Espalier Fruit Trees – The solution to your small garden space
Do you have a small yard or garden? Ever wanted to grow fruit trees but don’t have enough room? You should give espalier trees a try! What is that? Read more about espalier fruit trees!
Espalier Fruit Trees: What?
Espalier, hard to say but definitely rewarding! Espalier is a process of training fruit trees to grow in flat, two-dimensional forms. Usually they are grown against fences and walls. This method can be very productive sometimes producing 70 apples on just one tree.
Espalier Fruit Trees: The History
The technique was developed in the 16th century. It was created because a need for growing fruit in climates such as northern France and southern England.
The early French and English people discovered that if they bent apple-tree branches horizontally, they could direct the energy into producing fruit by keeping the trees smaller.
In addition, by growing the tree flat against a wall or fence, they could create a microclimate in which the wall radiated heat and provided shelter.
Espalier Fruit Trees: Big potential for small area
If you have a small garden but big ambitions, you can grow fruit without having one or two trees dominate the entire area. Espalier fruit trees make it possible to grow a ton of fruit in a small area!
Espalier trees produce more fruit per foot than ordinary fruit trees. Mature espalier trees can produce from 30 to 60 pounds of delicious-tasting fruit, from apples and pears to peaches and pomegranates.
Espalier Fruit Trees: Bountiful and Beautiful
Some growers simply enjoy the aesthetic value of espaliered trees, with their traditional symmetrical branch forms resembling fans and candelabras. These trees are created by snipping off unwanted branches and training others to move down toward the desired position. These unique trees make exquisite garden focal points: during the dormant season of winter, the unusual branching patterns are revealed; during the spring, apple trees become covered with blossoms in varying shades of white and pink; during the summer, the trees go through a two- or three-week stage of dramatic blossoming.
Also, because you can train them to grow against almost any supportive structure, espaliered trees are naturals as living shields to hide unattractive walls, fencing, or compost bins.
Espalier Fruit Trees: Common fruits to use
Along with pear trees, apple trees are the traditional espalier subject because their spurs live for years producing fruit. Espalier apple trees bear fruit at a young age and are versatile in nature, with their supple, easily trained new growth.
However, you’ll need to practice delayed gratification because most of these trees take approximately 3-5 years to mature and reach the desired design. For some growers, this is too large a drawback. But if you don’t mind the wait, your patience and creativity will pay off in the long run, with mounds of delicious fruits displayed on beautiful, bountiful tree forms.
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