Trellis - Knowledgebase Question

McKinleyville, CA
Avatar for abquilts
Question by abquilts
July 19, 2010
I have a trellis that has been up for about 4 years, and now it is falling down. I have 4 vines on it, and some are blooming. I have purchased another redwood trellis to replace the falling-down-one. However, my dilema is when do I do this. I know I will have to cut the vines that have grown together. I think the best place to cut it is right down the middle so that I can sweep both sides up and on top of the new arbor. But should I wait to cut (because I know there will be some loss)until after the blooming. I have a honeysuckel, 2 clametis, and another one that I forgot the name (it's not blooming) The honeysuckle is blooming, and one of the clametis. The other Clametis bloomed early spring, and the purple one is blooming now.

Any advice on this project would be greatly appreciated. I am dreading the whole thing. It's just hanging now, and blooming its little heart out. It has no idea what I have instore for it.

So, what do you think? Give me your best shot. I'm sure it will be better than what I am thinking. This is a brand new problem. Never had it before. I have to admit, I am a bit reluctant, but knowing that I have to do something.


Answer from NGA
July 19, 2010
What a difficult situation! The very best time to prune your vines back is in the late winter or early spring. If you sneak up on your vines while they are resting, they won't know what hit them when they wake up and begin to grow in the spring. However, if you cut your early blooming clematis down at that time you will sacrifice the flowering. Or, you can wait until this fall and cut your vines back. Everything will have finished blooming by then. The problem here is that any new growth it produces after the trimming may not have time to harden off before winter sets in. Or, you can toss all reason to the wind and cut things back now, install your new trellis and reattach the remainder of the vines. Your late blooming clematis probably won't bloom until next year, but all the new growth the vines make this summer will harden off before cold weather sets in. I think if it were my landscape, I'd do it now. Let us know how the project goes!

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