I've long been interested in, but never tried, espaliered trees. I am planning to put in an orchard next year, probably about 10 trees total.
I've thought of trying to espalier. If I do, they'd be freestanding, as I don't need the extra heat or longer season of putting against a wall.
There are several reasons I'd like to try it.
First, frost protection. I'm a bit further inland & further out of an urbanized area than my fellow Marylander scottfsmith, and do get some late freezes he probably doesn't. As an example, there was a morning around the beginning of this month where it was 21F on my back porch. Therefore I want to at least be prepared, and I figure a 2-dimensional tree would be easier to cover than a globular one...
Secondly, harvesting & maintenance is easier.
1. Is there somewhere I can find a GOOD all-around guide to espaliering?
2. I know apples & pears can be done. What about peaches, plums, cots, and cherries?
3. For non-spurring trees like peach that bear on last year's wood, is it done differently?
4. Does it reduce per-tree yield to do this? I know on a per-acre basis it can increase it...but should I presume to plant more trees over a smaller space (row-wise, I realize on the plane of the espalier I'd still need sufficient branch spread room)?
5. Does it make it take longer to come into bearing?