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Sapling Trellis

May 7th, 2015

On Monday there were a few questions about how I connected my sapling trellis together, ropes, nails, etc. The truth is I didn’t use much of anything. When building this type of trellis you weave the saplings through the upright posts and this creates a very strong trellis. You can see blow how the saplings are woven in this fashion. I try to alternate thick ends with small ends so that there aren’t spots with lots of the smaller tops coming together in one section of the trellis.
sapling trellis 2
I like to use saplings that are decently sized, nothing too tiny or it wouldn’t be as strong. I don’t tie the horizontal pieces to the vertical pieces. The strength of the saplings is enough to that by themselves. When possible I try to leave the saplings as long as possible so I can use the very thin tops to connect them together if necessary.
sapling trellis 3
On occasion if I have two sides meet and there’s not enough space to weave the ends around each other I will tie the small saplings together. I only used two pieces of twine on this pea trellis.
sapling trellis 1
pea trellis 2
Hopefully that gives you an idea of how this is built. It’s quite an easy process, the harvest part is cutting all the saplings. There’s quite a stand of them out back, I could build fences all around my garden if I wanted to, which I might if I get some extra time.
wattle fence
I took this idea a step further and built a small wattle fence around my 5×5 Challenge garden. I’ll try to get better photos of it someday, I just snapped a quick picture with my phone the day I built it. There is no rope on this little sapling fence, it’s quite amazing how they stay together and are quite strong.

What do you use for building trellises and plant supports?

3 Comments to “Sapling Trellis”
  1. kristin @ going country on May 7, 2015 at 6:13 am

    In a funny coincidence, the day before you posted the photo of your sapling trellis, we had watched the first episode of “Tudor Monastery” on YouTube (one of those BBC shows where historians re-create period farms) and they had built a pig pen out of hazel saplings woven together to form a wattle fence. I remember thinking your trellis looked kind of like that. There was another fence they made by pounding in two rows of parallel posts about a couple of feet apart and filling in the middle with brambles and vines and other small weedy and sharp things that no pig would try to break through. That looked worth trying too . . .

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    • Susy on May 7, 2015 at 8:16 am

      I love that show. The one kind of fence is often called a Dead Hedge. I make those too sometimes, but generally not with the pounded stakes, usually just neatly piled dead branches from when we cut down trees for firewood. I’m not trying to keep pigs in with mine so they don’t need to be that strong. And the rocky soil makes it difficult to pound in posts.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Nebraska Dave on May 7, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Susy, my plant supports are the manufactured metal circular tomato supports for most plants. I have purchased very few of them as many of the city folks that I know have a distorted view of gardening and when it doesn’t work out for them, they are glad to give away the tomato supports. For the climbing plants like cucumbers, I use hog wire staked with, once again, donated steel posts. Almost all my garden material is either donated or free from Craig’s List. I try to make things as inexpensive as I can.

    Have a great sapling trellis day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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