Which pears and apples espalier best?

Im looking to try my hand at espaliering this fall. Which apple and pear varieties have proven to be winners for this? Hoping to plant one of each.


Plant the apples you would enjoy eating. That is what it is all about anyway.

The only caution I would give is to avoid “tip bearing” varieties.

BTW you will need at least 2 of each for proper cross polination.


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Myers Royal Limbertwig

P.S. Unfortunately, the gentleman in this video passed away this past year. The apple variety can be found at other nurseries, such as Big Horse Creek.


I am a novice in espalier, but I’ve been at it for three seasons with 7 apple trees. So far they all seem to be fine as far as tree training grows, though as expected they show a large variety of traits as far as growth vigor, habit, and fruiting. But it’s hard to separate variety from other factors like rootstock (I’ve got a bunch of combinations), and position in my yard).

I’d second the recommendation to prefer spur type apples, or at the least ones that are described as partial tip bearing. So far I’ve had good results from Roxbury Russet, which is listed as partial tip bearing, but it is early in it’s life.

If I had to choose one great tree for espalier based on my limited experience, I’d say Gold Rush. Mine has been easy to train, vigorous enough to work well but not so vigorous that it is hard to keep in bounds, and has been precocious and set lots of fruit.

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Thanks for the awesome feedback. Is there a good resource that shows if a given apple variety is spur vs. tip bearing? I was thinking about trying Ashmead’s Kernel and William’s Pride on M26 root stock. If the sites I read are correct these are both spur bearing varieties. Is M26 is a good or bad choice for espalier?

Yes, they are both spur-bearers. M26 will make a very vigorous espalier (about 15 ft). I put two bud-9’s on a fifteen foot space and still cut them back hard every year. I am wondering if espaliering Ashmead’s Kernal would have any influence on its tendency toward bitter pit. Maybe someone else could offer feedback on that.

I looked into this a year or so ago and believe I discovered that the vast majority of apples are either spur or mixed spur and tip, so not to worry.

I just type the name of the name of the apple into the search bar, followed by spur-bearer, or tip bearer.

I have two espalier apples in my back yard, they are doing great. I have one multi graph pear espalier, it is one year old and just getting started.

How often do people try to espalier a peach tree? I don’t know how fast the wood gets tough, I know apples are more pliable to bend, whereas cherry tree wood is tougher and harder to manipulate. I am wondering if anyone has had any success molding a peach tree.

Peach will be easy to shape. Main issue is the lack of spurring on peach. New fruiting wood must be encouraged each year.

I have a Rubinette and a Goldrush That I grafted a couple of years ago and trained to a wire 2 or 3 feet off of the ground.

The Rubinette flowered the whole length and looks like it is going to behave very nicely. The Goldrush is sending shoots every which way and no flowers.

The Rubinette got girdled by voles however, so they may have forced it into bearing. I’m wondering if I should girdle my Goldrush, or graft it over to a different variety. I’m leaning towards the latter since I have more apple scions than I have places to put them, and I already have a tree with Goldrush.



Trying to espalier any of the stone fruit is like trying to herd cats.

Its doing "renewal pruning each year.

The only upside is that they grow so fast and wild that any screwup still results in so much new growth that you can twist and tie it to the scaffold wire.

See the link below. It speaks about plums but, in this regard, they behave just like peaches .