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ESPALIER

Espalier traces its roots (..and branches ;-) back to Roman times when the training method was used to produce fruit along castle walls, while at the same time decorating them. Vineyards have used a similar technique for ages. The French word ‘espalier’ comes from the Italian meaning ‘something to rest the shoulder against.'

Espaliers are useful in both function and form, making efficient use of small spaces while also making a blank wall much more pleasing to the eye. Fruit trees benefit from the extra heat absorbed by the masonry walls they are trained against, thereby extending their productive season. Some types of trees and shrubs are more easily trained in this fashion than others. Many nurseries will have espaliers available for purchase that have already been started.

Espalier on wall at Longwood Gardens...

Longwood Gardens espaliers

  

Longwood Gardens espalier

  

Longwood Gardens espalier on wall

 


Espaliers in early spring at Biltmore Gardens...

espalier

  

Biltmore espalier

  

  

T espalier

  

U espalier

 

TREES & SHRUBS
FOR ESPALIER:

Trees

  • Acer palmatum - Japanese Maple

  • Cercis canadensis - Redbud

  • Citrus

  • Euonymus alata - Burning Bush

  • Ficus carica - Fig

  • Ilex - Holly

  • Magnolia grandiflora & stellata

  • Malus - Apples & Crabapples

  • Prunus - Almond, Peach, Plum

  • Pyrus - Pear

Support wires for espalier

Wire supports and turnbuckles
anchored to a stone wall

Turnbuckles to tighten espalier support wires

Shrubs

  • Camellia japonica - Camelia

  • Chaenomeles - Flowering quince

  • Cotoneaster

  • Gardenia

  • Juniperus - Pfitzer juniper

  • Ligustrum - Privet

  • Podocarpus

  • Pyracantha - Firethorn

  • Taxus - Yew

  • Viburnum

Common espalier patterns

  • Baldassari palmette

  • Belgian Fence

  • Cordon

  • Drapeau marchand

  • Fan or Palmette

  • Horizontal T

  • Stepover

  • U-shaped

  • V-shaped

  • Verrier candelabra

 

Espaliers
  

  

  

Fan espalier

  

  

U-shaped espalier

  

MORE

Bonsai photos

Shrub photos

Biltmore Estate Gardens

 

   


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