Espaliers can fit in narrow spaces, but need plenty of light — at least 6 hours of full sun each day. Plant in well-drained moist soil, adding no more than 1:3 compost to existing soil to increase drainage and add nutrients.
Plants should be placed 6-12” from a wall or support structure to allow for air circulation and accessibility. Branches on espalier trees can be kept shorter to fit into small spaces or be allowed to grow to their full width of 4-10’ in both directions. Spacing depends on how wide you plan to allow branches to extend and what kind of espalier design you choose.
A support structure is important, especially during the early training period. Set it up before planting. Structures can be built with many different materials – wood posts connected with wire are commonly used. Existing fences, trellis and buildings may need adjustments. A scaffold created with eye hooks and wire can create a strong support structure. Branches that grow horizontally produce more fruit.
Most fruit trees require extra care. Apply dormant spray once or twice during winter as a preventative measure and keep an eye out for pest and disease issues. There are excellent organic solutions for fruit tree pests and disease. You’ll also have to prune from time to time. Here are some general tips:
- Winter pruning enhances stem and leaf growth.
- Summer pruning enhances fruiting.
- Cut back growing tips, not fruiting spurs. Fruiting spurs are short swollen branches and are easily spotted in winter when the tree is dormant.
We have a limited number of 3-tier 6-way apple trees in stock for $100 each to get you started.
Varieties on each tree include: Fuji, Gala, Gravenstein, Honeycrisp, Yellow Delicious, Yellow Transparent
An espalier tree may not produce as much fruit as a regular tree, but it still produces a lot. Plus they look cool!