Building a Trellis From a Felled Tree

 A couple of years ago there was a windstorm and I woke to a crashing sound about 5:00 am.  I thought something fell on my house so I looked out the front window and the large oak tree was still standing.  I went back to my room to look in the yard and my initial view were branches and leaves pressed to the window.  I threw on some clothes and ran outside to better view the damage, though completely dark with my outside light being damaged as well.  The first thing I noticed was my rather large mock cherry tree was completely split down the middle.  The initial planters of the tree had not properly pruned it when it was young and it was all gnarled at the crotch of the tree and did not allow proper aeration.  The tree had appeared very healthy in all respects, but the split clearly showed that it had been rotting for sometime in that area.

Tree Split


 What caught my eye was the fact that a number of the tree branches were resting on the power lines going to my 1942 bungalow, phone as well as electric.  I got out my electric chainsaw and was praying the entire time I was cutting the branches off myself.  Everyone was out of town during this time.  I did not try to disturb my neighbors.  I figured if any of them heard my chain saw at about 5:30am and wanted to help me, they were welcome.  None ever showed up.  After I had cut off most of the branches that were resting on the power lines, I was able to see underneath to find a large limb was resting on my deck rail, which prevented the entire weight of the tree to actually knock out my power lines!  I was thanking God like mad for his blessing and help in that it could have been much worse.  Starting with the fact that the only chain saw I had was electric.  Had the power lines been knocked down, I would have just had to call the electric company and let them do all the work.  At least I found out the hard way what I was capable of.  Once everthing was felled and neatened up, I slowly cut all the branches so that I would be able to use most of the wood later.  Nothing was really wasted.  My neighbors look some of the larger pieces of the trunk and the kindling for fireplaces and firepits.  I kept various sizes of the cleaned off branches to use as trellises and fences later.  I have two trellises done at this time and will be making more if I did not spread myself so thin at this time looking for another home I can buy for cash cheap, looking for another job, working on my clothing and jewelry I want to get on asap, getting ready for various art shows and fixing up my current home to make it “renter ready.” The following are pictures of the finished trellises made from the branches of that felled tree.  I have also included a short video.  After I layed the various branches to shape and size, I had to verify that the branches also touched one another in the correct places so they could be properly drilled and the screws would hold.  I actually started using my old screws used with Hardibacker, backerboard with I installed ceramic tile around the tub.  They are #10 x 1  1/4.”  I need to get some 1 1/2″ for the thicker branches.  It’s not difficult.  Anyone can do pretty much anything they put their mind to.  If it doesn’t work, then try another way until it does work for you.  You may want to tie the joints together with natural hemp twine either in place of the screws or after screwing together for added strength.  Screws keep the branches in place much better then just twine.

First attempt
First Attempt

Getting fancier each attempt!
                Work in progress.


Fancier still, I painted one of the trellises with Lumiere Paints.