I am eying some of the fox grapes that volunteer in my yard as a solution for a brick & wood south wall that heats the house up a little too much in the summer. The intention would be to shade the 1st story brick, running vines near the top of the brick. The 2nd story wood siding is already mostly shaded by a 2 foot roof overhang.

How far from the wood would I need to keep the vines & their trellis (or thin arbor) to avoid creating pest & moisture problems? I live in southeast Michigan.


1 Answer 1


Grape vines climb by tendrils, and won't cling to a normal brick wall. If the wall is facing south(east/west), and getting full/almost full sun, you can put the vines right up against the wall. They won't damage it, or hold in moisture, like some vines do, because they are less dense, and can't cling to brick.

They will grow over the trellis, and extend out into the air up to 6' from the trellis. The vines could also possibly extend up to 8 feet up the wall, using that as a support, before that shoot falls. I would say end the trellis 3' below the wood, and you should be fine. there may be an occasional shoot that finds a foothold in the wood, but that won't cause any problem the first year, and you can do a yearly trim with a stepladder.

One thing about grapevines is their tendency to look messy if you don't prune regularly. As a substitute, you could plant hops, which do not cling to walls, and dies down to the ground in winter.


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