Spring weather dictates what winter imaginings are actually done.
This weekend was balmy. Sixty degree temps rid us of the last February snow. It was a good time for trimming the 4 year old peach trees. The days of training into an espalier are gone. If I had found Ian Sturrock’s video on espalier earlier, perhaps I could have put the wire/bamboo in place, and trained them up right. Sturrock, a notable Welsh nurseryman specializing in fruit trees show how it can be done with the right timing and technique. He walks you through the types of espalier ( growth mechanically constrained to a single plane using various types of growth patterns/templates ). This kind of restriction allows for a narrow planting against a wall or the creation of a living fence. Or just giving peaches a place to be in a very small space.
My trees grew to about 6′ – 6.5′ last year. Amazing how they do that with good rain in the early season. To use the fan method of espalier, a tree must be started when the first branching can be forced from a single whip at about knee height. That was probably supposed to be done in year 2? Oh well, now the best I can achieve are sturdy branches in a modified fan shape, open in the center. The main scaffold branches have a few good leads growing at ~45 degree angle.
Even if you don’t intend to espalier your fruits, Ian’s video is good learning. I was unaware of how branch growth angles affect the nutrient dispersal. The lower branches I crudely tied down will likely be useless unless I can let them grow upward.
Thanks Ian, I will do better next time I promise! 🙂
These are experiments like all others. In my next adventure I will apply what I’ve learned here. If today’s cut it bad, I will bring in the experts.
The native plums are next. Where will they grow out back, and how do I get them cultivating?