How to Espalier Fruit Trees

Here’s an explanation and demonstration of how to espalier fruit trees. Gardener Scott shows different methods to shape trees to grow fruit in a small garden space. Espalier as a gardening style has hundreds of years of history and can be done easily in a home garden. With a simple trellis, garden twine, and an idea of the shape you want, any gardener can espalier a fruit tree.

Tape Binder:
Bamboo stakes:
Garden Twine:
Espalier books:
“Espalier Fruit Trees for Wall, Hedge,and Pergola: Installation, Shaping, Care”
“Espalier” by Allen Gilbert
“Grow a Little Fruit Tree: Simple Pruning Techniques…”
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  1. Dee C on December 7, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    Can you espalier all fruit trees , all trees for that matter ?

  2. Edu M on December 7, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    Thank you so much for this well explained video, I really needed it because I don’t have much space
    I wonder where can we see an update with these trees

  3. Lara Harding on December 7, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    Thanks for the concise video with clear step-by -step and reasons for why you do xy and z.

  4. Joann Nguyen on December 7, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    Thanks Gardener Scott for this informative video! I will definitively be giving this a shot to my new peach tree. Love your videos and wish you the very best!

  5. IRENE SMITH on December 7, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    I have a fig whip that is straight up with no branching and fruit developing all the way up as well, but how do I start the espalier – do I cut off where want first horizontal and then what happens does it continue too grow up till I want another. There is plenty videos on pruning and what shapes but have no idea how to actually start when it is so straight.

  6. Jan Watt on December 7, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    My espalier apple tree has not produced apples  for 3 years.  It’s currently over grown and I am hesitant to trim it back now or wait until late winter as you had mentioned in your video.  Your thoughts?

  7. Chelsea Sawatzky on December 7, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    This is so awesome. I’m doing this with my dwarf apple tree. Thanks for the great info.

  8. Annette Mcleod on December 7, 2020 at 9:33 pm

    Can you show me how to prune in late winter?

  9. Timothy Spillane on December 7, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    Do you make your cut on the whip where you want the top lateral branches or the bottom lateral? If you make the cut, does the tree co tinue to grow vertically in time?

  10. Katherine Beattie on December 7, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    Well explained! Thank you!

  11. Inese Duka on December 7, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    I’m trying to create a fan out of my plum tree. We planted the tree in spring but I’m guessing it’s about 2-3 years old. What do I do with all the growth it has put on in the last couple of months? It’s very pliable, so it was easy to create the shape but do I need to shorten them? My main branch has already reached the top of the wall so do I just cut off the part that’s too long?

  12. Styx62 Ga on December 7, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    Yes how do you trim the back branches off when its up against the fence?

  13. TraceyHodges27 on December 7, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    Can I ask once you have your main shape how do you prune the branches that grow off the main ones?

  14. Rothza - Jamaican - Trending on December 7, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    great info and pretty clear interesting explanation

  15. Hope Rules on December 7, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    Are there exotics that can be done that way? I have several whips of avacado and papaya.

  16. JP on December 7, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    This is sooo amazing! It should work excellently for the little hedgerows I want to make every few rows in my garden. Other than apples and pears, are there any other fruits and berries that could be trained to fit a fencerow like this? Such as mulberries, cherries, pawpaws, berry bushes, nut trees? I am in zone 4 so that limits what I can use.

  17. Emma Dalrymple on December 7, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    This is my new word of the day. Am going to research this more and will most likely give it a try with a couple of young fig trees that are beside my storage building. Good idea for someone with just a 1/4 acre city property.

  18. Phillip Carden on December 7, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    This looks similar to what they do with grape vines, did one start lets say grape vines and they decided to try fruit trees or did they come about at the same time?

  19. lelene4 on December 7, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    Do in need to use more than one variety for cross pollination?

  20. Mrinalini Vaidya on December 7, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    Really helpful! Thanks… I wonder if I could ask you a question?

  21. Kate Stone on December 7, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    Cheers for the great video! Can espalier trees bee transplanted?

  22. Tammy Johnson on December 7, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    I have a thre year old apple tree can I safely still train the branches vertically? Great information. Thank you

  23. Mazbrow Grapes on December 7, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    Apakah ini bisa di pake system grape Mr.

  24. Luz Padilla on December 7, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    I have two espalier Apple trees that gives me like 200 apples a year is an Anna and a Dorset, but this year a rat took them all!!

