Espalier Experiments

Gardener:Somerset Sue

Date:03 Feb 2022

Blog Type:Vegetables

Winter 2018 we decided to espalier a couple of fruit trees. Several reasons:
a) our section is not big enough for an orchard or large fruit trees
b) Super Husband is a neat freak and doesn't like the idea of leaves cluttering up the middle of his pristine lawn (I agree)
So in June 2018 we chose two pears Red Bartlett and Packhams Triumph (you need two to cross pollinate) and planted them on the west facing fence. We also chose an apple "Belle De Boskoop" and planted it in the corner of the vege garden. The pears are great bottling pears and the apple a cooking apple but good for eating too.
We were thrilled with the result in just the first half season.
We bought two more apples ( Sturmer and Peasgood Nonsuch) for along the north facing driveway fence.
Most espaliers I have seen have been trained along wire supports. We didn't like the idea of that so have experimented with just using cable ties stapled to the fence. We check these regularly to make sure they're not strangling our babies and renew them when necessary.
So far it seems to be working well and this year we have had a bumper crop on our pears and the apples are producing well. We have planted two more tree's - a Monty's Surprise apple and a pear we can't remember the name of behind the vegetable garden. I'm keen to try a nashi on one of our remaining fence spaces this planting season.
If you're short on space to grow fruit trees - apples and pears are the best to espalier - I'd highly recommend giving it go.
Espalier Experiments