Friday, May 18, 2007

Spring Trimming of Espalier Trees

One of my ongoing delights in our garden are our two espalier trees. Caring for them, and seeing their amazing fruiting capacity (that little tree bore about 20 apples on the top pair of branches last year!), has given me a lot of satisfaction.

Once I had the trees properly lined up with the posts, and strung my wire supports (see Moving the Espalier Apple and Asian Pear Trees from February 2006), the maintenance has been pretty simple. A few times a year, the vertical shoots need to be removed, so the tree will direct its energy into the fruit production and growth at the ends of the branches (which will be tied down to the horizontal wires).

This week was the first trim of the season. The trees have flowered and started to set fruit, so no longer a chance of trimming off a fruiting spur, so I chopped quite liberally. Here is the espalier asian pear (with 3 varieties of asian pear, one on each pair of grafted branches), before the trimming:

Espalier Asian Pear Before Trimming
... and after:

Espalier Asian Pear After Trimming
Here's a look at the developing fruit. I'll wait a couple of weeks for it to self-thin, and then thin it to one fruit per spur / clump.

Espalier Asian Pear Fruit
It is interesting that this year, there seems to be more fruit on the lower branches. Last year (first year for fruit), most of the fruit was on the top level, and very little on the lower branches. Perhaps the top ones outdid themselves last year, and are resting. It will be interesting what pattern develops over the years.


Ziggywigs said...

Your espaliers look fantastic....i have cordon's due to space restrictions. Great post.

Anonymous said...

Hey, this is EXACTLY what I am planning to do. In my VANCOUVER garden. Great minds think alike!

Question: where did you purchase the multi-grafted pear? I haven't been able to find one..

Niko in Vancouver

Garden Lily said...

Both my espalier trees are from the Triple Tree Nursery in Maple Ridge, BC. However, I have also seen some at Gardenworks in Burnaby.

Anonymous said...

I found an espalier pear tree at Rona in Coquitlam last August. It was regularly $50.00 marked down to $13.00! It is growing great and it faces the southwest. Sun shines on it from 11:00a.m. until 3:30p.m. on a sunny day.I need to learn the art of espalier.

Garden Lily said...

Wow, $13 is a good deal. I'd buy it too, even without knowing where I'd plant another one. :-) All the best with the new adventure!

Tree Pruning Asheville said...

Can't wait to see your flora and fauna in full bloom and their prime!!

-Asheville Tree Service

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