Espalier trained plants (pictures of) being trained for our Retail Plant Sale at the flowering shrub farm in Voorheesville, NY. We train fruit trees for sale to; step over, horizontal T, and multiple verticle cordon. The espalier is a restrictive form of fruit tree training (though it has been applied to many other types of plants) where trees or vines are tied and pruned so that the plant has a central stem that supports a number of paired branches that are trained in a single plane by tieing onto a trellis. Most people are more familiar to espalier as it is used in a vinyard to train grape vines. If the pictures below dont open click espalier. 17:49



Fruit trees being trained to espalier are first cut off fifteen inches above the graft, the graft being 3 inches above the ground, level with the rim of the pot, sometime in early spring while they are still dormant (pruning at this time breaks dormancy) but late enough so that frost wont damage new growth. Sometimes when training to multiple verticle cordon I make this first cut at thirty inches above the graft.


I am trying to make this page more accessable by cell phone.


By the second week of June they have produced multiple branches from which I will chose the best to train and remove the rest. Pruning back this far often forces suckers from the base that have to be torn off before they become too big.


What we want is a wound that will heal, not a pruning scar that may promote the sucker to grow again. Once the tree is a little older and larger the tendency to sucker will be reduced.


The wires for your trellis should be made to bypass the post not through a hole in the middle. If branches are a little higher or lower its easy enough to raise or lower the wire.


This Dwarf Newtown Pippin was initially V trained at the bottom wire, the branches tied to bamboo. The left arm grew all the way to the post and so it was lowered to the bottom wire, The right arm didn't grow enough so we left it in a more verticle position so it might continue to lengthen. As branches are lowered they lengthen less and put more energy into fruit production. The central stem was trained straight up toward the second wire and will be pruned just above next spring.



This Montmorency cherry will be trained as a multiple verticle cordon and then used as the basic model of that type of espalier. Later we may graft several varieties of sweet cherry onto each of the verticle cordons. Click the picture for a larger version and check the date this picture was taken in the lower right hand corner.


Customers always take the best trained plants leaving plants behind that turn out to be much more interestingly shaped. We insert our 7 gallon espalier trained fruit trees into 45 gallon pots surrounded with compost. Click on the picture for a larger image you can save as wallpaper and our training method becomes obvious but a quick explanation follows.




Whips are planted with their graft even with the rim of the pot and we cut them while still dormant in early spring eighteen inches above the graft. We use 4 and 6 foot long pieces of bamboo as wires tieing them to 2x2 treated stakes. Two branches are trained to a V shape and a single verticle stem in the middle, all other growth is removed by being rubbed away with my thumb.



In the fall the V trained branches will be lowered and tied to the lowest piece of bamboo. In later years this procedure can be repeated to train a horizontal T, verticle growth on the lower branches are cut back to 3 nodes and later 2 to form fruiting spurs. The cherry trees will be trained to multiple verticle cordon by allowing several verticles to grow from each of the lowest arms.





These days I train espalier in 7 and 15 gallon pots that are surrounded by compost in 45 gallon pots (we can pick the 45 gallon up with a fork lift though we usually just push it around with a lawn tractor). We use 6 foot strips of bamboo instead of a wire tied at the right level between two treated stakes. If someone wants to buy one we pull the 7 or 15 gallon potted plant out of the 45.


In 7 and 15 gallon pots that are surrounded by compost in 45 gallon pots (here's one before adding compost or stakes).


I cover the branches with Remay to prevent deer from browsing (late winter to early spring), removing the remay so that the trees can be cross pollinated when they flower. After fruit set I can reattach the remay to keep fruit from being damaged by insects.


I will over-write these pictures next spring when they are flowering.




We will add a few every year from those below.










All year as I do inventory or train trees I take pictures that are added to my PICTURE-NEWSLETTER for that month. When those pictures are of espalier I add them here as well. January February March April May 1 to 15 May 16 to 31 June 1 to 7 June 8 to 14 June 15 to 21 June 22 to 30 July August September October November December


call me at 518-526-9978 or 526-9101