How To Help A Vine Climb A Tree

A trellis framework helps a vine to climb a tree

This picture, taken at Gresgarth Hall in Lancashire shows how a vigorous vine such as a rambling rose or a Clematis montana can be encouraged to grow against a tree.

The soil at the base of a tree is often dry and impoverished. Dig a hole for the plant two feet (60cm) or more away from the trunk of the tree. Mix in a little organic matter such as leaf mould or compost to enrich the soil

If the plant came in a pot, gently tease out the roots over the hole. Mix the soil that falls from the container in with the planting soil too. Plant the rose or vine aiming for the soil level to be about the same as it was in the pot.  Water in well.

Use a sturdy cane ladder to train the plant back towards a lower branch of the tree.  The smaller canes the plant came with can be tied or woven in to the ladder.

As the vine grows, weave the pliable young stems around the cane, tying them in if needed.

If wild animals such as rabbits or deer visit the area and may be tempted to nibble the lower stems of the plant, use chicken wire to protect them.