OPTIONS: DEER FENCE POSTS AND POST SPACING
Deer Fence Options: Introduction
Deer Fence Height
Polypropylene Deer Fencing
Metal Hexagrid and Welded Wire Deer Fencing
Metal and Plastic Fences
Deer Fence Posts and Post Spacing
Fence Anchors and Bracing
Post Tools and Cement Footings
Fence Support Lines
Deer Fence Stakes and Flags
Deer Fence Gates and Grates
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Selecting and Spacing Fence Posts
Posts are a major component of a deer fence and a major component of its cost. Reasonable alternatives are trees, wooden posts, and various sorts of metal posts. Irrespective of the type of fence post (or tree) used, the maximum distance between them should be 20 feet for polypropylene deer fencing (all types of poly) and 15 feet for metal hexagrid deer fencing.
Trees as Posts: If you have them available, trees make ideal deer fence posts for both polypropylene and metal hexagrid fencing. Not only is a tree strongly anchored, but it looks perfectly natural; and since Nature abhors a straight line, a deer fence zig-zagging slightly from tree to tree in dappled shade tends to look very natural and to fade into the background even more than it would if it were running straight.
Wood Posts: Another option is wooden fence posts (pressure-treated 4 x 4s or 5-6-inch rounds). These should be installed 3 feet deep (4 feet deep at corners, gates, and ends) or below the frost line if that is deeper. Wooden posts are generally about the same price or a bit less than comparable metal deer fence posts. However, they are more visible than the metal posts, very expensive to ship, and time-consuming to sink into the ground.
Metal Posts: We offer three types of metal posts for polypropylene and metal hexagrid deer fencing: angle-iron posts with a black powder-coat finish, black pvc-coated round posts with caps, and black pvc-coated round posts with drive sleeves and caps.
Angle-iron posts: Angle-iron posts come in 8, 9, and 10-foot lengths and cost about half as much as the round posts. Use the 10-footers where your soil is loose and you want the post to grip the ground well, and 9-footers for all 7-foot fence applications. If snow is likely to place a big load on your fence, put these posts 15 or even 10 feet apart to reduce the risk that they could be bent or tilted.
All the angle-iron posts come ungalvanized with a black powder-coat finish. Below ground they will last for 20 years, but above ground they need a little attention. That's because the powder-coat finish can be broken, and if it breaks the post can rust out in as little as two or three years, depending on your climate. To prevent this possibility, take a few minutes once a year to spray any rust spots with a puff of black rust-proofing paint.
Round black steel posts: Our pvc-coated 1-5/8 inch round steel posts with caps are galvanized under their black pvc finish, so they are maintenance-free and will not rust. They are also stronger than the angle-iron posts, hold the ground better, and look better in a residential or estate setting. We offer several different types: standard 17-gauge 9 or 10-footers without sleeves; similar posts with 2.5-foot drive sleeves; and heavier (16 gauge) 10.5-foot posts for dealing with snow and getting below the frost line.
Standard round posts: Regarding the 9 and 10-footers, plan on putting the 9-footers at least 2 feet into the ground. Use the 10-footers to get a better grip on loos soil and also to get below the frost line in areas with heavy clay soil, so as to avoid frost heaves. Where snow loading is an issue, consider putting the posts closer together (10 to 15 feet apart on a poly fence and 10 feet apart on a metal hexagrid fence).
Round posts with drive sleeves: These more expensive posts with drive sleeves can make installation easier. That's because you can install the 2.5-foot sleeves at ground level instead of going up a couple of steps with a manual post driver. However, rocky soil can make insertion of the sleeves difficult (they tend to get tilted going in); and in that case you aer better off using the standard round posts without sleeves so that you can see and correct the tilting. Also, heavy snow loads on yur fence can bend these posts where they enter the sleeve. Hence, as with the angle-iron and standard round posts, where snow loads are expected it is wise to shorten the distance between posts to 10-15 feet on a poly fence and 10 feet on a metal hexagrid fence.
Heavy round posts: Another option for snow-prone regions is to use our heavier (16-gauge) 10.5-foot black pvc-coated galvanized steel posts. these posts can deal with heavier snow loads, and so the need to space them close together is reduced. It should be noted, however, that these posts are quite expensive.
Brace bands: Be sure to get brace bands (sold in bundles of 8) for any round metal posts that you select. These bands prevent the fencing from sliding down the posts by providing an anchor point for a zip-lock tie at the top of the fence. The general rule is to have one brace band per post, but this does not have to be rigidly observed. (A few posts without brace bands will make no difference.)