How to Build Trellises


A trellis is a system of support used to grow a number of different plants. Trellises can be used to grow everything from seasonal vines such as beans and tomatoes to sturdy, long-term fruits such as grapes, which may live up to 100 years. Trellises may be used to shape fruit trees into espalier shapes, or they may help you to tie up blackberry and raspberry canes to separate out the growth by year and prevent them from becoming invasive through layering. A simple type of trellis that can be used in any garden is a standard, two-wire trellis.

Step 1

Space your wooden fence posts 24 feet apart in rows. End posts should be 8 feet apart and braced by nailing a wooden fence post between them.

Step 2

Dig post holes that are 2 ½ feet deep. Sink posts into the holes and cover with soil.

Step 3

Stretch 9-gauge wire 6 feet off the ground between the posts. Anchor loosely by hammering fencing staples into the posts and passing the wire through the staples.

Step 4

Attach wire to the end posts by wrapping wire around the tops of the two posts and then running it from the top inner post to the bottom outer post and back. Twist the wire together as you run it at an angle from the inner post to the outer post and back. Staple in place with fencing staples.

Step 5

Repeat this process by running 11-gauge wire across posts from a height of 3 feet off the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden fence post
  • Post hole diggers
  • Wire, 9 gauge
  • Wire, 11 gauge
  • Wire cutters
  • Fencing staples
  • Hammer


  • North Carolina State University: Growing Blackberries in North Carolina
  • North Carolina State University: Growing Raspberries in North Carolina
  • Oregon State University: Espalier Training of Fruit Trees is Fun, but Demanding
  • Extension: How Do You Construct A Grapevine Trellis?

Who Can Help

  • Mississippi State University Extension: Staking and Training Tomatoes
Keywords: trellis construction, fruit production, how to build trellises

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."