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 or horizontal T. 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. 16:29
HOW WE TRAIN ESPALIER
Fruit trees being trained to espalier are first cut off fifteen inches above the graft (or in this case above the rim of the pot which is level with the graft, the graft should be 3 inches above the ground so this = 18 inches above the ground) usually 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.
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.
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