The Q&A Archives: Espalier Gardening

Question: I have visited the home of George Washington and have always been very impressed with the espalier trees in the garden. What fruit trees would be best for attempting to start an espalier orchard?

Answer: The first plants to be espaliered were fruit trees, grown against a sunny wall so that trees would yield early early or could grow marginally warm regions. Today the practice has expanded to include ornamentals, as well as fruit trees. Apple, apricot, cherry, fig, citrus, peach, pear and plum will all produce well when espaliered. Camellia, elaeagnus, holly, juniper, viburnum and honeysuckle are just a few of the ornamentals that adapt well to espaliering. Be sure to choose the fruit tree cultivars that produce well in your area, then train them when they're young to establish a framework. To learn more about creating espalier, check your local library for a books on pruning.

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