Espalier Apple Trees Re-worked


I agree with Mike, pruning now won’t generate much new growth in your area. I’d take them down to three leaves again.

Another story down here, we still have three months of growing season left and I’m fertilizing like crazy.


I’ve trimmed the whole set up this early evening. I’ll take another picture to post tomorrow when lighting are more favorable. I also have another question through this last pruning though. I pretty much indiscriminately trimmed down any growth that has over 6 - 12" in length. Some are still active with small green tender leaves and some are already terminated with a stubbed end. Did I do that properly or should I not trim off the long terminated branches? I spared some shorter terminated branches just in case…

Your advise, please?



The latest pruning for my apple espaliers! More organized “jungle on wire” :grinning:



Very nice.
I know that it hurts to cut and remove. :sob: But, I see that you left quite a bit of vertical growth.

I count 25 on the top row alone that i would pinch to 3 leaves.

I guess you plan on having plenty graft scions to give away. :smile:




I probably did leave it bushier than I should. I trimmed most of them at 5 leaves instead of 3. I’ll come back to cut more sometime this week. The weatherman says our area night temp is under 40 next week! Just still a bit unsecured of what I am doing! :blush:




You’re doing ok.

40’s is ok.

Trim to 3

The trees are alot more resilient that we think



Beautiful trees Tom, after seeing how well you did, I think I’m calling mine, ‘trees tied to some wires’ not espalier.


Tom, don’t worry about if you whacked off a fruiting bud. Your little trunks can only support so many apples at this point anyway, you’ll still be doing some heavy thinning.

107F here today; hard to start thinking of fall yet.


Late evening pruning from yesterday, down to 3 leaves per stick! :fearful:
And our area is going to see the 40ish tomorrow night. It’s coming!

I think I learned to recognize fruit spurs!

And more here!



Good, Now put away the pruners until next year and watch your stress levels go down… as they should.

“You have done well young grasshopper”…



Well done! It should be like night and day in its habit in the spring.

That’s as an espalier should be.


I like that, Master! “Young” is the key here! :relaxed:

In all seriousness, I was a nervous wreck with a pruner at hand but calmed off after the job done! I should have done that with my 3 Asian pears but I guessed I missed that window. Next year I should be very heartless with pruning! That’s definitely the way to control height.

If this winter is favorable, hopefully I can post more pictures of the spring blossoms from these 2 espaliers apples. Oops! Did I mention “Winter Is Coming”? :smile:

Again, many thanks to you, Alan, Applenut for spending time mentoring this “young grasshopper”…



Brush up on your teaching skills, Tom. People are going to be coming to YOU for advice after seeing what you’ve accomplished. :smiley:


@ tomIL,
How your Espalier trees are doing. I am raising two Asian pear trees in Espalier form. They are in their second year now. I read this thread over and over. I want to know how your trees react this year.

I am learning.



I’m learning here too. I’ll do an updated post, probably in few weeks. For now, nothing wake up yet so not much to post at this point…



I am dying to know how your apple trees did last year!!! We have built a new home and are developing a new garden with a row of espaliered fruit trees. I am very interested to learn how to do this correctly! e



Don’t die just yet… :slight_smile:

I live in northern Illinois and everything is still frozen so not much can be said now. Year 2016 was pretty much pruning of new and matured growths so not much to report but building up for 2017 fruit spurs. I believed that I saw at least a few fruit spurs from both espaliers just a couple of weeks ago when the weather was a bit warmer and I went out to do another pruning, prepping up before the spring growth.

I did took a few pictures after the last spring pruning to post once everything wake up, either with blooms or leaves. Just wait, don’t die on me! :grinning:



Wow! Sorry you are still in the throes of winter! We must be having an early spring in SE Idaho. (Beastly winter, tho!) I have a long way to go I’m afraid before we will see fruit…I will wait with great anticipation for your progress report! e


I have learned a lot about pruning with this chat! thanks for the good advice. and pics! I have an espalier apple tree as well and just pruned it last night. looks like I need to do a lot differently. can someone please explain in a little more detail what you mean when you say pinch anything over 3 leaves. (pic please:) and can you show me a picture of fruit spur? my tree has quite a few buds on it this year (SLC area Utah) but still not as many as I’d like.



@tomIL any recent pictures of your espalier? Did it finally fruit for you?