Tree Branch Trellis – Creating A Trellis From Sticks

Tree Branch Trellis
branch trellis
(Image credit: Serbogachuk)

Whether you have a tight gardening budget this month or just feel like undertaking a craft project, a DIY stick trellis might be just the thing. Creating a trellis from sticks is a fun afternoon’s work and will provide a vine with just what it needs to stand up tall. If you are ready to get started, just keep reading. We’ll walk you through the process of how to make a tree branch trellis.

Trellis Made of Branches

A trellis is a great way to hold up a pea or bean vine, but it can also serve to tidy up the garden. Arranging plants, like zucchini and melons, so that they spread vertically instead of horizontally frees up a lot of garden space. Both tall ornamentals and climbing edibles are healthier with a trellis to prop themselves up on than floundering on the ground.

However, if you head to the garden store, a trellis might run more than you want to pay and a lot of commercial trellises may not give the rustic look that works particularly well in a garden. The perfect solution to this dilemma is a trellis made of branches that you can put together yourself.

Creating a Trellis from Sticks

The relaxed look of a DIY stick trellis serves well in cottage or informal gardens. It’s fun to make, easy, and free. You’ll need to gather a group of slender hardwood tree branches between ½ inch and one inch (1-2.5 cm.) in diameter. The length and number depend on how tall and wide you want the trellis to be.

For a simple trellis, 6 by 6 foot (2 x 2 m.), cut nine sticks 6 feet (2 m.) long. Line up the ends of five of them against something straight, spacing them about a foot (31 cm.) apart. Then lie the remaining four across them, using garden twine to attach them at each place they cross.

Tree Branch Trellis Design

Of course, there are about as many ways to design a tree branch trellis as there are creative gardeners out there. You can use the same “cross and tie” procedure to make a trellis in a diamond pattern, cutting the hardwood branches into lengths of 3 or 4 feet (1 m.).

Three sticks should be thicker and taller than the others to act as support. Pound one support stick into the ground at either end of where you want the trellis to be, plus one in the middle. Cut a measuring stick 5 inches (13 cm.) long, then lie it on the ground centered against the middle support stick. At each end of the guide stick, poke a cut branch into the ground at a 60-degree slant. Do the same on the other end of the guide stick, making the branches parallel.

At the base of these, insert diagonals running the other way, using the guide stick for placement. Weave them in and out of each other, then tie crossing sticks at the top, middle, and bottom of the trellis. Continue inserting sticks on alternate sides, weaving, and tying crossing sticks until you are done.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.