Wood choices for your gates. Softwood or Hardwood?

Wood is divided into two kinds; hardwood and softwood, however the names do not always refer to its actual hardness or softness.

Softwoods come from evergreen (coniferous) trees, those that have needles and cones and retain them year-round, also called gymnosperms. Examples include Cedar, Cypress, Fir, Pine and Spruce.

Hardwoods come from broad-leaved (deciduous) trees, those that drop their leaves each Autumn, they are also known as angiosperms because their seeds are encased in fruits or pods. Examples include Ash, Beech, Birch, Iroko, Mahogany, Maple, Oak, Teak and Walnut.

Softwood gates
Slow grown Scandinavian kiln dried softwood typically a creamy white colour, with a hint of yellow and/or red. Softwood is a more economical option but is less durable than hardwood, Iroko.

The softwood pedestrian and 5 Bar gates we supply are pressure treated, giving the gates a green tint. This will naturally silver over time. They are pressure treated to UC4 level. UC4 is normally for wood in ground contact so they are treated to the highest level. Although the gates are pressure treated we would recommend regular treatment to extend the life of the gate.

These gates are manufactured using the finest quality kiln dried Scandinavian redwood. All our drive entrance gates are supplied untreated and should be treated prior to installation.

Hardwood gates
All the hardwood gates we supply are made from Iroko: A responsibly sourced kiln dried African Hardwood which is usually a yellow to golden or medium brown, with colour tending to darken over time.

Iroko is a very durable hardwood which is hard wearing and resistant to decay.

If left untreated the wood will gradually silver but can be prone to watermarks. Although Iroko is a hardwood we would recommend treatment to protect the wood and to extend the life of the gate.

Please remember timber is a natural product. It is a hygroscopic material, which means it naturally absorbs and gives off water to balance out with its surrounding environment. As such can be subject to movement and weathering as it seasons. It is quite common for small splits (shakes) to occur during drying and also warping when timber is allowed to dry too rapidly. This is nature at work and should not be considered a fault. This is normally not detrimental and in all but extreme cases will rectify as humidity rises.

Quick links: 

Jubilee drive entrance gate – Iroko (pictured on left above) >>
Estate gate – softwood  (pictured above on right) >>
Drive entrance gate range>>
Pedestrian gate range >>

Contact us
We would always recommend a visit to the timber yard to chat to the team and discuss your requirements. Or call us on 01386 840373 or email to find out more.