  25. Karen Hobbs on December 7, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    I would like to add a photo I just took of my little lime tree but do not know how to do this. It is a bout one year old; 3-4 ft tall and situated along my dog’s run path. it is roughly 4 ft in front of the base of some bamboo and has an eastern exposure. it has a couple of fruits which is normal for this climate – sub tropical andes. the branches circle the tree. If I espalier how far apart should I plant the support stakes and is it tall enough right now? I understand I will be trimming off some really healthy front and back branches. I think that if I dont want to move the plant I should maybe go for the straight out to the side effect so as not to impede too much the look of the bamboo. so while I like the candelabra effect it may be too full. The only other place to transplant might be against a south facing brick wall.

  26. akmartinez419 on December 7, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    This spring I planted an apple and a peach whip. The apple had a little growth to it already but I was able to secure it to the wires. The peach is the one I wonder about though. I read somewhere that peaches won’t grow on 2nd year branches, is that accurate? How would I prune a peach espalier. I am very new to gardening and any tips would help.

    P.S. my husband and I found the filling your raised bed video very helpful. We have a couple small raised beds and always spend a small fortune on filling it.

  27. Hope Rules on December 7, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    So helpful! Many thanks Gardener Scott!

  28. Hayley on December 7, 2020 at 9:55 pm

    Does it have to be on dwarf rootstock, or can you do this with semi-dwarf and just prune more? Thanks, great video!

  29. David Svendsen on December 7, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    Hello Gardener Scott – regarding the trellis, will we need to ever adjust the height of those wires? I am trying to determine a spot to permanently establish those horizontal wires for the espalier.

  30. LizMcNamara47 on December 7, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    Hi, what variety of pear is suited to espalier style of growing? I have seen Conference available locally here in Ireland, would this work?

  31. Rahel Moore on December 7, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    I don’t really have a place to trellis this type of tree, does it need a trellis? Also, can you graft onto it to make it a full tree? These may seem like odd questions, but I saw one of these at a local store. Love the variety of apples, but don’t really want a flat looking tree.

  32. Graham Charbonneau on December 7, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    Thanks Scott – Sweet hat

  33. Melody Millette on December 7, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    At what height of the whip do I trim the top of the tree? I’d like the max height of my trees to be about 8 feet. Currently my trees are about 2 feet with only a couple of branches.

  34. GE D on December 7, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    Hi Gardener Scott. I just discovered you and hope you still get these comments. We bought a fig tree whip and would like to espalier it into a step-over form. I assume that it’s basically done the same way as the the first row of a candelabra shape?

  35. Justin Fiorini on December 7, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    Why fastoon? Is it just aesthetics?

  36. Avagale Rajkumar on December 7, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    Can this work for avocado trees?

  37. nurul hidayati on December 7, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    Can i do this with manggo tree? Because as i know, manggo tree tend to grow very large and high

  38. Mary Nelson on December 7, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    thank you for sharing

  39. ZukiGrL1 on December 7, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    Hey Scott…… far away from a wooden fence do I have to plant an apple espalier tree? Is 6" too close??

  40. Cheryl Riveness on December 7, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    Very informative video! Thank you for explaining everything with such clarity. My only question now us, will the tree get enough sun if I plant 4′ tall lilies to the front? Thank you.

  41. Alvin Howell on December 7, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    I’m glad to see this video and I really want to learn this method I’m a beginner to gardening but English style is the direction I’m going with my yard and just purchased two apple trees that I will be attempting to do this with this winter I will be attaching them to my garden shed any more tips will be greatly appreciated

  42. Peter Stevens on December 7, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    G00D Afternoon from Auckland, New Zealand it’s Sunday, February 9, 2020.

  43. Graham Charbonneau on December 7, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    You should Espalier your jeans

  44. Vrenni Schenker on December 7, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    Thank you for a detailed video.

  45. Jenny Cepeda on December 7, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    Thanks Scott enjoy your video

  46. Rozanne Bee on December 7, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    Will a Barbado Cherry tree/bush be a good candidate to espalier? I learn a lot fr your videos and save all my favorites in my FB page. Thank you for all the valuable infos!

  47. GordonjSmith1 on December 7, 2020 at 10:08 pm

    Thank you for this excellent guidance. I am just beginning to train my first apple tree, and I am happy that my first ‘steps’ were basically in the right direction. Very informative and clearly presented.

  48. David Bowman on December 7, 2020 at 10:18 pm

    Just what i needed to know! I have a small garden and just recently planted 2 peach trees and an apple tree; I have an apple tree that I planted 3 yrs ago near where I planted the new apple tree addition and I had wondered if I could grow these no higher then 6-7 feet tall and now I know that I can! Thank you!

  49. Mary Riccardi on December 7, 2020 at 10:19 pm

    Does the root system growth of an espalier tree differ from that of a non-espalier tree? I’m considering growing a fruit tree against our garage wall but I’m concerned about the effects on the foundation.

  50. Digital Megatrends on December 7, 2020 at 10:20 pm

    How you prune them

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