Turning Dreaded Buckthorn Into an English Wattle Fence

Bob Thacker
by Bob Thacker
7 Materials
3 Days

Buckthorn is a noxious shrub/tree that destroys our woods. I needed to make a fence to hide a compost pile. I'd seen beautiful English wattle fences and decided to cut buckthorn branches to make it. First, I cut down a bunch of branches before they'd leafed out in the Spring. Then I set few treated posts into concrete and "wove" the branches back and forth like a basket. It was easy! I capped the posts with 1x12 cedar and then stained it to match the buckthorn "basket".

An Old English wattle fence made of buckthorn
Our woods were choked with Buckthorn

Buckthorn was about to take over the woods next to my house.

I cut branches and stripped them into sticks

I chose early spring to build this before the Buckthorn had leafed out. I chose branches that were between 1 and 2 inches in diameter. Length varied.

Twigs cut into wattle

Cutting off the branches created uniform wattle sticks.

Posts set in concrete and twigs woven between

I set the posts about 3 feet apart careful to make sure the tops were even. When the concrete had set, I wove the twig back and forth like a basket. I pushed them down to form a tight weave. Then I trimmed off the ragged ends. I used steel wire to tie off the ends. Then I cut 1x12 planks and 1x2 pieces to create the cap on the fence. I then stained the cedar to match the wattle. We've planted English ivy to grow on the fence as well.

Even in the winter it looks great in a rustic way!

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3 of 8 questions
  • Sandra Sandra on Feb 20, 2019

    Do you think young bamboo can be done this way.

  • Kate Kate on Feb 20, 2019

    Such a pretty, natural looking fence!! Great job!! I love the look of it!

    Do you think I could weave some branches in a regular metal fence?

  • David David on Feb 20, 2019

    Anybody mention good ol' American cane? About same as bamboo....probably thinner & more flexible especially if cut green.

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  • Deb12348245 Deb12348245 on Aug 23, 2022

    Do not use English Ivy. Very pretty but invasic

    ve. I bought property with about 1/3 acre covered in ivy. I tholought I could get rid of it. It is tenacious.

  • Beverly Beverly on Aug 23, 2022

    Never thought I would say something like this, but this is so beautiful!