How to Build a Sapling Trellis


A trellis provides a vertical dimension to a garden, supporting heavy climbing plants and raising them off the ground. Not only is a trellis aesthetically pleasing because it adds visual interest and appeal to a spot, it is functional as well, and frees up ground space so a gardener can grow more plants. Although you can make a trellis using a variety of material, a simple wooden latticework looks traditional and has a rustic appeal.

Step 1

Wear gloves and collect rocks, stones or plant debris from your planting site and place in a wheelbarrow. Make sure the site has well drained soil and meets the sunlight requirements of the plants you want to grow there. Pull out any weeds and clear it out with a rake.

Step 2

Measure the site so you can decide on the size, shape and width of the trellis. Also keep the mature size of the plants you want to grow in mind, so your trellis supports them properly. For a latticework trellis, you need several horizontal and vertical poles. The final amount depends on the size of your trellis, but keep in mind that at least a foot will be inserted in the ground to support it.

Step 3

Collect saplings with a 2-inch diameter from your backyard, or visit an open field or park and gather them. Also look for young sapling twigs from a recently pruned shrub. These are very pliable and will cover small sections of the trellis easily. You can even use bamboo canes or wooden posts purchased from your local hardware store.

Step 4

Place the poles parallel to each other on the ground, spaced evenly apart. Make sure their tips and ends are at the same level. Place poles over them horizontally, spaced evenly apart. You will have a lattice-shaped structure with intersecting poles. Mark each intersection with a marker on the pole. Make sure there is no intersection in the last 1 foot of the trellis.

Step 5

Wrap garden wire around each intersection to attach the poles firmly together. Make sure you wind it three to four times so it is secure. Twist the ends with pliers and cut them with wire cutters. Push the ends inwards to avoid cuts or scraps, as the wire ends are sharp.

Step 6

Measure and dig two holes in the soil into which you will insert the trellis poles. Carefully lift the trellis and stand it into the holes. Backfill the gaps around the holes with soil, and tamp it down to remove air bubbles.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Rake
  • Measuring tape
  • Saplings
  • Marker
  • Garden wire
  • Pliers
  • Wire cutter
  • Shovel


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Keywords: sapling trellis, diy sapling trellis, garden 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.