rose arbors and other structures.

luxrosaOctober 12, 2011

I've never bought a rose arbor and would enjoy having some advice.

My budget is not large but the rose is; 'Lamarque'.

The appearance of the substance won't matter much because it will be completely covered in a few years.



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jerijen(Zone 10)

Lux, I've gotten some pretty decent metal arbors through Harbor Freight.
Two of our BEST came from Home Depot, but that was a few years back. They look as good as new, too.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 1:03PM
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I got my arbor from The roses I planted on it are taking their own sweet time climbing up it but it was a good price and looks good.

Not sure if any arbors they have can handle the gigantic-ness of Lamarque. However, I enjoyed looking when I got mine and if nothing else, I think you'll enjoy browsing their site.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 5:12PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Hoovb had a post on how to build a rebar arbor once.
Mine are home-built from wooden tree stakes. We get roaring, hot winds here that flatten everything, so it's important to have heavy arbors firmly attached to the ground.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 1:12AM
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I found a fairly substantial wooden arbor at Sears that might suit 'Lamarque' and its' on sale for less than 100 bucks.
Thanks all for your input, I checked the ones at our local Home Depot but the wood was flimsy, simply arbors has some great arbors, love that site.

At Morcom park in Oakland, they grow Lamarque on metal arbors that are c. 7 feet tall, and only c. 2 and 1/2 feet deep from front to back, but they prune pretty hard. The one from Sears is about that size.
I'd like a four post arbor and let 'Lamarque' really take off, but that's beyond my rose expense budget for this year.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 7:36PM
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Cattle panels can be bent into excellent and sturdy arbors.
They are relatively cheap. Rebar stakes pounded in three to a side feels just about right.

I picked some up at Martin Ranch Supply in Rohnert Park. Three of them are used full size. One of them got cut lengthwise and made two narrower arbors.

If you want fancier and more expensive butstill indestructible, go to Petaluma Cottage Gardens and pick up one or two or ??? of their very handsome and very sturdy iron arches. I've seen them at other places, but that's the only one where I've seen a consistent supply in a variety of sizes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cattle panels at Martin Ranch Supply

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 7:45PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Lux, In California, BEWARE of wooden arbors.

Give them about enough years for the rose to mature, the bottom of the arbor will rot off at the ground. You have NO idea how much fun it is to replace an arbor under a mature climbing rose.

Metal arbors will deteriorate eventually, but we have some that have already been in place far more years than any wooden arbor has lasted here.

I've never done a rebar arbor, but I think they'd work fine. Or cattle panels, or ANY metal. Avoid wood.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 11:09PM
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We don't have the budget for beautiful arbors, so make ours out of rebar, which is extremely plain but not shoddy, to my taste at least. We have our pieces cut and bent by a local company. The most flexible format I've found is to put an L-bend at the top of the vertical rebar: set two of these rebars in the ground and line up the bends and attach a rebar horizontal cross piece to them, which gives you an upside-down U-shaped structure. Create two or more of these U-shaped structures, then lay more horizontal poles, canes, or rebar sections across the tops at right angles to the horizontals and fasten them. And there's your arbor. We've made these about five feet wide; if you need a wider arbor, you'll need more rigid horizontals than rebar, I think.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 1:49AM
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cemeteryrose(USDA 9/Sunset 14)

You probably have seen our rebar arches and arbors in the Sacramento cemetery. I've used three 20-ft pieces to make a six-sided dome. We've used two of them to make an archway to go up and over the pathways. We use half-inch rebar and steel conduit. We cut the conduit into five ft lengths and hammer it into the ground, then stick the rebar into it. It will bend, although it might not be a perfect arc (who cares, the rose will cover it). We lash it together with baling wire and voila, a cheap, sturdy, inconspicuous arbor. I think that you could build two of those archways side by side and support Lamarque.

