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Thinking of Buying a Wood Arbor? Here is a List of Styles and Materials

Climbing vines growing on a wood arbor and bench









There's nothing quite like a wood arbor to dress up your lawn, garden, or backyard. If you're looking to beautify your backyard, an arbor can be the easiest way to accomplish that task.

Garden arbors are both simple and charming and they are also quite fun to pick out – as there are a bunch of styles and designs! The key is to find out what tone or look you want to set for your outdoor environment and then find the perfect arbor for it.

To begin, what is a garden arbor? Traditionally, an arbor was an archway made of actual leaves and branches. But today, we build our own arbors – which are typically bordered with latticework. An arbor can indeed look great with vines and flowers embracing it. It can also be quite stylish to have an arbor with no plants or vines growing on it.  An arbor can provide an interesting focal or entry point in your garden.

Wood arbors are an especially popular choice, as wood tends to blend in with just about anything and thus, not take away from the natural beauty of your backyard. There are a slew of sizes and shapes of wooden arbors that you have to choose from. They vary from the type of wood, the design, and the dimensions. Here are some things to consider as you pick out a wood arbor.

Red and yellow cedar are durable species and a commonly preferred wood for arbors. This is because it has a rich glow, easy to work with and is moisture and insect resistant. But you can also find arbors made with other kinds of woods. What differentiates one arbor from the next, however, is the exact arc that it makes. Is it rounded, flat, or pointed? It's these details that make the most difference and what you have to look at when you are buying an arbor.

Now, let's move on to the specific styles of wooden arbors that are available:

  • Arch arbors - are the classic rounded roof that most people think about
  • Gable arbors - have a gable style of roof, this is like your standard shed roof
  • Gothic arbors - have fanciful and interesting lines

Wood Arbors can also be very functional. Here are a few of the functions that you can find:Bench or seat

  • Bench seat
  • Gate - can be made of wood or iron
  • Planter box - usually more found with a trellis
  • Side wing - this is like a slider chair
  • Swing - this is usually a double wide swing like a love seat

Enjoying the garden view while sitting on a new cedar arbor with benchThe location of your arbor will depend on the function and the visual affect you are looking for. It if is an arbor with a gate, then it will be at your entry way.

If you have an arbor with a swing or bench you can place it where it looks good and what view you want to see.

If you are placing the arbor over a walkway make sure to measure the walkway width before you order or build it. You will also want to make sure it is high enough. If you are going to bury and concrete the posts you will want additional length to take care of this.

Arbors range from about three feet to seven feet high, typically; the height you want will depend on how you plan to use your arbor. Some arbors are conveniently adjustable!

For more information on arbors, please review our gallery of arbors and pergolas.


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