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The Fence Post

5 Unique Styles of Fence

November 14, 2018 | by Duncan Page

Wattle Fence        Lace Fence       Worm Fence        Living Snow Fence        Papercrete Fence  

 

1. Wattle Fence

An Historic Perspective to a Garden 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.

A Variety of Benefits and Uses

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 windbreak.

wattle fence

The rustic, handwoven appearance of a wattle fence 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 trimmings for fence building materials. Instead of burning or destroying branches, use them in a creative way to beautify and add interest to your landscaping. Even though willow is the ideal wood, any type of wood can be used.

2. Lace Fence

Having grown up in a neighborhood where the lawns flowed into one another, when some new folks moved in and put up a stark chain link fence around the perimeter of their property, the neighbors were collectively horrified. Mercifully, they grew ivy on it. 

However, a new type of fencing has been introduced by the Demakersvan design studio in Holland. Called lace fence, it is a combination of chain link fabric and the art of lace making.

lace fence

The design possibilities - from floral themes to contemporary patterns and designs - are infinite. And you can submit your own designs. With this opportunity to customize each job, every lace fence is unique. Chain link fencing, a basic functional fence, can become a decorative and attractive work of art. Imagine coming up with a theme related to the property or space you are defining.

Lace Fence can be woven from both 11 and 12-1/2 gauge wires, either galvanized or vinyl coated. The wire mesh is securely clamped to a tubular frame. There are many different types of locations - both interior and exterior - where Lace Fence is currently in use, including but not limited to:

  • barrier fences in parks and other public areas
  • interior partitions in banks, restaurants, hotels and gyms
  • railing safety mesh on stairways, decks and balconies
  • decorative panels on the facades of commercial buildings
  • safety fences on apartment buildings
  • museum displays

Photograph of Lace Fence at The Design Center at Philadelphia University is used by permission. See this blog article to see more pictures of this unique fencing. 

3. Worm Fence  

Definition:

A fence, zigzag in plan, made of rails resting across one another at an angle - according to the Random House Dictionary.

This style of fencing is also known as Snake Fence, ZigZag Fence and Battlefield Fence - the latter term due to its presence on many Civil War battlefields (see video below). Worm Fence (also known as Virginia Worm fence) has been used in America since the 1600's. Easy to build, split wood rails are stacked on each other to create the fence. The ends of the rails alternate, creating the openings. For stability of the stacked rails, each section of fence is angled from the previous one, giving the appearance of a worm or snake.

worm fence at Gettysburg

sheep may safely graze

No Post Holes, Rocky Terrain bonus

No vertical posts are required to build the fence. This both eliminates the need to dig post holes and makes the fence easy to install - a particular advantage in rocky terrain. Sometimes a pair of crossed posts would be used at the junction point of each section. This would allow the fence to be closer to a straight line. With a plentiful supply of wood and ease of construction, it is easy to understand why worm fence was the most common type of fence used in America by the late 1800's. It is gaining popularity today for use as a rustic fence that will add to the appearance of a piece of property and it is used in many outdoor historical museums.

Here's a quick overview of colonial fence styles:

     

4. Living Snow Fence 

Strong winter winds can cause dangerous driving conditions. Not only does blowing snow dramatically reduce visibility but also treacherous drifts can accumulate across roadways and other open unprotected areas.

A Natural Windbreak

Several states have successful programs in place using living snow fence. The Iowa DOT has been developing and improving theirs for over 40 years. Living snow fencing is a natural barrier created by planting a combination of shrubs, trees, and grasses that act as a windbreak. In Iowa, rows are five feet apart and shrubs are set three feet apart within the row. Plantings are arranged so that the gaps in one row are filled by the plants in the next row.  As the speed of the wind is disrupted and decreased, snow settles among and downwind from the plantings. Research shows that drifts will form downwind 10 to 12 times the height of the trees (100 to 120 feet downwind from a 10 tree). A concentrated and closely spaced placement of trees and shrubs results in shorter and deeper drifts. When positioned properly, living snow fences can greatly reduce the amount of plowing needed to keep roads open for travel. Winter travel is safer.

living snow fence  in winterliving snow fence summe

Environmental and Aesthetic Advantages of Snow Fences

There are benefits in addition to safety when living snow fencing is used:

  • Highway beautification is enhanced with native species of plants.
  • Environmental stewardship is promoted.
  • Trees, shrubs and grasses are excellent wildlife habitat all year.
  • Living snow fences slow and reduce erosion.
  • When measured during winter months the temperature of the pavement surface in areas protected by living snow fence were higher than the surface temperature in unprotected areas. In areas with severe cold, this greatly increases the effectiveness of chemicals used to prevent icing.
  • It is no longer necessary to install and remove wood or plastic snow fence. 

