The Peach Tree Espalier

I will be planting two of my peach seedlings along a back fence.  This has been a long forgotten part of the yard. But one that would lend well to small fruit trees. My seedlings are ready for their permanent home and while that part of the yard is not in full use I think it would be fun to train the trees to grow along the fence.

So espalier comes to mind when you talk about training trees. In fact espalier is a specific type of training – one with main branches grown horizontally. So I will be learning the fan method of training.


Choosing a site

Its recommended to plant your trees at least 6 inches from your fence or wall. The trees need full sun to allow the fruit to ripen. Since stone fruits produce best on one year old branches (tip fruiting), a fan type of espalier is best. Typical cordon type (horizontal branches) espalier creates a long branch of old wood. While apples and pears grow from spurs off old wood they are better made for this kind of training.
When trees produce fruit on one year old, the wood will usually die back, making it easy to know what to prune if you wait until they fruit. Only cut the dead branches and leave 3 buds for new growth. Branches that are getting too long can also be cut back and will promote fruiting closer to the main branch.

Creating the support structure.


Can an espalier frame be attached to a fence or d you run the risk of damaging the fence?

If I do a fan pattern  in center and 

The first year

Trained fruit at West Dean Gardens

Pruning Espalier

Once I have allowed my peach to produce its first two
Never prune plums, cherries, apricots, peach and nectarine during the winter months but ALWAYS as soon as you have picked the crop. This helps to avoid disease from developing.

More resources
Growing fruit trees | Hints and tips
Summer Pruning & Espaliers

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