3 mature Espalier Pears trees instead of a couch
I'm new to the forum. I was on my way to purchase a much needed new sofa, when I got sidetracked at my local nursery. I've always wanted to attempt to train espaliers, but there in front of me were 3 gorgeous mature (4 tiers each) espalier pear trees...on sale. I went weak in the knees. So, "goodbye new couch, hello fruit trees". Here are my questions:
1. The trees have arrived and will be planted within the next day or so. Each is about 5 1/2 feet tall, and 3-4 feet wide. The trunks are about 3 1/2 inches wide at the base, 2" further up. I was planning to plant them about 8 feet apart. Does that sound right?
2. The nursery said, though not essential, they recommend a wire/wood post support for the first year until the roots get established in their new home, then no support is needed after that. Does that sound right?
3. Here are my two location options: a). my first choice is a west--and very slightly south-facing-- location with good midday-to-afternoon sun, no large trees nearby. b) a south-facing location (full sun), but a neighbor's huge ancient maple trees behind the site (closest about 20 feet away, furthest 40 feet away). Neither of these locations is against a wall, but my yard is pretty protected against high wind.
4). The nursery said to add Organica Plant Booster Plus 8-2-4 in the hole when these get planted. Make sense?
5). I plan on getting my hands on the AHS's Pruning & Training book, but is there anything I need to do immediately? I'm hoping to have all winter to study up.