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10 Best Trellis Materials You Can Use

Best Materials for Trellises

Trellises are one of the most common ways to build a green wall in your garden. Since they will support many plants, you’d want your trellis made of the sturdiest and most durable material possible.

The best trellis material is a rot-resistant wood such as cedar, cypress or redwood. They are strong, durable, decay-resistant and can withstand harsh weather conditions, making them a great support structure for climbing plants.

But there are also a variety of trellis materials that you can choose from. Read on to learn the ten best materials for trellis and find out how to use them to add style and interest to your garden!

10 Best Materials for Trellises

10 Best Materials for Trellises
Image: Pinterest.

The best materials for building trellises are bamboo, softwood, hardwood, wrought iron, stainless steel, copper, bronze and brass, aluminium, plastic and wire or twine.

Let’s discuss the benefits of using each material to make your garden trellises.

1. Bamboo

Image: Pexels

Bamboo is a great sustainable material to use for trellises. They’re renewable, robust, lightweight and easy to work with. 

They give sturdy support to your climbing plants while giving your garden a natural and tropical vibe. 

Since bamboo trellises are susceptible to rotting, we recommend treating them with a wood preservative to extend their lifespan for garden use. 

2. Softwood

Image: Global Wood Market

Softwoods also make great trellis material because they’re solid and durable enough to withstand the weight of plants. They’re also more affordable and easier to cut and shape according to your liking. 

Some softwoods that you can use to build a trellis are cedar, pine, spruce, fir and hemlock. Most of them are rot and even insect-resistant, which helps lessen the risk of pest infestation for your vertical garden.

3. Hardwood

Image: Builders Surplus

Hardwoods are a more robust and durable choice for trellises, since they’re rot and decay-resistant. You can also use them to support heavier plants in your vertical wall. 

They also come in different grains and colors that can add beauty and interest to your garden. You can use oak, ash, maple, walnut and cherry woods for trellises.

4. Wrought Iron

Wrought Iron
Image: Pinterest

Wrought iron is a great trellis material because it’s rust-resistant, weather-resistant, inexpensive and low-maintenance, making them a good choice for outdoor use. 

They can support the weight of climbing plants such as roses, clematis and vines. There are also a lot of trellis designs that you can choose from to give your garden a classic and elegant look.

5. Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel
Image: Style Park

Stainless steel is a strong and durable trellis material that can withstand the weight of your climbing plants. It’s also naturally resistant to weather, rust and corrosion, making it a great choice for outdoor gardens.

6. Copper, Bronze, Brass

Copper, Bronze, Brass
Image: Bana

Copper, bronze and brass are strong and durable metals that will support vining plants even when they’re wet. These metals are also resistant to bending and breaking so you can use them for a lot of years. 

Another advantage of using these metals is that they’re resistant to rust and corrosion so you can use them outdoors without the need for painting or fear of flaking or peeling. 

7. Aluminum

Image: Millenium

Aluminum is another durable metal that you can use to support plants in your trellis. They’re resistant to rust and corrosion so you won’t need to paint or treat them for outdoor use. 

You can also easily install or move your trellis around the garden since aluminum is lighter than other metals. 

8. Plastic

Image: Superior Plastic Products

Plastics are great for making trellises because they’re lightweight, durable and resistant to rot, rust and ultraviolet light. They’re also easy to clean especially when you have plants that produce sap, nectar or other sticky substances.

9. Construction Materials

Construction Materials
Image: Pinterest

You can also use construction materials such as brick, concrete or stone, in making trellises. They make sturdy support structures and you can stack them into any eye-catching design that you’d like. 

10. Wire or Twine

Wire or Twine
Image: Pinterest

Wire and twine also make good trellis material because they are inexpensive, flexible and weather-resistant. We recommend using them for lightweight plants and hanging elements in your garden.

Factors to Consider When Deciding on Trellis Material

In deciding the best material for your trellis, consider its availability, cost, durability, and type of plant.

Indeed, some materials are easier to find than others. So, if you’re working on a deadline, you should consider how fast you can buy them from the market. 

For instance, bamboo is more difficult to source than plastic, wire or twines, which can easily be found in the household or stores. 

Factors to Consider When Deciding on Trellis Material
Image: Pinterest

The cost of the material is also an important factor. Consider not just the material itself but also painting, staining and other maintenance costs when using the trellis material in the long run. 

You would also want your trellis to last for as many years as possible so the durability of the material is a factor to consider. For instance, some types of wood are susceptible to rotting, decaying and pests, while other metals are prone to rusting. 

Factors to Consider When Deciding on Trellis Material
Image: Pinterest

Finally, you should consider the type of plants that you’ll be growing on the trellis. Vining plants are heavier and will thus need sturdier materials while roses are comparatively lighter and can be grown on a lighter trellis.

Types of Trellises

Types of Trellises
Image: HGTV

The main types of trellises are A-frame, cage, fence and obelisk trellises.

Let’s discuss each type of trellis and how to build them.

1. A-Frame

Image: Farmers Market Online
DifficultyAverage ●●●○○
Duration1 to 2 hours
Things You Need

2 posts (2x4s or 4x4s)
1 crossbeam (2×4 or 4×4)
2 braces (2x4s)
Screws or nails

An A-frame is a trellis with two vertical posts and a horizontal crossbeam. It’s best used for vining plants such as beans, peas and cucumbers and places near a fence or a wall.

How To Do:
• Cut the posts to your desired trellis height.
• Cut the crossbeam to your desired trellis length.
• Attach the crossbeam to the posts using screws or nails.
• Attach the braces to the posts and crossbeam to secure the trellis.

2. Cage

Image: Antique Atlas
DifficultyAverage ●●●○○
Duration2 to 3 hours
Things You Need

4 posts (2x4s or 4x4s)
12 wires or bars (18 gauge or thicker)
Wire cutters
Screws or nails

A cage trellis is made up of interconnected wires. It’s best used for plants that need to be trained or contained, such as strawberries, peppers and tomatoes. 

How To Do:
• Cut the posts to your desired trellis height.
• Attach the wires or bars to the posts using wire cutters and secure them with screws or nails.
• Make sure the wires are evenly spaced.

3. Fence

Image: Better Homes and Gardens
DifficultyAverage ●●●○○
Duration3 to 4 hours
Things You Need

4 posts (2x4s or 4x4s)
6 rails (2x4s)
Screws or nails

A fence trellis is made up of interconnected posts and rails. It’s best used for vines, ivy and rose plants. 

How To Do:
• Cut the posts and rails to the desired trellis height and length.
• Attach the rails to the posts using screws or nails.
• Make sure the rails are evenly spaced.

4. Obelisk

Image: Pl4ybet
DifficultyAverage ●●●○○
Duration2 to 3 hours
Things You Need

6 poles (2x4s or 4x4s)
Screws or nails

An obelisk trellis is a slender structure made up of interconnected poles. This is best for plants that grow upwards, like bougainvillea, clematis and honeysuckle.

How To Do:
• Cut the poles to your desired trellis height.
• Attach the poles using screws or nails.
• Make sure the poles are evenly spaced.

FAQs on Wood for Trellis

Image: Revera
What size wood is used for trellis?

The most common wood sizes for trellises are 2x4s for light plants and 4x4s for heavy plants. 

What is the best shape for a trellis?

A-frame is the best shape for a trellis because it gives a lot of support to climbing plants and can protect them from weather damage.

How tall is a standard trellis?

A standard trellis is typically 6 feet tall. However, the height of a trellis can vary depending on the type of plants growing on it and the amount of space you have.

Where should you put a trellis?

Trellises should be in a sunny spot with less foot traffic and well-drained soil.

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