How to Remove Fence Posts

The removal of wooden fence posts normally involves a process that includes loosening the post from the surrounding ground or concrete, then carefully extracting the post in a manner that does not cause the post to snap or splinter. By taking your time and making sure everything is in place before beginning to extract the fence post, the job can be completed with a minimum of difficulty. We'll show you how.


  1. Image titled Remove Fence Posts Step 1
    Assess the status of the fence post. A wooden post that is sunk into the surrounding soil will be relatively easy to remove, while one that is sunk into concrete will require additional equipment. Any wooden fence post that is severely deteriorated may also require additional tools to manage the extraction.
  2. Image titled Remove Fence Posts Step 2
    Dig a trench around the post using a shovel. The trench does not have to be any deeper than about 1 foot (0.3 m). Remove the dirt directly around the post, or around the concrete plug that is holding the post in position.
  3. Image titled Remove Fence Posts Step 3
    Rock the post in place. Push it backward and forward several times to help loosen the post and plug as the hole is enlarged slightly.
  4. Image titled Remove Fence Posts Step 4
    Nail it. Drive four nails into each face of the post. Position the nails so they are driven into the surface of the post at roughly 1 foot (0.3 m) from the ground level. Make sure the nails are driven at least halfway into the wood, creating a firm hold.
  5. Image titled Remove Fence Posts Step 5
    Tie it up. Secure a length of strong rope to the series of nails on the post. This can be accomplished by wrapping the rope around and under each exposed nail head in succession, finally tying the rope tightly around the body of the fence post.
  6. Image titled Remove Fence Posts Step 6
    Create a lever to help extract the post. This can be accomplished by placing one to two layers of concrete blocks on one side of the trench, and then laying a thick plank or board across the blocks.
  7. Image titled Remove Fence Posts Step 7
    Attach the rope to the end of the board closest to the post. Drive a couple of nails into the board to create a means of securing the rope into position.
  8. Image titled Remove Fence Posts Step 8
    Stand on the opposite end of the board. The effect will be somewhat like a seesaw, in that as your end moves toward the ground, the tension on the rope increases and pulls the post upward, slowly extracting the buried portion of the post.
  9. Image titled Remove Fence Posts Step 9
    Remove the post from the hole. Once the post is pulled upward, detach the rope and move the post away from the open hole.


  • Fence posts sunk with concrete may require the use of heavier equipment, such as a post puller. Motorized versions of this device work by driving thin tines into the wooden surface of the post and using the power of the motor to extract the post and the concrete plug.
  • Removing fence posts is easier with 2 people. The weight of a single person may not budge the post, making the homemade lever less efficient, whereas the weight of 2 people will likely be sufficient to extract the post from the ground.
  • An alternative method would involve sliding a metal ring over the post and driving the nails in above the ring. Attach a strong chain to the ring, again using the blocks and plank to create a makeshift lever.
  • Reuse the old concrete shell if it is solid and in good shape. A round corner square treated post can fit in a concrete shell left from a rotted out cedar post with maybe some minor trimming with a saws-all.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rope
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Thick Plank
  • Concrete Blocks

Article Info

Categories: Walls Fences and Decks