Friday, December 10, 2010

Espalier




I have wanted espalier apple trees for the back yard for a long time and we finally got them!  5 of them!


Espalier trees are pruned and trained to grow on a single plane, usually up against a fence or a wall.  It's an ancient technique that makes it possible to grow a lot of fruit in small space, on the inside of a Medieval walled city, or in my back yard for example.  There are many styles of espaliers, but since the kind of apples we wanted need pollinators, we went with the Belgian fence style so we could get 5 trees in our 12 foot by 1 foot space.  (one day, our trees will look like this!)

I am not a terribly patient person and I am a terrible pruner. (Really, it's embarrassing, it's not like it's rocket science, but I'm sure as heck no Edward Scissorhands.)  So instead of trying to espalier some trees on my own, we ordered them already trained and pruned from a nursery.

The only problem was that they had to wait for the trees to go completely dormant before they could ship them, and since we've had such a weird, warm Fall, that meant they arrived this Monday!  (Gus is very helpful when it comes to unpacking.)


The ground was a little bit frozen already (not too bad) so I stuck my seed starting heating pads on the ground for a few hours before planting.  (I think it mostly helped psychologically.) 


Steven dug the holes (or giant trench) and we got them in the ground!

I just hope they are still alive so next fall I can make homegrown apple pie!

17 comments:

AbbieBabble said...

These are so cool! I can't wait to see how they look next summer.

Natasha said...

Gus is too cute! Homegrown apple pie sounds perfect.

Brandi said...

They're going to be beautiful by the fall! I hope you get some delicious apples off of them. I'm going to keep these in mind for a fence, you know, when I have my own mini-farm someday.

Tanya (a Taste of T) said...

This is SO cool. You have a great green thumb so I'm hoping you get apples too.

Also, Gus is so darn cute! Love his little ears!

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Exciting. I've always been intrigued by espalier trees. They are so pretty and so practical.

Haley said...

An aunt and uncle in AA have a pear tree like this against their garage. This year she had to "self polinate" using a giant q-tip because the bees weren't there at the right time. http://alittlerandrrr.blogspot.com/2010/05/jim-and-robertas-pear-tree.html

Steven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven said...

The big dig was quite the dig, but it is so satisfying to see them in and I can't wait till next spring to see the blossoms. Aren't they cute?

Mo Pie, Please said...

Amazing! I can't wait to be able to do half of the stuff that you guys do. Way to go and way to go Gus for helping :) Have a great weekend!

Tay Talk said...

Oooo I think this is fantastic!

Not just apple pie, but apple sauce, apple turn-overs, est. YUM

Make sure to keep us posted on how they do next year!

Ana Degenaar said...

That is beautiful! Congratulations, they are lovely!

la petite coquine said...

Apple trees are the best, and these are magnificent specimens! I hope they take root and flourish-they'll be so beautiful!

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

wonderful!!!
love Espalier fruit trees for easy picking, plus they look so attractive!

xo

Kat said...

Lady, that is such a beautiful idea - I just love it. So strange that this fall was so warm, but patience pays off. I can't wait to see how these lovelies turn out!

little t said...

Gus is so cute! Good luck with growing them. I love when you can pretend you're self-sufficient by making things from garden ingrediants.

karen said...

good luck with the trees. I hope you chronicle it's development over the next year.

p.s. on a totally unrelated note, that dog is super adorable!

Kristen said...

Hi I was wondering if there was an update an your apple trees-- I would love to know how it went!