Not the Choko Tree!

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If you are not already aware, the choko tree for which the site is named is an old orange tree in our back yard, close to the water tanks on the back of the garage, which the choko vine grows up every year. Well this year, in the lead up to Sustainable House Day, someone decided that things looked a bit tacky and trimmed off the lower branches of the choko tree. What this has meant is that the choko can no longer scramble up over the tree and onto the roof of the garage as it is used to and has done in previous years. It is now creeping along the ground towards the garage, and we can’t have that!

To provide access to the tree again I have put together a strong mesh screen to give the (already strongly growing) choko vine a toehold so it can climb up to where it needs to be.

The frame I made out of some 32mm 86mm pine which I had deconstructed from a previous project. When I measured the distance from the soil to the lowest branch on the choko tree it turned out to be about two metres, far too far for the tendrils to make it unassisted. So I cut the side rails to 1800mm long with the cross braces being 650mm long. The heave duty wire mesh I was using for the choko to climb up was only 1000mm long by 570mm wide.

To make the frame I just screwed the cross pieces to the side rails using two 8 gauge 50mm screws into each corner. The mesh I attached to the frame suing my battery powered staple gun.

All I had to do then was to install the frame so that the choko could be induced to climb up it. The installation was simple, I arranged the frame in front of where the choko vine was then rammed in a star post on each side of it. I wired the frame to the star posts and it was secured. I was able to put most of the vines onto the wire mesh although a couple broke off, but there are plant more and it is streaking (alright, growing slowly) up the frame from the ground to the tree.

Now everybody is happy (except maybe the orange tree….)

And after a couple of weeks!


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