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Large Trellises - Design Tips

In the past, trellises were mainly used for cultivating grapes or fruit. For bigger and better harvests the trellises were often very large, some even covering the entire façade. And after all, one large trellis is more impressive than several small ones. How then do you place the cross bars and laths? Which designs are possible? This page conveys basic knowledge by using examples. With these you can even plan a trellis. You can find further information on other pages in the area "Classic Trellises"

Old plant grid for grapevine near Dresden / Saxony

Simple Trellises

A Trellis has to adapt to the windows of a façade. The simplest solution is to use long cross bars and only shorten laths at the specific areas. The down side is that the cross bars end up coming very close to the windows. With high windows, the cross bars are farther apart and the laths cross sections have to be larger, making them less delicate looking. Long cross bars and laths are often pieced together as described under "Detail".

Moritzburg / Saxony, large trellis with 4 cross bars. Here, the lath ends do not protrude.
Wooden trellis

Photo Gallery

Here are more examples of simple trellises with continuous cross bars. Please, click on the photos!

Remains of an old trellis, Seidewitz / Saxony
Insignificant windows, that served as ventilation, were often covered with trellises, Sörnewitz / Saxony
These trellises were also used to simply cover ventilation windows, Sörnewitz / Saxony
Farm house with an old trellis, Seelingstädt near Trebsen / Saxony
Old trellis wall with wood structure, Kohren-Salis / Saxony
Trellis with roses, depot of the Villa Esche in Chemnitz / Saxony
Wooden trellis for grapevine with continuous cross bars
A garden-city movement style trellis, Weimar / Thuringia
Trellis made of wood for grapes, Dresden / Saxony
The concept of "continuous cross bars" reaches its limits here. An additional fragmented axes by the upper windows might look nicer.
The cross bars in this harmonious system are quite close together, almost doubled like in the next photo gallery.
Trellis with 4 cross bars

"Doubling" cross bars

This is an interesting design element: Instead of just a single cross bar, two are set close together. This way, short laths above windows can be secured giving the entire trellis more stability. Moreover, the horizontal layout of the line is emphasised.

Trellis made of wood with 3 x 2 cross bars
Plant trellis made of wood

Photo Gallery

Here you can see trellises with "doubled" cross bars

Origin for doubling cross bars are often situations such as with this trellis: The short laths directly above the windows do not have enough support and tilt to the side.
A second cross bar was added above to this old trellis, providing the short laths the necessary support.
A second cross bar was added here as well. Radebeul / Saxony
Trellis with double cross bars. The trellis is much sturdier this way, the laths cannot warp or deform, yet still, the trellis makes a delicate impression.
Trellis for roses
Trellis with 6 cross bars
This trellis also has a second cross bar above and below the windows, giving it a calm image.
The  upper double cross bar on this trellis also has a creative effect: The width of the horizontal element of the trellis matches the horizontal frameworks wood line.
Here the double cross bars in the middle have an artistic touch.

Interrupted cross bar axes

For functional or design reasons, it may be necessary to add cross bars not only above and beneath, but also between windows. A continuous cross bar is not possible, so instead you add short bars on the same height. It can even be reasonable to "fragment" cross bars above and below windows instead of using a continuous cross bar. The trellis may not have one border or a frame, but it seems looser.

Chemnitz / Saxony, trellis in a garden-city settlement. Designed according to the style of back then. Slightly protruding laths.
Trellis in a garden-city settlement

Photo Gallery

Here you will find examples of trellis with interrupted horizontal axis

With this trellis the question arises whether or not an extra horizontal cross bar axes with separated bars is reasonable.
This is what one solution would look like. Trellis or grapevines
Another similar trellis for grapes
Trellis for pears. The thick trunk and branches obscure the view of the trellis. However, the load of such a tree on a trellis are quite substantial, much more than for Clematis and Co.! Kohren Sahlis / Saxony
Wall trellis for Apple (espalier apple)
A wooden trellis on framework, Wehlen / Saxony
Grapevine trellis on an old workshop, Zadel / Saxony
Trellis for grapes, ST.-Urban-Church, Meißen / Saxony
This old trellises lowest cross bar axes in the window area was raised and "fragmented" so that it wouldn't reach down into the foundation area.
Wood trellis
Trellis for grapevines in winter
New trellis with interrupted cross bar axes at the height of the window

Offset cross bars

Sometimes, cross bars are interrupted and then rearranged, especially if windows or other wall openings have different measurements.

