Wide Trellises ("Belt Trellises")

Wide 'belt' trellises are one of the classic wooden forms for supporting plants on the facade. They are long, band-like 2-beam trellises, which are usually placed between rows of windows on the ground-floor and the first floor. These espaliers have traditionally been used to cultivate grapevines with the purpose of harvesting grapes, using a horizontal pruning technique. These trellises are often found in the wine-making regions of Germany. We show these pictures in order to give some inspiration for similar projects!

Wooden growind aid for grapevine
Wooden growind aid for grapevine

Width of the Trellis Bands

For a maximum grape yield these espalier bands used to be built as wide and high as possible, leaving almost no space between the vertical window rows. Today, more space can be left for aesthetic or design reasons; with about 5 - 10 cm of space between the ends of the vertical laths and the upper edges of the windows. But even narrower belts are possible – see photos. 


Regarding overhang of the vertical laths below and above the crossbeams (see details), dimensions can be determined case to case in such a way that the appearance of the whole is more harmonious.

With or Without a 'Guiding' Espalier or Post?

Vines can be led to the espalier belt with the help of a stake or post until they have grown attached to their facade trellis. But, if you'd like to see green also in the area below the espalier belt, small guiding espaliers are recommended. They consist of 2 or 3 vertical laths leading to the espalier belt (or operating as its downward extension, respectively). There is a conceptual similarity here with the wire rope systems of the 2000s and 3000s series.

Transitioning to the 'Checkered' Trellis Pattern

If the espalier band is not very high and more space is left between the laths of the trellis, the shape is actually closer to that of a 'checkered' trellis (“espaliers with a square grid").