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Basic Guide For Espaliering

An espalier can be grown on a fence, on a wire structure or against a wall.

1 After you have planted your bare root tree, trim it back to the first support, making sure you have three buds. For the first year or two, allow the these buds to grow, two for side branches and the third as the extended trunk.

2 When the branches and top reach the desired length, tie them to the support. Keep the tips of the horizontal branches lower than the rest of the branch. Use tie that will not cut into the branches. Remove all growth from the trunk of the first tier of branches and pinch off the small vertical branches that form on the two horizontal branches.
3 Next year, cut back the trunk several inches below the second wire and again keep three buds. Let two of the buds grow to form another pair of side branches. Go back to the first tier of branches — cut back the laterals (the small upward growing branches) to three buds each — these will form the fruiting spurs on your tree.
4 When the second set of side branches grow to the desired length, tie them to the supports. Don't cut back the lateral branches at this time.


5 Repeat this training until your tree has the desired number of tiers.

6 Other forms of espaliers