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Advice on removing broken trellis a large plant has grown through

Hi there, I am completely new to gardening and looking for advice please! When we moved into or home last year we inherited the attached pictures-trellis and plant .....As you can see the plant / tree (which I have been unable to identify-I am a complete newbie!) has grown through the trellis. The trellis is broken in many places and the paint on the wall behind it really cracked and crumbling. We thought we might like to remove the entire trellis and re paint the wall. However don't think there is any way we can do this while the plant remains. We don't particularly love it, but do like the way it adds height to the wall and more of a sense of privacy, and it has lovely purple flowers in later Spring/Early Summer and the bees seem to like it. We are also wondering could the plant possibly damage the wall if it continues to grow.
We are wondering if we should remove the plant and trellis completely or try to remove/repair the trellis while trying to keep the plant. Thanks so much for any thoughts or advice!


  • byrnen4byrnen4 Posts: 3
    Apologies, just realised I posted this in the wrong area, I should have posted it under problem solving instead of the potting shed, but don't know how to change it!
  • nick615nick615 SW IrelandPosts: 1,199

    The trellis is certainly past its sell by date, but I don't think it'll take much to remove it, and I think you could make a definite case for keeping the 'tree' for your own and the bees' enjoyment.  How the tree is held on to the wall is unclear but, once the trellis is no longer there, it may be possible to hold it way from the wall while you erect some other form of support, before again tying it back with e.g. cable ties.

    As for the dangers, as long as the root system isn't undermining the wall's foundations, I can't see there being much of a problem UNLESS, depending on how exposed that part of the garden is to the wind, the tree offers too much additional wind resistance for the wall to withstand?

    I prefer not to give advice but the above are maybe considerations?

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,946
    edited April 2020
    Can you take a few close ups of the shrub, including the foliage? That will help identify it  :)
    It's highly unlikely that it's doing any damage to your wall. It's very established, andhas probably been there a long time.
    However, if I was you, I'd cut it back , pull off the trellis and attend to the wall and get it back into shape first. Then, if it doesn't grow back, you have a good foundation to start with something else.

    Don't worry about where you post your query - no one takes any notice, we just look at recent posts  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • byrnen4byrnen4 Posts: 3
    Thank you both so much for your response. Attached close up of the shrub, just started to flower this week
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,176
    That's a ceanothus, lovely spring flowering shrub and well worth keeping. It is probably mature enough so that the branches will keep that shape, so I would cut the trellis away from underneath it, (a fiddly job I'm afraid), keeping as many branches as you can, although it won't hurt if you have to cut some off after flowering has finished. You might be able to salvage the trellis panels it hasn't yet reached if they are in good enough condition. Then scrape the loose paint off the wall, wash it well and repaint, using a small brush in and around the branches. If that's too much hard work, you will have to do as Fairygirl advises and prune it severely. They aren't very long lived shrubs usually so if it does die on you, you could plant something else
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    It's beautiful. Many people would give their left leg for a ceanothus (Californian lilac) like that. Bees love it. It would be quite easy to cut away the old trellis. I understand that they are not very long lived plants. 
  • nick615nick615 SW IrelandPosts: 1,199
    Why not take a few cuttings so that you won't lose it altogether?
  • JessumJessum Posts: 81
    Your ceanothus is beautiful, I'd hang on to it if I were you and take the advice above about removing the broken trellis.  Blue flowers are so lovely!
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