Monday, September 13, 2010

The Art of Espalier

{image Traditional Home via Compulsively Compiled}

I can only imagine my exhilaration if I came outside my front door to discover pears on my espalier tree! Isn't it beautiful! I have always been intrigued by the art of espalier and have often wondered if I could actually be successful at bearing fruit. The picture above might have just convinced me to give it a try.

{image via french gardening}

The best location for an espaliered plant is against a south or east facing wall. Planting close to a wall, especially a brick wall, will help a fruit tree to flourish as the brick absorbs heat during the day and releases heat at night creating a unique microclimate.

{image via Southern Accents}

The espalier featured above from Southern Accents is in the candelabra form, one of the more popular techniques. I am totally smitten with the Belgian fence technique in the photo below, probably a little ambitious for a beginner like me.

{Belgian Fence via Gabriela Delworth}

In March this year, Garden and Gun published an article entitled Citrus as Garden Art by Haskell Harris. She recommended the Alabama mail order company Tasteful Garden for ordering fruit trees and for those of us that would like a little head start, professionally trained espalier specimens, from River Road Farms in Middle Tennessee. I would like to visit River Road Farms in person some day as the entrance to the 340 acre farm is lined with 23 matching 'Bradford' pear trees, espaliered into an intricate lattice pattern known as a Belgian fence.

{image via The Orchard Chronicles}

{image via French Gardening}

A horizontal cordon form {above} is ideal for creating a low living fence.

The lemon tree {above} is fashioned into one of the easiest espaliers to train, the fan palmette.

{image via Colonial Sense}

{espaliered grape vine}

{Belgian Fence}

{espaliered pear tree outside Normandy, France}

An espaliered apple tree at historic Reynolda Gardens here in Winston Salem.


  1. I love this look! It adds such charm and warmth to a house-especially love the patio...

  2. This post pulls at my heart stings. I have been struggling with my black thumb the last few years, combine that with our awful climate and I am just happy to a leaf on my ivy.

  3. I am dying to try this on a spot on the back of our house....if I can only find the time...

  4. @A Pefect Gray - you have time to read blogs apparently!

  5. I have the perfect wall... Thank you for the pretty photos and informative post!
    Just found your blog it is lovely!
    Here is mine visit me to sometime!