Fencing – That Old Chestnut!
We’ve been falling in love with Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa) for a few years now. Once established, it grows strong and straight, responds well to pruning and has started providing a viable seed source from about 20 years old.
Sweet chestnut is a durable timber. Like oak, its timber is high in tannins, nature’s great wood preserver. However, it grows faster than oak and has a higher proportion of (durable) heartwood, so far younger stems are suitable for outdoor uses.
We are using sweet chestnut to produce fence posts. The stems cleave readily by hand, pleasingly splitting around knots and kinks. The bark is removed using a drawknife and they are pointed with a side axe. The result is a strong, characterful post with natural durability and low embodied energy in the processing.
All the chestnut coming out of our woodland has been felled to favour our ‘winning’ trees; those which will be grown on for saw logs. So, they are a great product gleaned from productive woodland management.
We have been doing all our fencing at Bron Haul Farm with our own posts for about 8 years, and now we’re happy with our product, we’d like to share it with you.