Here’s a gardening trick that works: paint a tree trunk to use as a trellis

Posted by on October 31, 2013

When a volunteer Bradford pear showed up in my garden, Helen’s Haven, I tried working with it. I wasn’t happy it was there, but it served a purpose by blocking the guy-wire for the telephone pole. I tried pleaching it to give it some character but in the end, it was a horrible tree with thorns 3-inches long. It had to go.


Volunteer Bradford Pear in Helen's Haven


For a while now, I’ve wanted to add a Heteropterys glabra, redwing vine but I needed a support of some sort.

Then it occurred to me, I could use the existing trunk of the tree as the prop for the vine to trellis up. @Helen Yoest Click to Tweet!

I’ve had my eye on this plant at the JC Raulston Arboretum  for some time, but I didn’t have a place for it…until now. With my chainsaw, I carefully cut down each branch, purposely leaving nubs, because I thought it looked more interesting that way.


Limbs removed from Bradford pear Helen's Haven Gardening with Confidence


After I studied the trunk for a while, I thought it would add value if I gave it some color, so I painted it the hue of the bench in the back and other accents around the garden.


Volunteer Bradford pear


It also happens to be the same color in the redwing vine.



Heteropterys glabra redwing, Redwing


As an added bonus, it makes a great location for the kids to display their Halloween decorations <3


Helen's Haven Halloween


Helen Yoest

One response to “Here’s a gardening trick that works: paint a tree trunk to use as a trellis”

  1. Elena says:

    Since you did not dig out the tree and it was not dead, I am curious if it continued to grow.

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