The word espalier describes training a fruit tree onto a wire or trellis, allowing it to grow in a structured way along a fence or wall. Like many things, it can be done in a relatively simple way of it can be made into an art-form. Not only are they a very beautiful way to grow your fruit trees, but they have the advantage of being able to pick the fruit without using a ladder, easy to throw a net over to protect against birds and makes pruning decisions quite simple.
Bob Magnus's KNNN Espalier system.
This is our favourite way as it saves one year of growth. The secret lies with planting the tree at a slight angle and bending the length of the tree onto the bottom wire. The following year, the upright branch closest to the stem gets lain onto the next wire. See our articles for full instructions.
The more traditional simple esplalier - the tree is planted vertically and chopped off above the lowest wire. In the following growth year, branches shoot from either side, which are then tied onto the wire. See our articles for full instructions.
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