I echo Jeri's concerns about wood rotting. The cemetery's rebar structures have lasted 20 years.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 10:17AM
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lori_elf z6b MD

I have had long-lasting wooden structures whose posts were anchored in cement. You can also anchor posts with metal spikes that last a very long time. Both of these methods have worked well in my garden, with some structures 12 years old and still going strong. I agree that if you put wood directly in contact with dirt, it will rot eventually. Even naturally resistant woods such as redwood, or pressure-treated wood, will rot. I even had legs of stained benches of rot-resistant wood rot from direct soil contact (now I put the legs of my benches on flagstones, and re-stain them every couple of years, so they last longer).

I have metal structures that last a long time, but the powder coating wears off and they will eventually rust and look rusty and weathered. I haven't had one rust to the point of losing structural integrity though.

I don't think any structure is "perfect" but you can make either wood or metal work. Copper sounds like an interesting alternative because I think it looks nice when it turns green as opposed to a rust color, but I haven't tried it.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 10:55AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Lori, even when dealing with structures, "Location, Location, Location" is an important watch-word.

In California, wood structures that touch the ground do not fare well. Where they touch the ground, they rot out, and it's not a slow process. About the time the rose is mature, you find that it is holding up the arbor, rather than vice-versa.

It IS possible to build a really hefty arbor, with 4 x 4 uprights, sitting on concrete, and held in place by metal brackets. This works, and will last for a long, long time, but it ain't cheap.

I agree with Anita on the rebar structures, which are long-lasting, and don't interfere visually with the beauty of the roses.


    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 1:49PM
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In cases where you are putting the arch or rebar into cement, I just wondered if you find problems with iron chlorosis from the cement leaching out and changing the soil pH. I just wondered. I am going to put in an arch in the next year or two and have wondered if I put it into concrete whether that might cause problems.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 2:42PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Save yourself trouble.
Don't put it into the concrete.

Home Depot (et al) sell a nifty metal bracket. You sink THAT into the concrete, and bolt the wood to the bracket. This enables you to remove a wooden post to change it out.


    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 4:17PM
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Copper arbors are intriguing but I have always wondered whether copper leaching from them into the ground would damage plants. Does anyone know?


    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 12:36AM
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I use several copper structures and am not seeing any problem. There could be something subtle going on that I am not aware of, but my roses look fine, as do nearby perennials.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 12:44AM
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seil zone 6b MI

I don't think it leaches that much that quickly that it would do any harm to the roses.

I would just stress again that what ever you decide to do make it much sturdier than you think you could possibly ever need. Roses are SO heavy! My Reine des Violettes has destroyed three metal trellises already. And 2 x 2 wooden stakes get snapped like tooth picks under my Rose de Rescht and Honorine de Brabant. And they're not even climbers.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 5:21PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

AND whatever you do, do NOT "weave" rose canes in and out of any arbor or structure.

Because, when the inevitable day comes that either the rose must be removed, OR the arbor must be replaced, your task will be ten times more difficult if the canes are woven through the structure.

I say this from personal experience. Just ... DON'T do it.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 6:56PM
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Thank you Rosefolly and Seil for your answers. I have wondered about that for a long time. As I remember when iron is oxidated (rusts) the rust does not form a protective coating and the process continues but with some metals; copper, brass and bronze, for example, the patina (oxidated copper) forms a protective coating that prevents further oxidation. Perhaps this is why the leached copper is not enough to cause damage.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 4:14PM
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I think Metpost or similar contraptions work well and the wood does not come in contact with the soil. I prefer them to concrete because I may want to remove the pillar or in my case, a freestanding trellis. It's been in the ground 15 years now. With thinner wood I sometimes use a plastic tube. Wood in the earth rots in two years here, even treated wood.

Here is a link that might be useful: Metpost

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 10:32AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

YES! That's EXACTLY what I was talking about! Thank you for knowing its name. I think it's FAR better than posts in either concrete or earth. :-)


    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 1:17PM
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