Redwood Grove Bark Fence

With many improvements happening around the farm, we were able to devote some time and attention to improving the fence around the redwood grove.  After we moved in, we reused a short wood slot-metal wire fence propped up with redwood branches to keep out deer.  Another benefit to having the fence was that the horses could meander about and roll in the sand for a change of scenery.

The beautiful cathedral redwood grove has 32 redwoods in a circle.  We have the potential to host some amazing gatherings, such as weddings, yoga retreats, and even an overnight campout.

Before, the fence looked shabby, redwood needles piled up, and spider webs gathered dust and debris.

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In November, 2018, I got a text from a friend asking if her friends could dump off some redwood milling scraps on our property rather than taking it to the dump.  I was intrigued by the potential to use recycled materials, so I agreed.  I wasn’t home, but was excited to sort through the pile.

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This pile of redwood, had a lot of white “sap” wood, but also pieces with the bark.  This was the perfect material and opportunity to starting building a new fence (for free).

On November 12, 2018, our farmhand Will Burke and I started to build the fence.  I used the redwood pieces as 2x4s in between the trees, and 6″ self-driving screws with an impact driver to secure the frame into the tree/bark.  Fortunately, much of the redwood slabs with the bark had been milled as thin pieces.  If the slabs were wider, I cut them in half or thirds with a saw.  I preferred the random lengths rather than settling for a uniform pattern.

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Luckily, on November 23, Reta and Tim dropped off another load of redwood mill scraps.  This time, I was home and could meet them as well as take photos.  They had a couple of redwood trees fall on their property in Scotts Valley, and they were milling the trees for lumber.  I was happy to take their scraps.  Some pieces we used, some we gave away, and some we ended up taking to the dump.  This load didn’t quite provide as many pieces that we needed with the bark.

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We were able to construct a few more segments of the fence with this load of wood.

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During winter, no milling was going on so we had to wait patiently for more free material.  After contacting Reta again, we learned that they were done milling so we had to find another source for the redwood bark pieces.   For over a year, someone had posted bark slabs on craigslist, but I never contacted him because it cost .90 per foot.

Now, in order to finish the fence, I answered the ad, and met David Smith.  It was really a nice opportunity to meet a local miller in Boulder Creek.  On July 13, 2019, we visited his property and had the chore of digging through piles of mill ends to pull out the pieces we wanted.  We were happy to have bark, but the pieces were not as thick as what we had before.  We got 20 slabs, David cut up the 20′ pieces, and loaded onto our trailer.

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On Friday, July 26, 2019, Will and I again worked on fence.  It had been 8 months since we last worked on it together.  I was surprised how fast the time had flown by.  In addition to adding the redwood bark, we cemented in one of the metal 10′ posts for the wrought iron gate that will highlight the entrance to the grove.

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Since I was on a roll with the fence, I prioritized more fence building on Saturday, July 27.  There was a planter bed with an old, vintage grape stake fence.

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I replaced this old and tired fence with redwood bark for a uniform look.   I cut the 8′ pieces in half so that this fence was shorter.  It worked out really well in order to save some longer pieces for another location.

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On Friday, August 16, work started on the Redwood Grove Iron Gates.  In addition, Will dug a hole, and we cemented in a 4×4 for a section to keep the horses in the grove.

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On Saturday, August 17, I finished this section with 2x4s and redwood bark.

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For now, we are done with the fence. It basically goes half way around the grove.