My HC is a stand alone tree. I planted it in 2008. It’s a potted tree so it must have been 2-3 years old tree by 2008. It was on an unknown rootstock but I guess it was M111 since it’s a nursery potted tree labeled “semi-dwarf”
It did not bloom until 2013, only a few clusters. I got about 7-8 apples out of it. By 2013, the tree must have been 7-8 yrs old.
In the spring of 2014, there was no bloom at all. It definitely was not because of overbearing the previous year. I believe it was caused by my incorrect pruning. I did too much heading cuts and not enough thinning cut. By the summer, I made correction the best I could.
This year, the tree developed so many fruit spurs on every branches. I thinned many spurs out before and at bloom time. I also thinned a lot of fruitlets off.
I think that my HC’s delayed fruiting was a result of its rootstock and my pruning ignorance.
I have no knowledge of espalier. I just want to share my experience re. HC with you.