How to Build a Wire Trellis


A trellis placed strategically in your backyard or garden provides an ideal growing structure for a variety of climbing plants, including roses, grapevines and hard-shell gourds. Although elaborate, curved wire trellises often grace ornate garden areas. Build your own simple wire trellis with a wire livestock panel and a supporting wood frame. At 16 feet long and less than $30 per piece, a livestock panel provides more than enough surface area for three sturdy-yet-affordable 42-inch-wide straight trellises that measure approximately 7 feet tall. Opt for red cedar for the wood frame, a sturdy, disease-resistant wood species that works particularly well for trellises, according to Jim Long, author of "Making Bentwood Trellises, Arbors, Gates and Fences."

Step 1

Cut your livestock panel to length with bolt cutters. Measure 42 inches from one end of the livestock panel and mark the vertical wire at that location with a piece of chalk. Visually locate the bottom horizontal wire on the outside edge of the marked vertical wire. Grasp the bottom horizontal wire between the cutting edges of your bolt cutters and close the handles slowly but firmly to sever the wire. Repeat this process for each horizontal wire on your livestock panel.

Step 2

Sink your two 4-inch-by-4-inch cedar posts approximately 2 feet into the ground. Dig the holes with a clamshell post-hole digger, locating the centers of the holes approximately 42 inches apart. Stand your posts straight up in the holes and check with a level to ensure that they're straight. Secure the posts into the ground by pounding dirt around them with a tamping rod.

Step 3

Nail one of the 2-inch-by-4-inch framing boards to the two posts using galvanized nails. Position the board parallel to the ground, making sure its ends are flush with the outside edges of the cedar posts. Locate the framing board approximately 18 inches from the ground. Repeat this installation process for the other framing board, positioning it at the tops of the posts with its ends flush with the post corners.

Step 4

Move to the other side of the trellis framework with your cut length of cattle panel. Position the cattle panel between the cedar posts, locating its top and bottom in line with the 2-inch-by-4-inch framing boards. Secure the cattle panel wire to the posts and the framing boards with 1 1/2-inch fence staples. Hammer a staple every 9 to 12 inches along the four sides of the wire panel to ensure that it stays in place.

Things You'll Need

  • Livestock panel
  • Bolt cutters
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk
  • 2 cedar posts, 9 feet and 4 inches by 4 inches
  • Clamshell post-hole digger
  • Level
  • Tamping rod
  • 2 cedar boards, 46 inches and 2 inches by 4 inches
  • Hammer
  • Galvanized nails
  • 1 1/2-inch galvanized fencing staples


  • "Making Bentwood Trellises, Arbors, Gates and Fences"; Jim Long; 1998
  • How to Build a Wire Trellis
Keywords: wire trellises, building wire trellises, building a trellis

About this Author

Regan Hennessy has been writing professionally for 11 years. A freelance copywriter and certified teacher, Hennessy specializes in the areas of parenting, health, education, agriculture and personal finance. During her time with Demand Studios, Hennessy has produced content for Ehow, Answerbag and Travels. Hennessy graduated from Lycoming College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.