Gardening Articles: Landscaping :: Trees, Shrubs, & Vines

Not Just a Pretty Fence (page 2 of 2)

by Alain Charest

Building a Latticework Trellis

Basic lumber dimensions are 12-foot 4-by-4s for the posts, 8-foot 2-by-4s for stringers, scrap 2-by-4s to support them on the posts, and 1-by-2 spruce strapping for the lattice (12 horizontal and 12 vertical strips for each section). The 4-by-4s and 2-by-4s are pressure-treated spruce, and the strapping is untreated spruce. Use 3-inch nails to connect the 2-by-4s, 1-by-2s, and lattice to the posts, and 1-1/2-inch nails to join the strapping for the lattice.

If you intend to paint or stain the latticework, it is easier to do it before construction than after.

First set the 4-by-4 posts about 3 feet deep in concrete, making sure they are perfectly vertical and 8 feet apart edge to edge. Nail 2-inch scraps of 2-by-4 near the top and bottom of the posts to support the 2-by-4 stringers. The distance between the stringers should be 8 feet. Between these supports, center and nail a 1-by-2 strip flat along each 4-by-4. On the front edge of the 2-by-4 stringers, nail a 1-by-2 strip flat along the underside of the top 2-by-4 and along the top side of the bottom 2-by-4, flush with the front of the 2-by-4. Nail the 2-by-4 stringers to the supports on the posts.

To make the lattice, nail 12 horizontal 1-by-2s to the front side of the 1-by-2s on the support posts; set strips about 7-1/4 inches apart on center. Then attach 12 verticals to the back of the horizontals, similarly spaced. Proceed in the same way for each 8-foot section. Stain or paint as desired.

Because a single trellis about 70 feet long could be unwieldy in high winds, I broke up the length by offsetting two of the middle sections about 2 feet from the main line.

Alain Charest, an avid home gardener and garden photographer, lives in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

Photography by Alain Charest

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