Gaussig / Saxony
Trellis in Gaussig / Saxony

Photo Gallery

Here there are some more examples of trellises with offset cross bars

Trellis with offset cross bar.
Trellis on a façade with additional (or offset) cross bar underneath the window.
This trellis's upper cross bar axes was split and set off. Dürrweitzschen / Saxony
Trellis around a bench - here the lower bar was interrupted and shifted.
The lower cross bar of this old trellis was raised above the lower right window.
A trellis on a manor. The elements already interrupted by the door were set above the windows.
This trellises upper cross bar axes was also offset.
The offset cross bars on this trellis were simply added for artistic reasons
Even a less "orderly" design can be charming. Here the spaces to windows aren't uniform nor are the patterns the same. The left bit of the trellis was "attached" to the the rest.

Additional short cross bars

For several reasons it can be useful to add short crossbars, especially underneath windows. If possible, several of these bars should be arranged at the same height, so that they make a imaginary cross bar axis. Sometimes these cross bars do not need wall anchorage. They are simply screwed to the vertical laths.

Diesbar-Seußlitz / Saxony
planning tips for extra trellis cross bars

Photo Gallery

Here are further trellises with additional short cross bars, often combined with other designs

This small extra bar was simply screwed to the vertical laths.
Short cross bars were added beneath the windows of this old trellis. Priestewitz / Saxony
Because of the windows, the middle cross bar was interrupted and instead, two bars were added above and beneath the windows. Jena / Thuringia
Climbing support structure for roses
An old trellis in Thuringia with additional cross bars over and underneath the upper window.
Many additional cross bars, without wall fixation, were added to this trellis in many places.
Grapevine trellis. The upper vertical laths are additionally fixated to short cross bars above each window. These cross bars, however, are not anchored in the wall.
Trellis with additional short cross bars
Here, the additional cross bars below the windows were added to stabilise the short vertical laths. The short laths above the windows were not additionally stabilised.
The somewhat unorthodox alternative concept to the photo from before: The short, extra cross bars were attached below the main horizontal cross bar instead of above. Meinholdsches Turmhaus, Radebeul / Saxony
Analogous to the photo from before: Here the additional bars for stabilising the short vertical laths were added underneath the windows.

Slants and rounding

Sometimes trellises need to matched and adjusted to round or slanted lines, for example roof edges, stringers and arches. In these cases, cross bars are set slanted or the laths are variably adjusted.

Dohna / Saxony
Rose trellis on a stair stringer

Photo Gallery

Examples of sloped, slanted, and rounded trellises

Trellis along a roof line
Grape trellis
Rose trellis
Historical plant trellis on a gable
Trellis at an entrance
Trellis with slanted alignment
This wall trellis does not complement the roof slope
Trellis above rounded windows. A FassadenGrün project, approx. 2005
Trellis above an arch

Separation into individual trellises

Planning complex trellises is a challenge! Sometimes, such projects can be separated into individual trellises, for example, 2-bar-trellises. These should have some distance to one another, and the axes should match. The results are often unconvincing.

Several trellises for grapevines
Several trellises for grapevines

Photo Gallery

Several individual trellises on large surfaces

Rose trellis on a former signalman's house. Triebischtal / Saxony
Divided trellises on a wall for grapes - definitely a successful arrangement! Waldheim / Saxony
To avoid fragmenting a trellis, you can use this little trick: Offset  vertical laths arranged in the middle area. Göschenhaus in Grimma-Höhnstedt / Saxony
The design on the left side isn't very convincing.
Sadly, these trellises were not adjusted to match the proportions of the windows.
On the right gable, the trellises were split into two levels.