Friday, December 10, 2010
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 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!