What size/gauge wire for trellis on fence?

oberciFebruary 11, 2014

Hi all, we want to build one of those "invisible trellises" on our wooden fence to hold a climbing rose. Anyone have any experience with this? Can you recommend what size wire to use?

Would also love to hear recommendations for the rose. I was looking at "Jasmina" as I love the fullness of the blooms and the light pink color. I don't want anything too rambunctious. just something that will serve as a nice background against the fence.

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I use green nursery tie tape. I don't like the idea of wires binding the canes. I've also used the material like twist ties on bread bags.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 12:15AM
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buford(7 NE GA)

It depends. I used 16 gauge, the same gauge they use on a chain link fence, to hold up climbers against my house. I did try the 12 gauge in a different spot, but it was too flimsy. I don't know if there is anything in between. I've recently thought about getting a roll of wire fence and attaching that to the fence or wall and attaching the roses to that. Less work!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 7:28AM
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seil zone 6b MI

STRONG wire because roses weigh a ton, particularly when in full bloom and wet from rain. I've seen trellises, both wrought iron and wood, cave from the weight of a full blooming rose. So what ever you decide on make it stronger!

I use twist tie to fix the canes on mine. Don't tie them too tight though or it can girdle and kill the cane. Some people use cut up strips of pantyhose but I never cared for the look of that. I try to use things that will disappear into the plant so they don't stand out like a sore thumb. I get rolls of green twist tie at the dollar store. It works well because you can cut off however large a length you need depending on the size of the cane you're tying.

I don't have a lot of climbers here because of lack of room and my cold climate so I hope someone more in your zone will have some suggestions for you. What ever you choose it should be beautiful!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 11:27AM
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I picked up a spool of 14 gauge house wiring at Home Depot and use it to tie my climbers to the chain length fence. I first cut off a couple feet of the wire and attached it to the center of the spool. That gave me a handle for caring it around and allowed the spool to spin when I need extra wire. I also use one of those 3 feet long grippers (the type used to reach a box of cereal up high in the pantry). Using it I can feed the wire up over/around the canes then poke the gripper through to grab and pull the wire to me. A couple of twists to lock it in place followed by a snip with the cutters and I'm done.
Twisting has to be done correctly or one of the ends can slip out. That is, both ends of the wire have to twist, not just one end around the other.
It takes years before the wire needs replacing. Should canes die off and the wire is not needed in that spot I just use the wire somewhere else. Being black you have to really look close to even see the wire.
As they said above the canes can be quite heavy. Some of my canes are up against our deck, 12 feet high, and need tying in more than one place due to the weight.
Of course this is coming from a person who knows nothing about raising roses so buyer bewareâ¦. lol

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 11:56AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

The metal grid that is used to reinforce concrete driveways. It's easier to put up a metal grid and attach the rose to that than to attach individual wires to the fence.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 12:44PM
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Hi all, it seems my question was sorely misunderstood. I wasn't asking about how to tie the canes themselves to the support, I was asking about what materials to use to build the support itself. Namely, I was referring to what is often called an "invisible trellis".

I have a wooden fence that I would like to partly cover with a climbing rose, and I think that an invisible trellis would look best. I just was not sure what size wire to use to offer enough support. From my online searches it seems that the wire need not be too thick as long as it is anchored about every foot or so.

Please see picture below for trellis:

Some people also add vertical wires through the screw eye hooks for added support, which is what I think I would do.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 2:53PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

That'll work. That's basically what I have up against my house.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 6:35PM
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Wire they use for clotheslines should work. They still use them, right??

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 10:14PM
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poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)

I'm jumping in here with my thoughts. What you have will definitely work. I've seen many large roses growing on such a structure. As you said, the vertical with the screw eyes will be very helpful with the support...that's how I've seen it done. Then, use the plastic tape (or similar) to attach. You are doing it the right way. Looks good.
A rose that has done well here in TN is "Parade" it's a deeper pink but with a full continuous bloom....vigorous and healthy!

Here is a link that might be useful: Parade at HMF

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 4:19PM
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