5. Papercrete Fence

Ever heard of a fence made out of papercrete? What exactly is papercrete?

This video will show you how to make a 4' by 8' section of fencing - real DIY stuff, folks. A recipe follows--

Papercrete Ingredients--

  • 30 pounds of concrete
  • 18 pounds of joint compound
  • 1 pound of boric acid
  • 90 pounds of newspapers
  • Just add water and you're good to go!

But...would you really want a papercrete fence around your house?

 Original content created by Duncan Page, edited by Joe Morrell

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Topics: lace fence, worm fence, living fence, Wire Coating, vinyl coated

Philadelphia Zoo Revolution

November 5, 2018 | by Joe Morrell

Philadelphia Zoo Introduces "Zoo 360"

tiger

Zoo 360

Zoo 360 is a campus-wide network of exploration trails--for animals!  Featuring elevated trails surrounded with see-through hexagonal wire mesh that allow animals to roam above, across, and around the park. Animals are able to explore, circle through and around visitors, who can see them through tunnels of galvanized mesh, creating more interest and exercise for the animals and revolutionizing the experience for visitors. This allows animals to be observed in action and doing more of what they would do in the wild.  Rather than existing in stationary exhibits--animals can wander, be more active, are less bored, which: 

  • enhances their quality of life
  • lets them travel longer distances
  • allows them to explore a variety of environments
  • links habitats, where appropriate

Some examples:

  • Treetop Trail--smaller primates can visibly walk or swing through tops of trees.                                                                                                                                                monkey 
  • Gorilla Treeway--higher places to observe and explore with an extensive area to move about.                                                                                                                gorilla 
  • Big Cat Crossing--tigers, lions, jaguars, leopards, pumas, and others are able to prowl about and get some exercise.                                                          leopard 
  • Meerkat Maze--an underground world where Meerkats can do what they do--running, digging, popping their heads out of their burrows and observing the scene above.                                                                                                                                                                             meerkat  

Here is a video that will give you a look at the latest developments at the Philadelphia Zoo.

And these smart folks at the zoo know that stainless steel mesh resists rust, corrosion, and stands up to harsh chemicals. They also use rust resistant vinyl coated mesh which resists destructive elements such as acid rain and guards against abrasion while the black coating works as an invisibility cloak, creating an undistracted view--much better than green and not as prone to glare as the galvanized grey. And the happy answer here is less maintenance because the galvanization is reinforced with highly bonded PVC which extends the life of the fence indefinitely. 

The enhanced animals' experience enhances our experience.

Inside those walls of mesh--an animal's environment is improved through the provision of:

  • trees with various levels for perching
  • vines
  • a variety of ground, soil and rock modifications
  • nesting and den possibilities
  • programs of positive reinforcement that stimulate cognitive abilities
  • familiar and unfamiliar scents
  • recordings of sounds that would be heard in the wild
  • food that is hidden, buried or scattered so that an effort must be made to attain it as in the wild
  • toys that would be of particular interest to a given species
  • programs where you can sponsor a specific animal and also make contributions for toys etc.                           

Progress is being made and the Philadelphia Zoo is evidence of that. We here at Louis Page applaud all this innovation and fine work!

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Topics: wire mesh, cages, zoo, Wire Mesh for Zoos, vinyl coated, hex mesh

Hurricane Florence and After

September 20, 2018 | by Joe Morrell

Signs of the Times? 

 flooded homes and businesses

Imminent Dangers

The people of North Carolina have endured so much. The dreadful personal loss, psychological trauma, and physical setbacks resulting from Hurricane Florence have been monumental. It was just last September that a record-setting amount of rainfall ocurred--30 inches. Overwhelming amounts of reconstruction and distribution of supplies have been required to stabilize a large area of the state and the needs are ongoing. Here is a short example of some of the initial stresses they suffered: 

 

Tough Times for Farmers

Farmers were hit hard. The poultry industry has never known such unprecedented losses, with millions of chickens and turkeys taken by the waters as well as the numerous pork farms that have lost so much. Not only livestock, but also barns, containment structures, and equipment were damaged, facing enormous replacement costs. Wire mesh fencing will be a necessity for many farms and parks--both state and federal. For farmers, this was to be a watershed (no pun intended) moment as they considered whether to stay in business. Erosion along the coast requires sand fencing and costly structural safeguards. Early overall damage estimates ran to 22 billion dollars, and that was a modest estimate. It is reported that only 35% of storm-affected inhabitants had adequate flood insurance.

