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See the pics below - most of the horizontals on this arbor have or are failing. My idea is to make up a temporary support and effectively jack the heavy wisteria trunks off the exisiting rotten horizontals and slide in a nice new piece of wood - it will be slow process, but I can't think of another way to do it??? The second problem is that the plants on this arbor havent been looked after for a good number of years. I'm happy with all, apart from the wisteria - I'm thinking a proper cut back in the autumn/winter, and just do the whips over the summer -  pulling out the dead wood (of which there is a lot) as we come across it - or should we be doing this over a few years? The client will not thank us if we inadvertantly kill the wisteria :(  The garden has 3 of these covered walkways... each one is of a significant size


Thank you Ladies and Gents


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  • What mess! 

    I'd be tempted to drastically renovate the wisteria saving what you can, lay it on the ground then re-do the beams then tie it all back in again. Sometines it's easier to prune big climbing stuff on the ground, not messing about with ladders.

  • All the foliage now being on the outside, this walkway has lost its appeal. Major cut backs might be in order! The wisteria will regrow soon enough and can be trained onto the new wood work. At the expense of losing a lot of next years flowers, admittedly

    • PRO

      The wisteria looks enough on its own . I would prune it back radically , Its difficult to kill a wisteria it looks like there will be enough whips to produce some flowers for next year . 

      I would also  train some rose branches horizontally to produce plenty of new blooms next year which should compensate for any lack of wisteria flowers . 

  • PRO

    Hi John,

    How did you get on or what did you decide in the end. If it were my I'd have followed the others with a start again policy on the plants. Does the entire arbor not need replacing??

    • PRO

      I havent decided yet Paul, the uprights are mostly ok, the previous owner has kept them up together - its the framework above that is definately in need of an overhaul - together with the plants.

      On Friday I will chat to the owner and see if they prefer the radical approach suggested by all 3 above, or just do the horizontals. THe catch is its a 5 acre garden (lots of lawns... or I should say moss'  --- and there are loads of areas that need major attention. We could probably use 12 gardeners for a month full time to get it into some sort of order. At the moment they get 3 of us for 5 hours a week.

      • PRO

        Do it as a winter project when you can focus on it . you might have to wait to get hold of the new timber .


  • PRO

     Hi Adam, I had something very similar to do about four years ago when I started for one of my clients. The Wisteria was just rambling around on the ground & over an overgrown Mahonia as well. Pruning on a three year cycle of both was required but the Wisteria had to go up off of the ground.

    I agreed with the clients that a simple framework pergola 8M x 2M would be required, this can be added to if needed, but they are pleaed with it just as it is..

    The main trunks had cork screwed up around a stump & had a hollow in the centre where this stump had rotted off. That was the governing point for the first post, which I had to thread down through the corkscrew before setting in! Everything else worked off of this.

    Pruning & everything else is best done over the winter, when you can see the bones, I wouldn't do much to it at this time of year apart from start to take it back where required. As HB says, its easier to do most of the big stuff on the ground but you do have to lift it up & over as construction takes place. Not the easiest thing I know.

    The pictures show it early June this year, the first time it has really performed. It's still a bit of a mess at the far end, on top of the Mahonia, but this rambles over a wood store & will get looked at this winter.

    Clients wanted a Traccy & a climbing rose on the furthest end (clsoest to the house) to hide the posts, these have been in a year now & the rose has started to work it's way along.9308618898?profile=RESIZE_930x9308619081?profile=RESIZE_930x

  • PRO

    Thank you Neil and the rest of you. The client has decided that we just do the minimum now, then in the deep midwinter really go through it. TBH to bring it all down, and repair the structure then put the plants back would take days, possibly heading for a week+ 

    We spent some of Friday's visit cleaning off the paving and weeding the overgrown beds around the edge of it - together with taking the wisteria whips back - we will get there, though it is going to be a slow process to get it finished

    • PRO

      An option to consider, replace the timber with plastic lumberthen it won't rot ever again!


      Filcris Ltd - Plastic Wood, Plastic Timber and Plastic Lumber Suppliers
      The largest stockist and fabricator of recycled plastic products in the South of England using HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) a tough and durable p…
      • PRO

        Its a grade 2* listed mansion.... I dont think that would work :)

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