Espallier questions

canadianplantJune 26, 2013

I am somewhat familiar with espallier trees. I am interested in trying this, but am wondering exactly what the limits are regarding height and numbers of branches. How short can you keep espallier trees on a standard or semi dwarfing rootstock? I was also wondering how many tiers of branches are needed, if one or two would be enough, and about 2 or 3 feet high?

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

You have many choices. You don't say what kind of tree, but fruit trees need good sun to produce well. I like to keep mine within easy reach with a north /south orientation so both sides get good sun. Al

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 10:10AM
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I am open to suggestions in regards to what kind of tree but I would obviously prefer some sort of fruit tree. I am wondering if i have a possibility to get peaches or sweet cherries, since i get about 2 or 3 feet of snow during the winter, but its just a way to squeeze more trees for pollination without planting full sized trees or grafting. I wouldnt mind trying pears... but i like apples, plums and all the rest...

This post was edited by canadianplant on Wed, Jun 26, 13 at 10:17

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 10:16AM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

You should always choose a tree that is either naturally small or on dwarfing rootstock, standards are not well suited to espalier. Cherries are generally not recommended for Espalier, other stone fruits can be used but should be trained in an informal fan. Apples, pears, and figs are more suited to various different training styles, they can have as few as a single cordon (tier of branches) or as many as four, I don't think I've seen more than that although with a tall enough trellis I think you could have as many as you want.

There is lots of info out there, I'll link a good article that I read when I was studying up for my espalier project.

Here is a link that might be useful: Espalier article

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 10:37AM
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Thanks peachy that article was great

I was kinda thinking of making a short fence with fruit trees to be honest. There are also a few spots for the classic fan, cardoon or any other shape i can come up with. I can see pears doing very well in cardoon, seeing as they grow at the right angles already.

I am also wondering about the roots as well if planting near my foundation. I know roots tend to grow in the path of least resistance and where they can get water easier, but i am also aware certain trees have.... abnormally invasive roots (fig for example).

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 2:35PM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

Apples are great for training in a fence style single cordon, I'm actually going to make a 40-50 foot long apple fence espalier in the fall when it's the right time for planting trees around here.

FYI, Cardoon is an edible plant closely related to the artichoke, cordon training is used with fruit trees and vines. ;o)

I have also read about the dangers of fig tree roots, but I've never heard about apples, pears, or stone fruits damaging foundations. You should keep them at least a foot away from any wall when you plant though, for several reasons.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 3:28PM
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