Espalier trained plants (pictures of) being trained 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.



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Fruit trees being trained to espalier are first cut off fifteen inches above the graft, the graft being 3 inches above the ground (equals 18 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.


I take pictures around the nursery evry week and add them to the newsletter (NEWS). Click the small picture to open a larger image that you can study more closely or save as wallpaper.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 (branches are lowered to the horizontal position in fall where they will stiffen over the following winter). The central stem was trained straight up toward the second wire and will be pruned just above next spring.

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Espalier trained fruit trees that have not sold in the last 5 years planted near the drip line trained onto bamboo attached between two stakes and used to grow fruit. The Pears alternate between Barlet and Bosc every 6 feet. The apples alternate between Stayman Winesap and Liberty every 6 feet.


We are training the limbs onto bamboo tied to stakes.

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Old trees trained to espalier but not sold get planted along the edge of the drip lines. We alternate back and forth between cross pollinators, each tree aproximately six feet apart. Treated stakes will be driven into the ground on each side with bamboo sticks tied across as the wires onto which we will train the trees.

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This Montmorency cherry is trained as a multiple verticle cordon.

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Multiple verticle cordon has a horizontal lower set of branches and many straight verticle stems rising from it that we can graft different varieties to.

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