Reasonable source of a single rootstok?

Interesting… I draw a picture of Belgian fence planted 2’ apart, 5 trees on 8’ row, most left and right will only have branches on one side, but three levels instead of one to make proper pattern. That seems to be most dense espalier. If I keep the fence at 7’ and start the branches (at 45 degrees) at 1’ from the ground I will have total 51’ of branches. But if I plant one tree and let it grow into 4-level espalier with layers spaced 1.5-2’ started at 1.5’ from the ground, I can get 64’ of branches on the same space. What would be a benefit having 5 trees instead of one in this case if I only need one kind of apples? I understand the risk of loosing a single tree, but assuming we had success on that single one, what are the benefits other then a fancy look?

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Thanks a lot for the link! There it is reasonable $15 with shipping. Now I just need to decide if I want a Belgian fence :grin:

G30 would be the same size tree…they have that either?

Thanks to @mroot I have G.890 now!


And now I want to start a new tree, and I just can’t go there!



Look for a forth dimension! I always do - so far successful!

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We can probably find you some scions if you change your mind… :rofl:

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Speaking as someone who went the Belgian fence route, the main advantage in my mind is that it’s significantly easier to train and keep the trees in balanced growth than a multi-tier espalier.

Speaking as a bad (!!!) mathematician, if you have a 7’ Belgian fence with the Ys starting 1’ above the ground, and A squared plus B squared equals C squared, I’m ending up with (6 x 6) + (6 x 6) = 72, and the square root of 72 is between 8 and 9. So, if we say 8.5’ per scaffold, with five trees that gives you 8 full scaffolds plus the two vertical ends, so (8.5 x 8) + (6 x 2), which I think equals 80’ total. But definitely check my math on that!

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if you look at this picture, you can see that not all branches are the same length. They have to stop at 0 and 8 feet post…


Thanks for bring up this topic.

@JinMA, you posted the pics of your Belgian Fence once. I can’t find that post or the thread. Could you be able to post the pics again, please?

I would like to ask for the info on how you do it. I may do the same right in the front of my house just for the fun of it. Thank you for your advice.

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Right, but then you’re going to either train the branch back or have an additional branch coming off the end post, so you always end up with a full Y for each tree except the end trees, but the Ys are “folded” (if that makes sense).

Handling the ends of the fence does add a little difficulty.

Hi mamuang,

I went back and tracked down the post. Here is the thread: Attempting Espalier with Two Super-Dwarf Apples.

I’m copying and pasting the pictures and reference info below:

The fence faces south and runs east to west. For reference, this is currently the overall arrangement:

East endpost: Edward VII
Court Pendu Plat
Post: Hunt Russet
Roxbury Russet
Ashmead’s Kernel (started to go downhill last year and unfortunately seems to be pining for the fjords) Update: It died.
Roxbury Russet
Post: Kidd’s Orange Red
Pitmaston Pineapple
Adams Pearmain
Gray Pearmain
Post: Black Oxford
Westfield Seek No Further
Wheeler’s Golden Russet
Westfield Seek No Further
Post: Black Oxford
American Beauty
Reine des Reinettes
Post: Kidd’s Orange Red
Orleans Reinette
Hoople’s Antique Gold
(G41 rootstock that I plan to graft to Orleans Reinette next year)
Post: (space for Claygate Pearmain that I grafted this year - hopefully…) Update: Claygate Pearmain graft took, hoping for a successful transplant this spring.
Cornish Aromatic
West endpost: Old Nonpareil

I extended the endposts this spring and moved a few things around on the outer panels (partly bringing in trees that I grafted last year). As you can see, I still have a few spaces to fill in and will probably end up doing some more adjustments down the line, but it gives you the general idea.

Here is a view looking down the fence from east to west:


Here is a view of a panel looking toward the street:


Here is a view of the same panel (I think) looking from the street:


I believe that is Black Oxford-Westfield-Wheeler’s-Westfield-Black Oxford. As you can see, the diamond pattern isn’t perfect, though you don’t notice it so much in person. I’m not necessarily going for perfection, but I’ll probably tinker with it a bit this spring, and I also have to do a little work extending/replacing some of the bamboo, especially where the trees are starting to outgrow the lattice. (Wheeler’s Golden Russet and Black Oxford have been among my more vigorous trees, Wheeler’s especially.)

Here is a view of one of the black locust endposts with part of the lattice under construction:


Here is a closeup that shows the bamboo tied onto the wire and the tree tied on to the bamboo:


And finally, just for kicks, here is a closeup of some of our first flower buds:


These are on Reine des Reinettes. There are also a couple on Wheeler’s and a couple more on the Blue Pearmain that’s in the fence that I’m working on in the back yard.

Note: As you can see, some of the panels are somewhat less than perfectly aligned. I think that’s just going to happen to some extent, but I did straighten out some of them. It’s not something you really notice if you’re just walking by, but I’m planning to make a little more of a concerted effort to straighten it out in the coming year.

Also, I added a second layer of bamboo supports to extend the framework up another level. I’ll try to take some new pictures to update in the spring if people are interested.


No, I am not sure I understand what saying about folding. I am geometrically stupid, I need to draw. Let me draw a new picture with different color for each tree. And when I did, I got your point. I have 4 8.5 branches, not 2. But still it comes to 68’, not 80

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“I am geometrically stupid”. Galina- what about me? I am mathematically challenged (not just geometry).

I think when covid is over or you and I get vaccinated, we shoukd ride out to see @JinMA’s art works in person.

Jim - thank you for the pics and the info. I love your choice of apple varieties. I need to convince my husband that my plan is well thought-out (not) :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


@galinas : Are you all set on Ginger Gold scion? I have it if you need some.

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I have a tree on b9, it is small, but i think I will manage to get few scions. But thanks anyway!

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If my reckoning is correct, the last twelve feet come from the verticals on the ends. (But like I said, math is not really my strong suit.)

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yes, i didn’t count verticals, do they also produce? I whish i can look at a picture of mature(5-7 years old ) Belgian fence in bloom.

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My end trees are some of my least fully developed at this point, so I can’t say from experience, but my working assumption is that you can treat the “endposts” similar to a vertical cordon or spindle. My guess is that they might be somewhat less productive per foot than the diagonals, though, since the 45’ angle is supposed to be good for encouraging fruit-bearing. I guess I’ll find out!

Also, I’ve seen that some people train the scaffolds horizontal at the top, so that they form a kind of top rail to the fence, or arch them back over and start training them back down another scaffold. So, if you’re looking to maximize potential for fruit-bearing wood within a given area, those techniques might add a bit (though probably more of a marginal gain there, I’m guessing).

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On my current 4 tiers espalier I leave spurs on the main trunk, but i do not recall if they produced this year. If they did, it was not noticeable. Most fruit where on horizontals. Yes, it is a nice idea to form a top rail!

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