And Onward

We who have been blessed with a measure of stability might think about the strains that the people have suffered. However, sending supplies can be more disruptive than helpful, forcing people on the ground to receive, organize, house, and spend time apportioning the goods. Regrettably, what is sent often misses the mark. Sending cash to trusted aid organizations is best for the most part. At Louis Page, we have done what we can to give assistance with these efforts. 

 

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Topics: vinyl coated, hex mesh

Cat-Proof Fence--Five Miles of it

July 25, 2018 | by Joe Morrell

 

cat stalking in brush 

Saving the Endangered Hawaiian Petrel: a three year project 

In the lava crevices on the slopes of Moana Loa, the Hawaiian petrel nests. Now a bit less nervously as a 5-mile hexagonal mesh fence protects these endangered birds from feral cats, who stalk and feast on the birds' vulnerable chicks. The curved floppy top of the fence prevents the cats from successfully scaling it. Take a look at this video which explains the massive undertaking of installing this cat-proof wire mesh fence in a remote location as well as showing the nesting habits of the 'ua'u (or Hawaiian petrel.) 

There used to be thousands of petrels and it is said that their presence would blacken the skies at particular times of the year. The population has dwindled due to increased settlements and people bringing in cats, rats, feral pigs, and barn owls. The struggle goes on as lights are very disorienting to the young birds, causing groundings, which leave them vulnerable to predators. The 'ua'u is also preyed upon by Indian mongooses and feral dogs which this fence also restrains. Two years on, there are reports that this hexagonal mesh fence is proving successful as there is an upturn in the number of nesting sites in the area.   

Tell us about the job and Louis Page will supply the type of fence you need.

Browse Products Now 

 

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Topics: black vinyl coated, vinyl coated, 1.5x1.5, galv after, 12.5 gauge, 1" mesh, exclusion fence

Restraining Lava Loiterers

July 12, 2018 | by Joe Morrell

lava flow in barren rock

Protecting people from lava flows--and from themselves.

There are some fencing products on their way to Hawaii. It seems some physical barriers are required to offset the lava-play aficionados and looky-loos that are putting themselves at peril. For us at home, observing the mesmerizing lava flows from your screen of choice is a popular pastime, quite understandably. However, far from these screens is the tough job of predicting the actions of people who are curious or foolhardy enough to want to get close to the volcanic activity. Louis Page has been called in to assist with the fence and mesh needed to curb these adventurous and possibly harebrained scofflaws. Remember that vinyl coated high tensile wire is the fence of choice for longevity and strength.  

An over-reaction? Nope. 

The dangers are numerous:

  • Those fascinating sea water explosions of boiling water and steam require onlookers to be at least a 1/4 of a mile away for safety. That steam is not just water vapor! 
  • Methane gas is created when vegetation is inundated without oxygen, exploding up to 100 yards ahead of the lava flow.
  • The flows emit fumes that contain glass particles, sulfuric acid, and hydrochloric acid--no walking or standing in these toxic clouds.
  • And some folks are enticed onto the new land created by the lava hitting the ocean--called benches--which are very unstable and prone to collapse.

Tourists and Hawaiian residents, observing bursts of gas and flame from the streams of lava, are being arrested for walking on hardened igneous rock and trespassing citations are handed out as people avoid barricades to take pictures, being caught going through areas with toxic gases.

Pele's Hair

And if the above list wasn't enough, there are the fine flaxen tresses of Pele. Named for the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes, droplets of cooling lava are stretched up to six feet in the wind and should not be touched as it is actually volcanic fiberglass that can be very sharp and penetrate the skin. Here is a quick video to illustrate this phenomenon:

Fines: Bad News

Entering certain zones bring a $5000 penalty and a year in jail. These reflect fines and punishments increased recently by the Department of Land and Natural Resources.  

Is there a type of fence that you need to manage or direct pedestrians? Louis Page can assist you in finding just the right fence for your site.

Safety Fence

 

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Topics: wire fence, high tensile wire, vinyl coated wire, vinyl coated, galv after

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