My first espalier
The term espalier refers to the way fruit trees are trained to grow against a wall. It looks stunning and makes the tree easier to prune and the fruit easier to pick. I love this decorative method and it’s often seen in traditional walled kitchen gardens – luckily it’s also perfectly suited to smaller gardens too. This fellow looks quite wimpy at the moment but in a few years he’ll look fabulous hopefully!
I’m thankful that I was able to buy a ready-trained tree – getting the shape right initially is the hardest thing apparently and I’m not sure whether I’m brave enough to start one from scratch yet. The espalier tree has two tiers of branches trained horizontally on either side of the stem. My husband fixed two horizontal wires into the wall and secured them tightly. We ensured that the tree was planted at the same height as the soil mark on the stem, it was firmly heeled in and then watered well. The branches were then secured to the wire with soft ties.
The blossom is really beautiful and I’m looking forward to the next few weeks. This dessert variety is from the late Victorian period and it apparently tastes very “appley” which is somewhat reassuring!!
Wonderful apple, a good choice. We grew espalier fruit trees in our last garden and they proved both productive and easy to look after. Himself was in charge od pruning, but it didn’t look like rocket science to me!
That’s a relief – I’m not too good at pruning so I’ll be pleased if this takes shape.
Beautiful. I want to get a couple myself. Thanks for sharing.
I have seen trees trained this way on garden tours. It is a really nice effect. I am looking forward to seeing your blooms and apples!
Thanks Karin – it will take a long time but I’m looking forward to watching it grow over the years.
Great project. I am about to try to fan train a Morello, so would love to see how this goes!
Looks a great project! What direction does your wall face? I am about to try to fan train a morello,so will be interested to see how it goes!
That particular wall is South facing and is lovely and sheltered. The morello will be lovely in a fan!
I love espaliered trees. I’ve even seen trees that are trained to be a fence. Best of luck with this project — I’m sure it will be stunning.
Thanks Kevin – all this encouragement is very helpful. I may even try topiary next!
Forget the apple tree. I’m jealous of your walled garden. : )
The walls are lovely but extremely bare at the moment! I have a climbing blackberry, vine and clematis but still need more!
An “appley” apple… well, there are those “grapples” that taste like grapes showing up in American markets. Good luck on your espalier, it looks great so far!
Lucky you, already getting one pretrained. They do not sell them this way in Canada, darn it all. Last year my lime trees were tall enough to start to pleach. I just picked out the branches that were at the right height and bent and tied them to the wire, not sure if I am doing it right. Have never seen them here, and could not find a lot of enough on the internet, but I have my fingers crossed.
ooops, meant to say could not find any info on the internet, why do you see these mistakes after you have already pushed post comment.
I’m sure your pleached trees will look fabulous – they look so impressive once trained!
Ready grown espalier trees are very easy to come by over here… so I have no excuse not to succeed really.
Love that gorgeous red brick wall behind the tree.
Thanks Bridget! There is so much brick at the moment that I’m yearning for green!
Oh what fun. I love to see Espalier fruit trees. You have such a lovely garden. I love all the bricked raised beds.
looks like a lovely garden with super views and space to grow your own – no wonder the apple tree has its arms spread wide! So glad you chosen a heritage apple- sad to lose so many of the old varieties.
p.s. have my eye on your purple pot!
Lovely, good luck. I have two Bradford Pears that I love!
Thanks! It seems to be doing okay so far so fingers crossed! Thanks for dropping by x