ECO TRELLIS ® offers a complete vineyard trellising solution using posts, clips and strainers as relevant to site location. It’s the perfect system for both new vineyard developments and the replacement of damaged wooden posts.

Part of an extensive range of stainless steel and carbon steel products manufactured by the privately owned, Wellington-based company NZ Tube Mills, ECO TRELLIS ® is increasingly sought out by both the horticulture and viticulture industries.

ECO TRELLIS ® – meeting the needs of a changing market

New vineyard developments are under way in New Zealand and Australia as the wine industry recovers from the challenging period following the global financial crisis.

Environmental pressures

It is widely recognised that treated wooden posts pose an environmental threat in vineyard regions worldwide. A 2004 survey by Hort Research in Marlborough, New Zealand testing copper, chromium and arsenic (CCA) concentration around vineyard posts in different soil types concluded that CCA was leaching from the posts. Ongoing Hort Research studies aim to address concerns over the long-term sustainability of wooden posts. The disposal of an estimated six million damaged wooden posts in New Zealand and Australia each year is also a problem. The volatility of arsenic means burning is out of the question and the presence of chrome in the ash heightens the dilemma.

Potential trade barriers

Europe and the US are also investigating the situation, which could potentially threaten the Australasian wine-export industry, should it be decided to use the issue of CCA treated posts as a non-tariff trade barrier, to exclude our wines on environmental grounds.

Organic winegrowing

The use of new or replacement wooden posts is not an option for organic winegrowers in New Zealand and Australia.

ECO TRELLIS ® Product Development

Since 2009, NZ Tube Mills product development engineers have worked closely with winegrowers and viticulturists to develop ECO TRELLIS ® steel posts and wire clips. Their research involved intensive testing of steel posts used in New Zealand vineyards to analyse success and failure rates in extreme weather conditions and thus determine a safety range for the ECO TRELLIS ® post design.

Research and testing covered:

  • Strength in high winds
  • Load-bearing capacity for full canopies
  • Ability to withstand machine-harvesting – unlike wood, the steel post can flex and maintain its strength
  • Appropriateness to coastal vineyard regions with overtly saline soils
  • Ease of installation and ongoing maintenance
  • Development of a patented footing at the base of the strainer and use of intermediate posts to provide up to four times more retention than alternative systems