Have a look at how I made a Rustic Fence with Tree Branches and old fence posts! Using free materials and a little imagination I came up with this unique feature for my Garden at home!
This post may contain affiliate links please see my disclosure policy
I am currently in the process of renovating my back garden at home and as always im finding ways to do it with cost effective, free materials…You know me! ;0) The local park had pruned their willow trees and amassed a large pile of branches…just waiting for the chipper! I asked if I could take a few branches, they said yes. I already had some old fence posts at home that a kind neighbour had given us, and so… I started thinking about my next project!
I have a raised seating area at home, something we created years ago…and it’s all looking a bit tired! Over the last 2 years I have devoted the bulk of my time to creating my Allotment, and to my shame…I have neglected the garden at home! But this year, I aim to remedy that! There are several Projects and fixes I have in mind for the Garden, all of which will be revealed over the coming weeks…
I’m calling this phase one!
The first phase was to fence off the seating area. I wanted a partly enclosed space, dedicated to family time…somewhere my family and I can gather and eat when the weather warms up.
I wanted a bistro type feel….you know those little partitioned areas outside of restaurants in Summer? Where all the happy people sit, sipping wine and enjoying the sun! I pictured that Alfresco moment when designing this space.
I’m teetotal, so there will be no wine, and my Happy People are all under 14! Except for the hubby of course. So, Were mostly talking –Rhubarb Cordial, Barbeque and Cake! And hopefully the Sun will make an appearance too!
How to Make A Rustic Tree Branch Fence
A Great Rustic Fence Idea for small spaces!-Below is the basic tools and materials you’ll need. Lengths will differ depending on your project, but the method of construction will remain the same…
What You’ll Need
- 3 Fence Posts or similar
- Enough Tree Branches to fill the space ( *Not all the branches I used were long enough to span the full length of the open space, some were shorter, and so i entwined the branches together in the middle to knit the gap)
- Black Paint
This was not a difficult project as the pictures below will testify! If you can make a rectangle shape, and screw branches to wood you’re halfway there!
- I have a walled garden, and my Willow Fence Posts are screwed to the wall on the left, the raised wooden area below and to the Archway on the right. If you intend to build this fence in the open, you will have to sink the fence posts into the ground at a minimum of 2 ft and pour in some cement to secure. Bear this in mind when choosing your fence posts and factor in the height you want your finished fence to be.
- Construct the fence shape. Simply put, screw together pieces of wood to create an open bottom rectangle.
- Paint the wood with a colour or stain of your choice…I went with Ducks Back Black from Cuprinol
- When The Paint is dry, begin to screw your Branches to the wood frame, if your branches are long enough to reach the other end, screw the branch into the wood on both sides. If your branches are too short to reach the end, screw two branches on opposite sides, so they meet in the middle, entwine the branches to knit them together. If you can’t entwine, use some gardening wire to secure. (*Only two of my branches reached end to end, the rest were entwined in the middle)
- Continue this process from top to bottom, until the whole space is filled.
For reference this fence is 200 cm in length and 80 cm high. I used 22 willow Branches
Do You Have To Use Willow Branches?
Willow is an amazing material! The flexible branches allow you to shape and mould them to your liking, allowing you to build fences and other garden structures will relative ease.
However, if you don’t have any willow branches, any kind of long Branches will do. It was just happenstance that I had willow available to me, I would have happily taken a walk in the woods and used any other fallen tree branches I came across.
Tree Branches and Fences
Way before mass produced, clean cut Timber, Tree branches were the primary source for creating fences on farm land and in vegetable gardens. Back then it was not so much used for its decorative appeal but for its easy accessibility. There was no B&Q to speak of hundreds of years ago! And even if their had been, your average poor farmer wouldn’t have had the resources to pay for it! So he/she made do, and built their own.
It was called ‘Wattle’. Fences and even the walls of homes were made with woven hazel or willow. A weaved mesh of branches was created to form a wooden panel or fence. This practice dates back to Neolithic times and was used in Iron Age huts for walls, and for fencing in livestock. Vegetable patches would also have a wattle fence surrounding it, to protect the crops from animals.
What does a Traditional Wattle Fence look like?
A traditional wattle fence is a lightweight construction, made by weaving thin branches in-between upright stakes that have been secured in the ground. This ancient form of building is a traditional practice especially popular in the British Isles, Ireland and other parts of Europe.
Wattle Fence From Raspberry Canes
Here is an example of a traditional wattle fence, formed using original methods. I made this low Strawberry patch Fence last year by weaving Raspberry canes in-between sunken stakes to create a lattice type fence.
This is of course a miniature version of what could be achieved. I created a small bed with old methods. But a full size wattle fence?… I imagine that would be quite beautiful! Certainly On my To Do list!
More To Do!
As I said the garden at home is a work in progress, so much more needs to be done. I Have to replace wall paneling, Repaint the walls, Build A Barbeque, Build a potting Bench…And a whole mess of other stuff!
Be Sure to check back for Phase 2!