Training clematis and akebia

Q. I am trying to train clematis and five-leaf akebia to climb trees. What are good supports to use that won't damage the vines?

A. Both clematis and five-leaf akebia (Akebia quinata) grow by wrapping their leaf stems around a support system. A fine mesh netting or fishing line wrapped around tree trunks will give the growing shoots something to curl around that won't damage their tender tissue. Metal or wire supports might sever or burn the plant. String fishing line loosely because, as trees grow, the line can cut and damage expanding woody tissue.