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How to attach trellis to a fence

Want to add trellis to your fence but don’t know where to start? This ‘How To’ guide has everything you need to know about attaching trellis so you can create extra privacy and a smart finish.

Trellis panels are a great solution for covering up ugly fences with lovely greenery, as they will encourage pretty climbing plants to grow up them. Added to this, trellis is also a simple and cost-effective way of adding height to fence panels to provide privacy, but without blocking natural light.

Love the idea of trellis but need some inspiration on how it could work in your garden? Take a look at our brilliant garden trellis ideas.

In this guide, we look at how to fix trellis directly to fence panels, and also how to attach them along the top of a fence to create a smart finish to your outdoor space.

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How to attach trellis to fence

Trailing plants, such as clematis and honeysuckle, can be encouraged to grow up a trellis that is attached to your fence panels. Before fitting your trellis, make sure you give it a coat of fence treatment or wood preserver to prevent it from rotting. Here’s what you’ll need to fix the trellis yourself:

How to attach trellis to fence panel

Materials and tools you’ll need:How to attach trellis to the top of fence

  • Trellis panels
  • Battens (wood or metal)
  • Wood Screws
  • Drills

How to attach a trellis to a wooden fence step by step:

  1. To ensure there is space between the trellis and fence to allow plants to wind themselves around it, you’ll need to attach battens (wood or metal) to the fence first. The size of your batten depends on the size of your trellis, but generally, the battens should be between 30mm and 60mm and should be the length of the trellis.
  2. Mark on the fence where the top and bottom of the trellis will sit. Then, using a drill and wood screws, fix the battens to the fence at these points. If your trellis is particularly big, you might want to add one in the middle too.
  3. Fix the trellis to the battens, then plant up your climbers below.
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How to attach trellis to the top of a fence

Whether you’re going for the classic square design, decorative scalloped shape, or horizontal contemporary slats, there are many different types of trellis to choose from that can add security, privacy, and aesthetic appeal to your garden fence. However, when it comes to fixing your trellis panels to the top of your fence, the steps below apply to all designs.

Here’s how to fix trellis to the top of a fence

Materials and tools:

  • Trellis panels of your choice
  • Wood battens if extending fence posts
  • Two U brackets per fence panel
  • 35mm screws
  • Drill


  1. If you can, plan for adding trellis when fitting your fence panels and leave a section of fence post above the fence to attach the trellis onto. However, if you are adding to an existing fence, then you can modify the existing fence posts with wood battens. Simply secure the sturdy battens to the existing fence post to extend it to the height you’ll need for the trellis.
  2. Using 35mm screws, fix one U bracket on the inside of each fence post or wood batten extension, about halfway between the top and bottom of where the trellis panel will go.
  3. Slot the trellis panel into place, fixing it to the posts with 35mm screws, putting them through the bracket.
  4. If you haven’t already, paint or stain the trellis to match the fence and preserve the wood.

How to fix trellis to fence with concrete posts

It’s not advised to screw into concrete posts as this can split or crack them. The best way of fixing trellis to the top of a fence when you have concrete posts is to extend the posts with wooden battens to the height of the trellis. Be sure to attach these battens to the fence panels rather than the concrete.

How to fix trellis to feather edge fence

Also known as close board fencing, feather edge fencing brings a contemporary look to an outdoor space and works well when teamed with a modern trellis featuring slim horizontal slats. The process of fixing trellis to this type of fence is just the same as with standard fencing, so simply follow the steps above and you’ll create a super-smart feel.

The key to a secure trellis that doesn’t wobble is to ensure you have sturdy battens supporting it on either end. That way, your trellis will be able to deal with strong winds or heavy plants that may grow up them and will bring your garden joy for many years.

If you’re at all unsure at any stage about fixing trellis to your fence, seek expert advice using our free search feature to find a professional near you.

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