I have always enjoyed the look of espaliered trees, and the fruit they bare is not so bad either. When we bought our townhouse, with its great brick courtyard, I was thrilled to see it already had one espaliered tree growing up the brick wall. However, it was winter, snowy and cold, and I couldn’t really inspect it too much.
The practice of espalier was started in Europe in the sixteenth century. It is a great way to grow fruit trees, or other trees for that matter, when you don’t have a lot of space. While bicycling in England, France, Belgium and The Netherlands, we have seen lots of these trees trained in different shapes and growing on different types of materials – wood, bricks, blocks, and stones.
The man we purchased our place from had owned it for five years, but he has houses all over the world and therefore, didn’t really spend time there tending to the plants. They were in much need of TLC. My first plan is to remove the weeds, see what is worthy of keeping, and then give the plants we keep a major feeding. Meanwhile, look at these beautiful espaliered trees I found during my research.
A line of magnolias like this one would work along the back of a lawn as a privacy screen. This proves that not all espaliered trees need to bare fruit.
This is very similar to the one living in our courtyard except our walls are brick, rather than block.
Although this look would work well along a driveway, I am not too fond of it.
This almost looks like a labyrinth.
Do you have a place in your lawn that could handle an espaliered tree? Maybe it is a challenge you would like to take on this year.
Images from UBC Botanical Gardens and Peach.org