How to Espalier Fruit Trees

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.

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50 Comments

  1. Grafting Tactick on October 8, 2021 at 8:22 am

    What a great technique, very informative vid. Thanks for sharing your great depth of knowledges. For that reason I subbed and 👍

  2. Sommer Dunn on October 8, 2021 at 8:23 am

    I’m so grateful for your videos and for the time you spend filming, presenting, and editing. I have learned so much from you, Gardener Scott.

  3. Chris Chambless on October 8, 2021 at 8:23 am

    Finally someone who can pronounce espalier

  4. Kaitte Murry on October 8, 2021 at 8:26 am

    I want to start my orchard this year.. what types of trees do I get?? Can it be a regular tree?

  5. Rega Loma on October 8, 2021 at 8:27 am

    Great explanation! Very useful for beginners!

  6. LizMcNamara47 on October 8, 2021 at 8:27 am

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

  7. Nettrawler on October 8, 2021 at 8:28 am

    A nice, clear video. If I ever get the opportunity I think I will go for free form espalier.

  8. jack clinkman on October 8, 2021 at 8:28 am

    Great video! Can anybody suggest what type of wire is best for a trellis as shown in the video? What material, what gauge, coated or not? I’m trying my first espalier project, and plan to build the trellis using wire attached to steel posts, as shown in this video. Thanks for any suggestions!

  9. Mary Nelson on October 8, 2021 at 8:33 am

    thank you for sharing

  10. Digital Megatrends on October 8, 2021 at 8:37 am

    How you prune them

  11. Phillip Carden on October 8, 2021 at 8:37 am

    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?

  12. Jim Flynn on October 8, 2021 at 8:39 am

    What I really need to know is how to recognize what vertical spirts I should cut off and which ones may become fruit, I have been looking everywhere but I cannot find a video that explains how to actually trim and prune up close and how to identify a future fruit or branch you don’t want

  13. Chris Sforza on October 8, 2021 at 8:39 am

    I have small new Bartlett pear trees that have lots of shoots going up vertically some to feed and length along the horizontally trained three branch structures.

  14. Don Palmer on October 8, 2021 at 8:40 am

    Great post! Your presentations are to say the least fabulous! You know your stuff!

  15. Avagale Rajkumar on October 8, 2021 at 8:40 am

    Can this work for avocado trees?

  16. Rahel Moore on October 8, 2021 at 8:41 am

    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.

  17. Annette Mcleod on October 8, 2021 at 8:44 am

    Can you show me how to prune in late winter?

  18. Wendy h on October 8, 2021 at 8:45 am

    Do you need a trellis for an informal espalier? Or only for a formal one?

  19. JP on October 8, 2021 at 8:48 am

    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.

  20. Hope Rules on October 8, 2021 at 8:48 am

    So helpful! Many thanks Gardener Scott!

  21. Neil combe on October 8, 2021 at 8:49 am

    I have planted apple trees along a 6ft tall chain link fence that have been started on there own wooden trellises. I am getting ready to set up more permanent guide wires. My question is should I set the wires to the height of the branches where they are at now or to the height that I would like them to eventually be? Each tree that I have is trained with 3 branches coming off each side of the tree horizontally. I would eventually like the top branches to be along the top of my 6ft fence.

  22. Chloe Nguyen on October 8, 2021 at 8:50 am

    Very details. Thank you sir

  23. SG kpopfan on October 8, 2021 at 8:51 am

    Brilliant!! I’ve been planning to espalier my apple and peach trees since last year. Hopefully I’ll complete it this year – (and add a fig tree to the list) after watching your easy ways to espalier. Im so psyched!! Thank you!

  24. Chelsea Sawatzky on October 8, 2021 at 8:54 am

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

  25. David Svendsen on October 8, 2021 at 8:54 am

    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.

  26. 2 Birds, 1 Stone, Backyard Gardening and Living on October 8, 2021 at 8:55 am

    My mind was blown when I realized I could be in control of my fruit trees! Great video!

