not last as long.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 5, 2016 at 21:32
  • Let's say we want the fence to last 15 years, and will replace any necessary structural components at that point to make the fence last another 15 years. Would buried posts likely need replacing? HDG anchors? Or... is this just totally unknown?
    – PhilPDX
    Jul 6, 2016 at 16:35
  • I think the HDG anchors would last. I would add some additional copper coat to the bottom of the posts. I usually put 2 or 3 coats on peeling poles (round poles used for fence post in the country). today's preservatives are not as strong as they used to be copper coat is only about 1/3 of what it was 25 years ago. wish we could get Creosote my corner post were soaked in that and they are over 30 years old. An additional layer of copper coat for the below ground it may last 15 years. It will depend on the soil conditions, not sure if I would trust standard PT in earth for more than 10 years
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 6, 2016 at 17:38


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