What Is a Cross Buck Fence?

Cross buck fencing in a simple variation of straight post and rail fencing.

Wooden Cross Buck Fencing

Classic post and rail fencing does not have the cross buck fence's "X" pattern.Classic post and rail fencing does not have the cross buck fence's "X" pattern.
While post and rail fencing is elegant in its simplicity, particularly for large farms or estates, it is little more than 4-foot-high posts with straight rails connecting them in an “H” pattern There are usually two or three rails between the posts. Cross buck fencing is a post and rail design with an “X” pattern between the posts. It has little practical value but it is aesthetically appealing to both homeowners and passersby on drives through the countryside.

Traditional cross buck fencing is made of wooden posts, sunk 2 to 3 feet into the ground and cemented in place. The posts are often adorned with an ornate steeple or globe top. Wooden posts are most often made from pressure-treated four-by-four lumber to prevent rot and insect infestation. The wooden slats between the posts are most often attached using mortise-and-tenon construction techniques for longer-lasting and more secure fencing. Alternatively, the rail boards are frequently screwed or nailed in place to the front face (outside) of the post.

Vinyl Fabricated Cross Buck Fencing

Increasingly, vinyl has become the material of choice for everything from home siding to fencing because of its faux wood design and texture, but mostly because of the lack of maintenance and deterioration of the posts and slats. A myriad of companies manufacture vinyl fencing of many varieties, including cross buck. Insect infestation is not a concern, nor is rotting. The fence's color is most often ingrained in the vinyl polymer from which it is made and then coated with a sealant to prevent color fade.

Hybrid Cross Buck Fencing

Hybrid cross buck fencing is cross buck fencing, traditionally made of wood, with the added structural stability and added aesthetic appeal of straight post and rail fencing. The rails are attached at the top and bottom of the posts by mortise and tenon, or by nails or screws, at the top of the “X” pattern, creating a boxed effect.

Coloring

One word: white. Other than natural, stained wood, rarely will you find cross buck that has not been whitewashed or painted white. At least one vinyl company, however, offers a cross buck fence in verde green and another in a wood-tan. To each his own.

About the Author

Chuck Ayers began writing professionally in 1982, breathing life into obituaries, becoming a political and investigative reporter at a major East Coast metropolitan newspaper. He now freelances and is a California communications and political consultant. He graduated from American University, Washington, D.C., with degrees in political science and economics.