When I purchased Hawk Hill in 2010, this poor little trellis was charged with the responsibility of supporting this boisterous and unkempt rose plant. Creating a great big trellis for this rose was one of my first outdoor DIY projects. I knew the theme of my yard could work with a natural/rustic trellis, and I couldn’t find a trellis big enough anyway, so I decided to make my own!
First, I went through the small wooded area along my property line and marked trees for my landscaper to cut. Thankfully there are always many volunteer trees growing straight up, reaching for sunlight in the hedgerows, so finding 6 or 8 long, straight trunks was no problem.
I measured my height of the building, the width of the rose’s natural fan, and cut my vertical and horizontal logs to according lengths. Next, I laid my logs out on the ground in a grid, pre-drilled holes in the logs at the intersections to prevent splitting, then used a long (3″ in my case) deck screw (the coarse threads will help pull it through the wood, and the deck screws won’t rust) to secure horizontal beams to vertical supports.
To cover the unsightly screws and create a more natural look, I then wrapped jute around each joint of the trellis. I simply tied mine off, however in seeing how the rope has frayed since, I would recommend large hammer-in staples combined with a heavy duty glue to secure the ends of the rope to the back of the trellis.
My tree-trunk trellis probably won’t last as long as the aluminum trellis would have, however it is mostly covered by the eaves of my tool shed, so should be well worth the 3 hour this project took.
Here’s a photo of the joints with and without the decorative rope covered joints:
This is a great fall/winter project! I did mine in the spring of 2011, but it wasn’t until the following fall that I installed the trellis. I decided to skip wrestling the thorny growth in favor of installing after a harsh pruning.
And here’s my roses in bloom this spring! With a large trellis to support them they’ve grown huge and still look supported and only a bit wild!