How to Build a Cable Trellis


A trellis provides a gardener many advantages--it supports climbing vines and encourages them to grow upwards; acts as a vertical green wall, filling a particular area with greenery and colorful blooms; provides privacy and blocks out wind; prevents pests such as rats and rodents from eating the plants that would otherwise grow on the ground; and frees up ground space so you can grow other plants there. A cable trellis is usually attached to masonry walls with hooks, and tendrils of climbers are encouraged to grow on it and eventually cover it completely.

Step 1

Select the wall where you want to attach the cable trellis. Mark a midpoint, at least 2 feet above the end of the wall. Measure a distance of 3 feet on each side of the midpoint and mark it with chalk as well. These two points will serve as the trellis ends for a fan-shaped cable trellis.

Step 2

Measure 5 feet straight up from the midpoint mark and mark the spot with chalk. Use a carpenter's level to make sure the line is straight. This point will serve as the upper midpoint. Measure 5 feet to the left and right from this point, and mark both points with chalk. These will be the upper end points of the fan cable trellis. Also measure 2 feet on either side from the upper midpoint and mark the spots with chalk. Your wall will now have five chalk marks on the top.

Step 3

Connect the five upper chalk marks with a straight chalk line. Check to make sure it is level with carpenter's level. These five marked and connected points are the upper cable trellis points.

Step 4

Wear your protective eyeglasses and earplugs and drill holes into the upper marks and lower midpoint. Insert masonry anchors and eye screws into the holes. Measure and cut the cable into one 6-foot and four 7-foot lengths with wire cutters. Make sure you wear your gloves to prevent cutting your fingers from the sharp ends of the cable. Use a ferrule--a circular clamp that attaches wires by crimping and prevents them from splitting-to make a 1 ½-inch loop in an end of each cable length. Insert a snap hook through each loop.

Step 5

Place the hook for the 6-foot cable length into the upper midpoint eyebolt and snap it. Repeat the procedure with the 7-foot cable lengths on the remaining upper eyebolts.

Step 6

Make the turnbuckle longer by unscrewing its ends. Secure the lower turnbuckle to the lower screw eye with the remaining snap hook. Insert a ferrule into each cable length end. Extend the cable ends through each upper turnbuckle eye and then the ferrules, making 2-inch loops. Crimp the ferrule and cut any excess cable length off with wire cutters.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk
  • Carpenter's level
  • Protective eyeglasses
  • Earplugs
  • Drilling machine and masonry bits
  • 6 masonry anchors
  • 6 masonry eyebolts
  • Gloves
  • 3/32 galvanized steel cable
  • Wire cutters
  • 12 ferrules
  • 6 stainless spring snap hooks
  • Galvanized eye and eye buckle
  • Wire ferrule crimper


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Who Can Help

  • Climbers and Twiners- Vines for the Home Garden
Keywords: cable trellis, cable wire trellis, diy trellis

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.