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What Is A Wattle Fence?


wattle fence


Wattle fences may be one of the oldest types of fencing still in use today. They were used in England long before Medieval times. Traditionally the fences are built from straight, slender, flexible suckers or saplings of the willow tree up to 1-1/2" diameter. After the leaves are stripped, the ”withies” are woven between upright wood posts. Willow is an ideal wood because it is pliable and resists splintering. Other species, such as alder, can also be used. Read "How To Build A Wattle Fence" from the  Alaska Botanical Garden

Wattle fences are very strong and long lasting. Willow posts often take root in the ground creating a living fence, perfect for containing animals and enclosing gardens and orchards. And the density of the fence makes an ideal wind break.

The rustic, hand woven appearance of wattle fencing adds an attractive defining touch to any yard, garden or landscape. Some possible uses:

  • arches
  • towers
  • trellises
  • plant supports
  • garden accents
  • hurdles or fence panels
  • attractive garden borders to line walkways

Wattle construction is a great way to use invasive species for fence building materials. Instead of burning or destroying branches, use them in a creative way to beautify and and add interest to your landscaping. Even though willow is the ideal wood, any type of wood can be used.

What ways can you think of to use wattle fence?

Would you want a wattle fence in your yard?



signatureDuncan Page



Yes, I have always loved wattle fencing. You have inspired me to try to make one around my herb bed. Thanks for the great article.
Posted @ Tuesday, November 09, 2010 6:17 AM by elizabeth
I have visited the AK Botanical Garden in Anchorage a few times, and they use a low-lying wattle fencing described in their "how-to" extensively to mark trails and beds. While I believe they use rebar posts rather than wood, the casual observer cannot see the post material. For a more robust fence or in wet areas, metal or composite posts may be preferable. 
I generally prefer the absence of fencing in favor of natural vegetation instead. However, wattle fences are about as mild of a shift from one to the other as you can get.
Posted @ Tuesday, November 09, 2010 12:40 PM by Jason W. Theis
Wattle fences do add a lot of charm. The possibilities are endless and the cost is very low.
Posted @ Tuesday, November 09, 2010 12:55 PM by Duncan Page
Hello Duncan! 
Nice post. Are you going to make and sell these now? 
Just kidding. If you cover them with mud, is that "wattle and daub" ? 
Posted @ Tuesday, November 09, 2010 6:08 PM by Dave
Growing up in the UK in the 1960's we wanted a wattle fence so my mother and I drove to a woodland she knew east of Winchester in Hampshire, and walked into the woods a ways to a place where an old man lived under a tarp for the summer, making wattle fences. We bought some panels from him and had them in the yard at home for many years.
Posted @ Monday, June 06, 2011 2:06 PM by Michael
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