Are you looking for ways to add something decorative in your garden? You have probably already read many magazines and seen many garden ideas and may have noticed there is something in particular that both English and French gardens have in common since the Middle Ages: Espaliered fruit trees. Espalier is the art of training fruit trees to grow in a specific pattern, which originated even long before medieval times, and it is the proof people have always had the wish to create something beautiful that would leave everyone in awe.
The word “espalier”, which means to rest against something, comes from French and was given because of the special technique used to make this kind of trees. To be able to train the tree to grow in a certain way, you have to place it against a wall or a fence, something that would serve as a support. Here are a few things that could serve as your guiding points to make the best espaliered fruit tree.
Before you start with the espalier, decide which type of tree you want. There are many fruit trees you can choose from, most commonly used are apple, pear and peach, however citrus trees are trendier lately because of their leaf structure and they could be your perfect choice to make great espaliered fruit trees. Once you have that covered, choose the location. Fruit trees require more sunlight (especially citrus trees), so find the spot in your garden that has at least six hours of sun exposure daily. Though walls and fences are the usual support, a pergola or a trellis could also do the job. Make sure you plan the pattern for your espalier. It can be any pattern, from the Traditional, Palmette Oblique to Oblique Cordon, U Cordon and Arcure, it all depends on your preferences and dedication to training. Most effort is needed with horizontal branch patterns.
When it comes to planting, you have to measure up to 30 centimetres distance from the support, as well as measure the height and width you want your tree to grow. Planting should be up to 35 centimetres of width and depth for the best results. You also have to provide quality compost and fertilise the soil with all the necessary nutrients, as well as take care of watering. To get an espaliered fruit tree, you will need supporting materials, such as wires, to control the growth of branches. Pruning is also important for shaping and avoiding getting a branch that is growing out of the way of the pattern.
Along with being decorative, espaliered trees are also ideal if you want to get more fruits and be able to pick them with ease without requiring a ladder because of their small size.