The Differences Between an Arbor, a Trellis and a Pergola

September 10, 2021 3:23 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Are you looking for the perfect new addition to your yard? Trellises, arbors and pergolas are all excellent options, though it can be difficult to choose between them. When constructed correctly, all these structures can brighten up any landscape. However, there are many differences between the three of them. Below, we go over each of these structures in great detail. Read on if you’re interested in adding one of them to your yard but are having a hard time deciding between trellises vs. pergolas vs. arbors.


Arbors are usually arched structures covered in flowers or some other sort of plant life. They offer the perfect entryway to gardens, backyards and similar spaces. You can even use them for shade over an outdoor dining area or bench. These structures are usually around seven feet tall, making them a bit larger than trellises and smaller than pergolas on average.

Common materials used to create arbors include cedar and vinyl. Cedar is an excellent option because it looks great and is resistant to rot. It’s also resistant to cracking, and can last around 20 years! Vinyl is a great choice for arbors as well, though it’s not as durable as cedar. Both materials cost around the same.

Many people choose arbors over trellises and pergolas because they are cheaper and easier to install. That said, arbors aren’t very practical. Pergolas are the better option when it comes to supporting plants.


A trellis is a latticework structure that offers plants like vines a place to climb. These structures look great and are usually easy to install. There are a lot of options when it comes to placing trellises. They can be freestanding or placed against a fence or wall. You could easily decorate your trellis with any climbing plant species, including ivy, grapevines, clematis and climbing roses. They are also great for promoting the growth of vegetables and trees.

Materials commonly used to construct trellises include wood, iron, steel and vinyl. If you want something easy to customize, consider going with a wooden trellis. For something sturdier, choose a material like iron. Most of these materials are weather-resistant and easy to install.


Pergolas are another great option for those looking to grow climbing plants. These structures are commonly used to shade walkways and outdoor seating areas. However, pergolas don’t offer full protection from the sun or rain, as they usually feature an open design. Most of the time, these structures are freestanding, though some people prefer to attach them to their houses. Pergolas are usually much larger and a bit more expensive than trellises and arbors.

Wood is the most commonly used material for pergolas. Cedar and redwood are popular types of wood used for pergolas, though they are both quite expensive. If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, consider pressure-treated wood.

As you can see, all three structures come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Though you’re sure to be happy no matter which you choose, it’s best to strongly consider your exact needs and wants. Once you’ve made the right decision between pergolas vs. arbors vs. trellises, contact the experts at Buhrt Builders Inc. to get started.

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