DIY garden arch

Updated November 21, 2016

The garden arch acts as a visual separation device for landscaped or intricate gardens. These inviting little archways can be easily constructed at home by anyone with basic carpentry knowledge. You could build an environmentally friendly garden arch using branches cut from local trees. A benefit to this type of arch is that it can be disassembled easily and its components will biodegrade in the garden, making it a green option for the eco-conscious gardener. This rustic design is also an excellent trellis for climbing roses, vines and other plants.

With the shovel, dig four holes 35 to 40 cm (14 to 16 inches) deep, spaced so that they form a rectangle 1.8 m (6 feet) long and 45 cm (18 inches) wide. Insert a post into each hole and backfill with soil, tamped down firmly, until each post is secure in the ground.

Gather together all of the branches and saplings, arranging them by length from longest to shortest. This will make it easier to work with them as you begin to build the arch. Cut any twigs or branches off all of the wooden pieces. Depending on the thickness of the branches, you may need to use the pruning saw or the pruners. You may also wish to remove the leaves, though they will fall off on their own over time.

Tie the two 1.95 (6 1/2 foot) long branches to the inside of the two left posts, about 7.5 cm (3 inches) down from the top, using the wire. Screw the branches to the posts to secure them in place. Tie the saplings to the outside of each right-hand post and screw them in place. The branches should resemble the outside rails of a ladder.

Tie the 47.5 cm (19 inch) long branches in between the posts and the shorter rails to form a ladder-like shape. Space the rungs as far apart as you wish. Overlap the branches over the ends of the rails to secure the "rungs"" in place. You may have to stand on the ladder as you build upward.

Bend the saplings over to the tops of the 1.95 m (6 1/2 foot) branches, to form the arch. Use screws or wire to anchor any loose branches in place. Weave any remaining pieces through the ladder-like arch to add dimension and texture. Secure any loose ends with wire or screws.


Willow, maple and oak saplings work best for this project.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 cedar or locust posts, 2.4 m (8 feet) long, 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter
  • 4 tree saplings, 3.6 to 4.2 m (12 to 14 feet) long, about 3.7 cm (1 1/2 inches) in diameter
  • 2 tree branches, about 1.95 m (6 1/2 feet) long, 2.5 cm (1 inch) in diameter
  • 12 to 15 tree branch pieces, about 47.5 cm (19 inches) long, about 1.8 cm (3/4 inch) in diameter
  • 14 to 16 gauge wire, 1 roll
  • Shovel
  • Trowel
  • Pruning Saw
  • Pruners
  • Cordless drill with screwdriver bit
  • Wood screws
  • Ladder
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author