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Espalier / High density fruit tree planting

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Espalier / High density fruit tree planting

Post  Laurie Lou on 3/9/2012, 7:35 am

Do any of you have hands-on, personal experience with espaliering trees (not tomato plants or vines) or with high density fruit tree planting? The only espalier I have ever seen in person was on a field trip to Mount Vernon--George had some in his 'garden'. Everything else that I have found is 'how to start' as opposed to 'this is a successful example'. Soooo, what's the scoop?
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Re: Espalier / High density fruit tree planting

Post  sfg4uKim on 3/9/2012, 7:53 am

I saw this A LOT when I lived in Europe (pear tree on the front of a restaurant arching over the door surrounded by cobble stone street, etc.) and would LOVE to do it with the dwarf fruit trees I just ordered.

Hope you get lots of answers.

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Re: Espalier / High density fruit tree planting

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/9/2012, 8:06 am

My 6 type apple tree is espaliered. I am wishing my pear tree was too. The tree is only 3 or 4 years old and we have been getting fruit from it every year but not a lot because it is young. I see lots of small orchards going this direction. They all look like they get enough fruit to stay in business.

I like mine because #1 it is kewl. When there are apples hanging from it like ornaments peeps want to stop and talk about it. After that, it does not make much shade in my postage stamp farm where I try to make the best use of every element I can. If I start spilling into my front yard I will use espaliered trees there.
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Re: Espalier / High density fruit tree planting

Post  Unmutual on 3/9/2012, 12:34 pm

I have(in suburban backyard, which is not huge maybe 50ftx25ft): lemon, satsuma, blood orange, grapefruit, fig, plum and banana. Along with some blackberries, raspberries and grapes. (and also 2 4'x16' , 1 4'x8' and 1 4'x4' SFG bed) I'm thinking about doing an espalier fence in the front yard, maybe next year, so I have seen a couple examples in person and have done some research.

I guess it really depends on what form you want to do the espalier. If you want to make a fence, then you'll have to read up on grafting(just a little, apparently they somewhat do it themselves if you give them a helping hand). If you just want to do some fancy two-dimensional artwork with them, then all you need are wires to train the branches. Once the tree is trained, the fence or wires can come down. After that, it's just a matter of pruning(knowing what to prune and when to prune are important). I probably over-simplified this, because it can be time consuming and can require lots of patience.

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Re: Espalier / High density fruit tree planting

Post  ericam on 3/9/2012, 5:02 pm

Just make sure you get the right variety of tree. My sister found out recently that some of her apple trees aren't going to work very well as espalliers because of their growth type.

I can't remember the terminology at the moment but some trees put out new growth, or maybe it was fruit, only from the tips so when you prune you stop new growth so they are not suitable for espalliering. The right sort put out new growth and fruit from along the branches.
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Espallier in Williamsburg, VA

Post  sfg4uKim on 3/25/2012, 5:07 pm

I was in Williamsburg this week and thought of you when I saw these at the "palace".




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Re: Espalier / High density fruit tree planting

Post  camprn on 3/25/2012, 6:05 pm

I love it!! In my garden.... someday..... Rolling Eyes

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Re: Espalier / High density fruit tree planting

Post  Daniel9999 on 3/25/2012, 6:56 pm

If you interested in espaliered trees you might wanna take a look at columnar apples.

They are bit simpler and more a affordable for the home gardener.

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Re: Espalier / High density fruit tree planting

Post  MsMinchin on 3/26/2012, 11:07 pm

Hi Laurie! I'm trying espalier this year for the first time. I'll be planting 6 dwarf pear trees in a Belgian fence pattern on my property line between my neighbor's house and mine. I have never done this but have been researching it since last year.

I fell in love with this pattern I found in my web research:


And I found a good tutorial here:
http://www.cultivatinglife.com/Making-a-Belgian-Fence.html

There are tons of examples of finished products online if you Google "Espalier", or "Espalier apple" or whichever fruit you are interested in. I've gotten a few books on fruit trees, topiary and pruning which include a lot of detail on which trees work best for which forms and patterns you are interested in. Apples and Pears are the best for espalier because the fruit is grown on spurs. Apples can take pretty much any shape. Pears, peaches and cherries can be espaliered but mainly only in the fan form.

I decided to grow pears because I love these so much more than apples, but I have also ordered a pair of columnar apples. I have dwarf bing cherry trees, and a dwarf peach and nectarine coming as well. I got them from miller nurseries for my birthday present to myself and they should be coming any day now.
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Re: Espalier / High density fruit tree planting

Post  camprn on 3/27/2012, 5:52 am

MsMin, where are you ordering your fruit trees from?

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Re: Espalier / High density fruit tree planting

Post  bwaynef on 3/27/2012, 7:23 am

@Camprn wrote:MsMin, where are you ordering your fruit trees from?
@MsMinchin wrote:I got them from miller nurseries for my birthday present to myself and they should be coming any day now.
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