Monday, November 16, 2015

Fence Repair

Following a two day wind event, I took a walk along the new fence line to see if any branches had fallen on the fence.  No branches were found, but one large tree trunk had run afoul of the fence on its way to the ground.  To anyone unfamiliar with this view, the abundance of downed trees makes it hard to identify that one that is causing the problem.

There it is.  I have to admit it chose a nice place to fall.  Centered between two wood posts on a patch of level ground, it was probably the easiest place along the whole line to work on removing the log.  The most time consuming part of the job was the one mile round trip to the barn and back to get the tools I needed.

With a high tensile fence such as this, each wire strand stretches independently of the others.  The upper most strand takes the most punishment, while the lowest strand is hardly disturbed.  In this case, the fence wire is actually supporting this section of log off of the ground.  It was fortunate that the log, partially decomposed and heavily worked on by Pileated Woodpeckers, broke into sections on impact with the ground.  The log was held at an ideal position for cutting.

The fallen log caused increased tension on the fence wires that produced an upward pull on this steel post.  This was identified as an at risk post during installation of the fence and was equipped with a steel cable attached to a ground anchor.  The post was able to lift about half an inch before the cable came taught and stopped the rise.  This is how it was supposed to work.  I’m glad it followed the plan.

After cutting the tree trunk in two about a foot back from the fence wire, the remaining log could be pushed up and away from the fence.  Once the log was clear, the fence wires jumped back into place.

In order for the fence to take this kind of abuse without damage, it is necessary to install post clips and staples in a way that allows the wire free movement.  When the tree hit the fence, the added tension was spread over several hundred feet of wire.  Had the wire been firmly attached to these two posts, it surely would have broken as the tree made its way to the ground.

The fence is back to being good as new.  This is why high tensile makes such a good choice for use in wooded areas.


  1. Hi, Steve,
    I'm curious about the purpose of your fence. Who/What are you trying to keep in/out?

    1. Hi, Jain. Nearby residential development has caused an increase in 4-wheeler trespass on neighboring properties. A fence will not necessarily keep anyone out, but it does negate the argument that trespass was accidental.

    2. What a nuisance. Good luck!

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