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Hardwood Vs Softwood Fencing Which Is Better To Use

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  • Hardwood, Softwood, Fencing, Durability, Maintenance
  • Posted date:
  • 29-06-2023
Hardwood Vs Softwood Fencing Which Is Better To Use

Hardwood vs softwood fencing which is better to use?  MD Fencing & Decking are trusted fencing contractors in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. This article looks at choosing the right type of wood for your project and how to  define hardwoods & softwoods.

Choosing The Right Type Of Wood For Your Project

The success of your project depends on the sort of wood you choose for your fence, gates, or cladding. The two varieties of wood on the market are hardwood and softwood. Each has distinct qualities to take into account when deciding which type is best for your project.

Angiosperms are the source of hardwoods. These trees have large, veined leaves that change colour in the autumn and winter. Hardwood generally takes 150 years to reach harvestable maturity. They produce denser, stronger, and more durable lumber than softwoods.

Due to their rich tones, hardwoods like Iroko wood are suitable for ornamental designs. They are also often more sturdy and durable than softwoods. Due to their density, some hardwoods like balsa wood can be categorised as "soft" hardwoods while some hardwoods like yew can be categorised as "hard" softwoods. Coniferous trees like pine, cedar, and spruce are the source of softwoods.

Hardwood Vs Softwood Fencing Which Is Better To Use? Fencing Contractors Near Me Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

These trees often mature 40 years earlier than hardwoods. They produce less thick and compact wood because they tend to grow quicker. 

Softwoods are favoured because of their fashionable qualities. They are more suitable for structural purposes since they're less dense than hardwoods. Softwoods are inherently resilient and able to resist severe weather conditions without treatment. Examples include red cedar, larch, and fir.

Due to their slower growth rate and denser structure, hardwoods are often more sturdy and durable than softwoods. Although yew is a softwood, it is an exception to this rule.

A variety of elements, including the growth rate, affect wood's strength and durability. Hardwoods often perform better in harsh climates and withstand the elements. To enhance their outdoor performance, softwoods need treatments like pressure treatment. If no treatments are made, both hardwoods and softwoods will develop a silvery grey tint.

Softwood is often seen as more environmentally friendly since these trees can regenerate quicker. Due to their ability to absorb carbon dioxide, both softwood and hardwood are completely renewable resources. Both kinds of wood are environmentally favourable options. Forests can be harvested sustainably and allow the planting of new trees.

MD Fencing & Decking are local fencing contractors working in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. We look at various types of fencing and how difficult they are to put up.

How Do You Define Hardwoods And Softwoods?


Hardwood originates from deciduous trees or trees that shed their leaves on a seasonal basis. Hardwoods have a complicated structure that comprises plant tissues, fibres, and vessels. They have a distinctive grain pattern and complicated look because of their structure.

Hardwoods are angiosperms, meaning their seeds develop in a structure like a fruit or a nut. Angiosperms are classified as monocots, like bamboo. Or dicots like oak and rosewood.

Dicots are the source of almost all hardwoods. Hardwoods are made from trees that grow slower and have wide leaves that move water through the wood.

The leaves seem like pores when seen under a microscope. Hardwoods need more time to dry as a result. The slower growth and increased drying are what raise the cost of this timber. Hardwoods are sturdier and are renowned for their strength and resistance to deterioration. Oak, maple, and cherry are a few typical hardwood examples.

Oak wood - Hardwood Vs Softwood Fencing Which Is Better To Use?

Oak Wood

Pine Wood - Hardwood Vs Softwood Fencing Which Is Better To Use?

Pine Wood


Coniferous plants have leaves and cones that resemble needles. The wood from these trees is referred to as softwood. Softwoods are mostly made up of parenchyma cells and tracheids.

These carry water and have a homogeneous texture and basic look. Softwood plants' unique cellular transportation mechanism contributes to the production of sap. Tracheids show no perforations or holes when examined under a microscope. Softwoods are more prone to surface damage because they're not as sturdy as hardwoods. Softwoods include common species including pine, spruce, cedar, and fir.

What’s The Difference Between Hardwood And Softwood?

Hardwood comes from deciduous trees, or trees bloom once more in the spring. To reproduce, deciduous trees produce fruits or pods like acorns, conkers, or apples that contain their seeds. Oak, ash, elm, birch, beech, maple, mahogany, and teak are typical examples.

Coniferous trees are the source of softwood. Coniferous plants produce seeds that fall "naked" because they have no seed coating. Pine, larch, spruce, fir, and cedar are typical examples. The physical distinctions between the timbers are caused by how the trees reproduce and grow.

Softwood is more flexible and hardwood heavier. Although they differ in price, both kinds of wood are appropriate for gates and fences. All softwoods should be treated and coated for outdoor usage to extend their lifespan. Less durable softwoods like pine and spruce are frequently preservative-treated.

The characteristics of hardwoods and softwoods are different. Hardwoods are a well-liked option for flooring and furniture because of their durability. Hardwoods are also more resistant to bending and splitting. This is because of their high density and low moisture content.

For creating projects like custom furniture, beech, ash, and walnut are preferred woods. They're popular due to their aesthetic qualities, which include a distinct tint. Hardwoods have a long lifespan and are naturally resistant to weather harm.

They don't need as much upkeep as more affordable softwood varieties. Softwoods tend to be less dense and robust than hardwoods.

They are more accessible but more prone to wear and tear. Therefore, places like ceilings, walls, and fences are better suited for their use. But softwoods also offer certain benefits over hardwoods. They are preferred for building and carpentry since they're versatile. They are often cheaper and have a higher moisture content. This makes them less likely to split or break in dry areas.



Softwoods often cost less than hardwoods. Softwood originates from trees that grow quickly and are common in Europe compared to hardwood, which comes from slower-growing plants. The cost of shipping hardwoods from different parts of the world is an extra expense.

Weather Resistance, Maintenance And Lifespan

Softwoods can be coated with oils, paints, and varnishes to increase their longevity. Softwood must be treated before being used outside. Hardwoods have a longer lifespan and can last 30 years or longer with good maintenance.

Whereas treated softwoods can be anticipated to survive for at least 15 years. Due to temperature and humidity, wood is a natural material that will distort. By applying oils to it, you can extend its life and prevent ageing and weathering. Hardwood and softwood weigh very differently from one another.

The additional weight helps hardwood become harder and more durable. Hardwoods are better suited for construction projects since they are more resistant to damage. Floors, seats, and dining room tables are made of hardwoods like oak, teak, maple, and hickory. This is not to imply that softwoods are weak. Pine makes up the majority of the home frame and is the most used building material.

Due to their lower density, softwoods have more air pockets, which makes them easier to burn. Hardwoods burn more slowly because they are denser than softwoods. However, once it starts burning, hardwood burns hotter and for a longer period of time.

The majority of wood framing is made of softwood. This is because the cost difference between hardwood and softwood rarely outweighs the differences in fire resistance. Regardless of the type of wood, both hardwood and softwood have the same coating finish.

Softwoods typically need extra preparation. This includes handling knots, stains, or even just protection against decay. Hardwoods are less prone to swelling and shrinking and more rot-resistant. When the coating is maintained, hardwoods typically last five years as opposed to four years for softwoods.

Are you looking for garden fence installation near you? If you require new wooden fencing in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire contact us today. Our garden design experts can supply and install beautiful fencing for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.