  27. jo steventon on October 8, 2021 at 8:56 am

    Id like to Espalier a Warwickshire Drooper plum tree but was told it wasn’t suitable so wondered what your thoughts were please Scott? They have the most amazing taste!

  28. Kim Martin on October 8, 2021 at 8:56 am

    Thanks for the information about espaliered apples. I have two pretty old apple trees that were originally intended to be espaliered, and I can see by the way the original growth looks that they were horizontally trained for a while way before I bought this house. When I moved in last October my friend and I trimmed all the upright growth and ran wires at two heights to start to train new growth and old growth along the horizontal wires. My question is: now that summer has been encouraging the vertical growth in both these trees, I have been trimming most of the verticals and leaving any promising horizontals but even only a few days after trimming there are a ton of new verticals coming on. Do you recommend hacking off all the verticals or leaving some along the nascent horizontals? I am afraid of cutting all the fruiting buds……

  29. Tater on October 8, 2021 at 8:57 am

    Great video. I am considering either a dwarf cherry or dwarf Bartlett pear. Would either work with this method?

  30. Maria Markisello on October 8, 2021 at 8:57 am

    Love this channel!
    My question is: I just received my apple trees in the mail from the nursery. It has several broken branches. I plant on espalier traininging with them. One is g41 Winecrisp, other is b9 Keepsake. Do I go ahead & trim off all broken/danaged branches & cut top of main leader as needed for training? I’m afraid to kill them! Thank you!!

  31. Timothy Spillane on October 8, 2021 at 9:00 am

    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?

  32. Lara Harding on October 8, 2021 at 9:00 am

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

  33. Merricc on October 8, 2021 at 9:02 am

    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.

  34. Jasper Posner on October 8, 2021 at 9:04 am

    Hi Gardner Scott. Thanks foe the great video. In the video you mention that a 2 branch espalier is most common and talk about how to do that starting from a whip. However, your video also shows trees with 4-5 rows of branches. What is your advice for getting 4-5 rows of branches from a whip?

  35. Tammy Johnson on October 8, 2021 at 9:04 am

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

  36. GE D on October 8, 2021 at 9:05 am

    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?

  37. Mary Lewis on October 8, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Thank you

  38. Luz Padilla on October 8, 2021 at 9:06 am

    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!!

  39. Hope Rules on October 8, 2021 at 9:07 am

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

  40. TraceyHodges27 on October 8, 2021 at 9:09 am

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

  41. Chris Sforza on October 8, 2021 at 9:10 am

    When is the best time of year to prune Bartlett pear trees that have been espalier trained with three horizontal branches which now have many vertical branches shooting up along the hirizontals? Scared to cut off fruiting branches for this season. Those verticals are as long as 2 ft so clearly they will not hold fruit well. If too late to prune for horizontal shape can I train as candelabra?

  42. Jayvant Kalyankar on October 8, 2021 at 9:11 am

    Can it be possible for any type of fruit tree? Please comment 🙏

  43. Hayley on October 8, 2021 at 9:11 am

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

  44. SG25 on October 8, 2021 at 9:14 am

    How does hight translate to espalier? If I have a tree that should grow to 10-12 feet and I espalier it, does it mean that the horizontal branches will reach 10-12 feet?

  45. ZukiGrL1 on October 8, 2021 at 9:15 am

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

  46. Cheryl Riveness on October 8, 2021 at 9:15 am

    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.

  47. kgilheany on October 8, 2021 at 9:17 am

    what zone is this?

  48. Mazbrow Grapes on October 8, 2021 at 9:18 am

    Apakah ini bisa di pake system grape Mr.

  49. Mrinalini Vaidya on October 8, 2021 at 9:20 am

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

  50. firouza gamieldien on October 8, 2021 at 9:21 am

    It’s Egyptian that’s where European saw and learnt espalier

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