three examples of picket shapes
Photo: Ted Morrison
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Which Wood?

A. Southern Yellow Pine: A thrifty choice that has to be treated to resist rot and insects and to remove sap. Knotty. Shown: 4-inch-by-4-foot French Gothic picket, about $3.70 per linear foot; The Home Depot

B. Douglas Fir: This strong, northwestern softwood is stable and sap-free in clear, vertical-grain cuts. Less rot resistant than red cedar and redwood. Shown: 2½-inch-by-3-foot Acorn picket, about $29 per linear foot; Blue Ox Millworks

C. Redwood: Premium western softwood that's stable and sap-free. Clear grades like this are costly. Shown: 2½-inch-by-3-foot Windsor picket, about $37.50 per linear foot; Blue Ox Millworks
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