When investing in a set of timber gates, there are a number of issues that need to be taken into consideration. The first of these would be which species of timber will best suit your requirements. The answer will depend on the location the gates are to be situated and the aesthetic look you want to create.
There is no doubting that hardwoods are far superior in durability, and that's an advantage, especially as the majority of gates are open to the elements from all sides. However, oak, although a popular choice and durable material, can easily turn black should regular and sufficient treatments not be applied. Of the hardwood timbers, the best for use in exterior gates would be Iroko, Idigbo or mahogany. Iroko is extremely durable, very similar to teak, and even when it’s left untreated will outlast generations. Idigbo is similar yet lighter in colour, and can easily be colour graded to match another timber such as oak. Mahogany is the darkest of the three, but again has excellent durability and reacts well to coatings.