How to Build a Wooden Arch Trellis

Updated February 21, 2017

Trellises are used in gardens around the world as decorative pieces and support structures for vines and rapidly growing bushes. An arched wooden trellis can provide style to your garden, maintaining a natural and rustic look while providing appropriate support. Using a bendable wood such as willow allows the builder to create an arched support shape without the need for excessive woodwork or measuring.

Cut three willow branches to measure 1 ½ feet longer than the desired height of your trellis. This will give you extra room to securely bury the trellis in place and to bend the wood for the arch.

Line up two cut saplings running parallel to each other with the tops and bottoms on the same level. The amount of space between the two branches will vary based on your individual design.

Lay the third branch running perpendicular across the other two, about 1 foot from the top of parallel branches. Drive a 2-inch finishing nail through the top branch and into the bottom. Use a level to make sure the cross branch is completely flat and drive a nail through the second branch as well. Trim any excess from the cross branch so that the ends sit flush with the other two branches.

Gently bend the top of the two parallel branches toward each other to form the arch. If the branches are pliable enough, wrap them around each other a few times to hold them in place. Bend until the tops of the branches reach down to the cross branch. If necessary, install a nail through the branch ends into the cross branch to hold them down to maintain the arch.

Bury the trellis at least 6 inches deep in soil to provide proper stability.


Adjust the measurements and ratios of space per your specific design ideas. Each individual trellis will look different. You can also add more branches as necessary to enhance the design.

Things You'll Need

  • Handsaw
  • 3 willow branches
  • Finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Level
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About the Author

Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.