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Classic Construction Method of the Wooden Trellis (Espalier)

Here we'll address the construction method of classic wooden trellises, which historically have been referred to as 'espaliers' -- referring to lattices which have cross beams (horizontal laths) and vertical battening, resembling a garden fence. The section following this one mainly covers the arrangement, quantity, and measurement of the laths so that the trellis form and the window openings are in alignment, etc.. "Naked" espaliers become especially visible in the leafless times of year. That's why the trellises shown here are ones photographed after the leaves have fallen. From the variety of trellises shown, it should be possible for you to draft a design for your particular situation. Trellises with non-vertical battening are treated as special forms.

Classical wooden trellis (oak wood) for grapevine
Classical wooden trellis (oak wood) for grapevine
Varieties of espalier-grids


One gable - endless possibilities

Simplest Form

2-Crossbar Espaliers

Trellises with 2 horizontal beams

"Belt" Espaliers

2-Crossbar Long ('Belt') Espaliers

Trellises with 2 cross beams in a 'belt' formation (horizontal across the facade) 

Info on 3-beam-espaliers

3-Crossbar Espaliers

Trellises with 3 horizontal beams

Large-scale espalier grids

Large Trellises

Complex espalier walls

Trellises made of Robinia


Wood thickness, lath ends, etc..