Cedar vs. Pine: What is Best?

Are you struggling to decide between a cedar fence and a pine fence? In this blog, we will explore key differences between both, including durability, maintenance & more.
Veda Yalamanchili
Veda Yalamanchili
Last Update:
July 3, 2024

Are you in the midst of planning your dream backyard or looking to enhance the charm of your property with a new fence? Or perhaps you're just picturing the perfect finishing touch for your landscaping masterpiece. Whatever your reason, a fence can be a fantastic addition to your home. But with so many options on the market, choosing the right fence material can feel overwhelming.

Wooden fences are a timeless choice for homeowners seeking privacy, security, and aesthetic appeal. Among the various types of wood fences available, pine fences and cedar fences stand out as popular options. Both offer undeniable charm and functionality, but they cater to different needs and budgets. So, how do you decide which one is right for you? Don't worry, we're here to help! In this blog post, we'll break down the key differences between pine and cedar fences, exploring their durability, maintenance requirements, and unique aesthetics. We'll also provide some helpful tips on choosing the best material for your climate and lifestyle.

Understanding Fence Material: Pine vs. Cedar

Before we start comparing pine fences and cedar fences, you must understand what these materials are.


Cedar fence

The champion of raw durability, western red cedar wood is one of the strongest natural materials you can use in the fence world. This stunning wood material boasts natural oils that give it exceptional resistance to rot and insects like termites. Cedar wood's inherent weather resistance makes it a fantastic choice for withstanding the elements, year after year. Plus, cedar wood fences develop a charming, silvery-gray patina as they age, adding a touch of rustic elegance to any outdoor space.


Pine fence

A more budget-friendly option, pine wood is a more easily available softwood. While not as naturally durable as cedar, pressure-treated pine can offer a worthy lifespan, especially when properly maintained. Pine takes wood stain and paints well, allowing you to customize the look of your wood fence to perfectly match your home's aesthetic. However, keep in mind that pine wood is more susceptible to warping, cracking, and insect damage compared to cedar wood.

Key Differences between Pine Fences and Cedar Fences

Cedar Vs. Pine Fence

Appearance and Aesthetics

First impressions matter, and that goes for your backyard too! Cedar takes the crown for natural appeal. Its rich, reddish tones and beautiful grain pattern create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Pine offers a blank canvas for those who love to personalize. It readily accepts stains and paints, allowing you to match your fence to your home's existing color scheme or create a unique pop of color. Ultimately, the best choice depends on the style and vibe you want to create in your backyard. Do you crave a natural, timeless look? Then cedar might be your perfect match. If you prefer a customizable canvas to reflect your unique style, choose pine.

Durability and Longevity

When it comes to withstanding the test of time, not all fences are created equal. Cedar has naturally occurring oils that repel moisture while making it rot-resistant and insect-resistant. This inherent resistance makes cedar fences a popular choice for homeowners who want their fence to weather the elements for years to come, often lasting 15 to 30 years with minimal maintenance. Pine on the other hand is less durable and is often pressure-treated to enhance durability. This chemical treatment process infuses the wood with preservatives that enhance its resistance to rot and insect damage. With proper care and maintenance, pressure-treated pine fences can last 10 to 15 years.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Not everybody enjoys spending their free time on yard work. And this is where having a low-maintenance fence helps. Cedar again wins here as it needs minimal upkeep. Cedar fences just need occasional cleaning with soap and water to maintain their beauty. For pine wood, the pressure treatment protecting it can diminish over time. To maintain its lifespan, you'll need to regularly inspect your pine fence for these signs of wear and tear. Plan on re-staining or repainting your pine fence every 3-5 years to protect the wood and enhance its appearance.

Security and Functionality

While both pine and cedar fences can enhance your backyard's beauty and privacy, Cedar is much stronger due to its denser composition. However, the effectiveness of any privacy fence depends on its design as much as the type of fence. Pine fences can offer the same level of security depending on the fence design. If top-notch security is your primary concern, consider a taller cedar fence or even other materials like metal or concrete. On the other hand, pine fences are commonly used for decorative purposes, garden enclosures, or pet containment.

Installation Difficulty

Cedar vs pine fence installation

The installation difficulty is often a major factor especially if you are considering taking up a DIY approach for your new fence installation. And in this case, pine wood takes the crown for ease of installation. As it is softer in nature, pine is easier to cut, drill, and work with when compared to cedar. This makes pine fences a good option for homeowners who are comfortable with DIY projects. Cedar, with its denser composition, can be more challenging to work with for DIY fence installation. We recommend homeowners consider partnering with a professional fence contractor or fence company for a flawless cedar fence installation.

Cost Considerations

This is often one of the deciding factors for many homeowners when choosing the right fence materials for their backyard. From everything we have discussed earlier, it is easy to guess which one would be the more expensive option out of cedar and pine. Pine takes the lead for affordability. Pressure-treated pine itself is a relatively inexpensive material, and its ease of installation translates to lower labor costs. This makes pine fences a great option for homeowners on a tighter budget. Cedar, while more expensive upfront than pine, can be a smarter investment in the long run as cedar is a less maintenance alternative to pine.


So, have we helped you conquer the great fence debate? Both cedar and pine fences have their own unique advantages and drawbacks. Cedar fences are known for their natural resistance to decay and insect infestation, making them a durable and long-lasting option. On the other hand, pine fences are more affordable and readily available, making them a cost-effective choice for homeowners on a budget. Ultimately, the decision between cedar and pine fences will depend on individual preferences, budget constraints, and maintenance considerations.

No matter which type of fence material you choose, a wooden fence can add beauty, privacy, and value to your property. If you still are having trouble deciding, consulting with a reputable fence contractor in your area can be invaluable. You can also contact us at Ergeon. We can assess your needs and recommend the best material for your climate and style. We also provide expert installation to ensure your new fence brings lasting enjoyment to your outdoor space.

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