Evergreen clematis on pressure treated wood

Discussion in 'Vines and Climbers' started by Jennie Beth, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. Jennie Beth

    Jennie Beth Member

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    Hi all,
    Anyone had a problem with evergreen clematis and pressure treated wood? I built a pergola with the 'new' pressure treated wood, the non-arsenic variety, and trained an evergreen clematis up one leg. It did fine all the way up the redwood side trellis, but everytime a tendril hit the treated stringers on top, it would turn brown and die, from the top down (which makes me think NOT clematis wilt?). The top leaves would get wilty, then crispy, and the entire vine would follow, all the way to the dirt. It sent up new vines all summer, but finally gave up and kicked the bucket for good. Is clematis 'allergic' to copper, by any chance? I know the new wood is treated with copper...nitrate, maybe(?). My roses and silver lace vine did just fine on this wood, but not the clematis...

    I have moved and want to try again, but I don't want to build a huge pergola and not be able to grow my chosen plantlings on it.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,
    Jen
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Since the other plants were not affected by the wires the implication is the clematis had some other problem.
     
  3. Jennie Beth

    Jennie Beth Member

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    Any ideas what might have happened? I had a master gardener friend suggest the copper allergy cause, but neither he nor I could come up with any other supporting information. He thought the new formula for the wood preservative might be the culprit, but it has been a few years now, and I haven't heard a whisper about anyone else having the same problem...

    Could well end up being operator error on the part of the gardener, too...

    Jen
     
  4. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Maine coast, USA, zone 5
    I've got a deciduous clematis (paniculata, or maximowicziana, or whatever it's called today) growing on the railing of my back deck, which is mostly cedar but has a support structure of pressure-treated wood that sounds like the same type you were dealing with. The clematis has some (minimal) contact with this wood, mainly when new shoots are whipping around in the spring -- at which point you'd expect them to be vulnerable, being young and tender and all. I've never noticed any problem. But again, the clematis only touches the PT wood; it does not rest upon it.
     

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