Espalier Apple Tree

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!

Espalier "Laxton's Superb"

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.

Apple BlossomThe 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!!

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23 thoughts on “Espalier Apple Tree

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

    • 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.

  4. 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!

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