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Espalier Dwarf Apple Trees

by katzcradul • 30,965 views

Katzcradul shows how to espalier dwarf apple trees. We have an incredibly small yard. We don't have room for traditional fruit trees. I have espaliered two apple trees, flat against our wooden...

Your Espalier video's have inspired us to grow this way. You have a genuine teaching nature, appreciate you sharing your sources & opinions. Curious on your tree spacing, how far apart are the trunks?
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Hi there! I was wondering how long it took to get your trees to the point in the video and how many apples (approximately of course) did your tree produce. Thanks!
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The trees in this video are just a year old if memory serves me correctly.  It takes about 3-4 years for them to produce.  We were hoping for a small crop this year but a storm tore all the blossoms off.  Things like that happen.
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Do you think that I could put the dwarf trees in big pots? the area where I want to plant the espalier doesn't have that good of a soil
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Yes, but they'd need to be the very biggest one you could find.  If you live in a place that has hard winters, you need to bring them indoors...to a greenhouse preferably.
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Great garden tour!  Thanks for sharing.  Looking to set up my first espalier.  Thanks for all your tips on pruning and tying them!
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Come to think of it, root stock supposedly must be something that is winter-hardy for the particular zone in which you live. And my experience with a grafted rose tree was that when the upper (grafted) part died, the rootstock (which was apparently a wild variety) took over, and cross-pollinated with every tea rose in my garden. Not sure whether grafted fruit trees would do something similar, but if the top part dies, look out.
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Hi, just watched your video. I didn't know about this technique (espalier). I had heard that apples must be grafted to sturdy older rootstock (for example, crabapple), otherwise won't produce fruit for about nine years. Do you know whether the trees you are planting are grafted? (You would be able to see the graft somewhere between the base and lowest branches I think.) The reason I'm asking: Just for the heck of it, I threw a bunch of Gala apple seeds into a tiny pot of soil, kept it wet, and within a couple of weeks they all sprouted! Now I have bunches of Gala apple seedlings, which I just separated into bigger pots. Just wondered whether these would be usable little trees, or would need to be grafted first, even to be espaliered. The post from Centervilletn sort of answered that when he mentioned a graft.
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Espalier did not originate in France, it predates France. In fact, the practice predates the Roman Empire, which is credited with popularizing the technique in Central Europe and westward. While the actual 'inventors' of the practice are unknown, it is probably of Persian or Western Asian (Mongol or Ethnic Chinese) origin.  The word espalier is french, referring to a trellis / shelf / drying rack (think towel rack), and that's the word that stuck due to centuries of French colonization/influence throughout Europe.  It's just one of those weird situations where some word magically sticks, like "orange". The actual historical English word for the color orange is 'geoluhread'. Once trade was established with India, they sent spherical golden hued citrusy fruits that they called 'oranges' westward to Europe where over a hundred or so years, it displaced geoluhread as the primary term used for anything relating to the color. So we now call orange ... orange.
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@CitySurvivalist lol...I don't even notice the cats were in the shots until I uploaded the video. "Maybelline", the black and grey tabby really is fat, but will slim down during the summer. She's been closed up in our shop most of the winter. "Maize', the yellow one looks fat, but she's all fur. Thanks for watching.
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I have wanted to do this for YEARS, but they finally go in THIS YEAR! I can't thank you enough for this video, because like you, I was so worried about the extreme pruning that's required to grow them. Your lovely, healthy trees, showed me that it IS possible to get good growth, and now I can't wait to get started on my trees too. I love to garden, but never could start my trees this way, and NOW I CAN!!! Thank you so much, & I look forward to seeing them grow along with you. Bless, Sheila
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Can you do an update on the dwarf apple tree so we can see a year later? Thanks!
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Awesome! Thanks for the video. You helped clear up some questions on Espalier trees. Why is the distance between the horizontals 18"? Wouldn't it be okay to put more horizontals in to allow for more fruit? Excellent job on your garden :)
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@centervilletn Yeah, this is not the first time I've heard a story like yours. The catalog companies make the trees looks so desirable, but they really are poor producers. I think it's simply a gimmick to sell more apple trees. The most common complaint I hear is exactly the one you expressed. The variety with the strongest genes, in that particular tree, will take over. Please understand, in no way am I a fruit tree expert. Call your local county university extension service.
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@1toomanyhobbies They look kind of sad right not, being winter and all but the moment they begin to leaf in the spring, I'll make a video.
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Be sure to check out the videos posted this week by L2Survive on his visit to Paul Gautschi. It's an excellent tutorial on how to keep your fruit trees prune so you can reach the fruit. (Also, if you haven't watched the Back to Eden video, be sure to do that.)
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No, you can't put in more horizontals unless you find smaller fruit more to your liking. You need to have plenty of room for air circulation and to be certain there is plenty of sunlight. You don't want to put undo stress on the tree either. 18" is the recommended spacing by the experts.
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Great vid and great minds, you will never guess what I planted yesterday! 4 Colannade apple trees in uber large pots put them out in the garden. they are smaller than dwarf, they are actually miniature trees that are grafted and produce full size fruit. Can't wait to see what happens.
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@thedoctorisin24380 Hey! There you go....apple flavored chickens! That sound really good. LOL I feel you're pain. I hate for some critter to get a free meal out of all my hard work. Take care and thanks for watching and commenting.
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@Sheila6325 Like you, I wanted to do this for a very long time. I keep information in a notebook of all the things I want to get around to doing. I've gathered information on espalier for year. I've looked at practically every image on google, etc. Last year, I bit the bullet. I was most scared about the wiring, but once we collected the supplies, it was a snap to get it strung up. I was relieved my trees made it through the harsh winter. I can't wait for apples! Thanks for watching.
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Good vid! I'm trying to convince my father in law to let me put in espaliered apples on the family plot and take out the big ones. Much of the fruit goes bad on the tree each year and we have a very hard time getting to the top and outer branches. Pruning is also very difficult. I think with several dwarfs we can get as much if not more fruit, better quality. Maintainence and harvest will be easier and quicker. Will also open the land for other use.
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HELLO I AM DOING THE SAME THING BUT I LOT MY BLUE BERRY PLANTS ALL 3 DIED ALL 10 TREE ARE WELL
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Hi, how many hours of sun light a day does your tree get ? I want to plant some fruit trees along a fence but will not get more than 4 maximum 5 hours of sun. Is that enough ??
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That's just great, thanks a lot Suzy Q. As soon as TPW sees this video she is going to have me stringing aircraft cable along all 460 feet of privacy fencing we own. Next she'll have me poking every apple seed she can find into ground that I will of course first have to cultivate by hand. Next... ツ
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Thanks Darlene. I hope you weather is a little warmer than mine this morning. It 1 degree with wind chill! Brrrrrr!
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@missouriprepper If you do, just follow the directions that come with the little tree with exactness....such as how deep and wide to dig the hole, how much above the ground surface to leave the graft line, etc. You'll be fine. If you don't plant two, I'd be sure there's another apple tree close by. Let me know how it turns out, if you do.
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@memberson Sorry to hear about your blueberries but at least the trees survived. Don't give up on blueberries. Try again next year. They love a soil that high in acid. Have you watched the video at backtoeden(dot)com. EVERY gardener should see it. It's the most important prepping video I've ever watched. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
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We're trying our first espaliered apple tree. I enjoyed your video and the info on how to train it. We will be getting a 2nd one soon. Thanks for the info!
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@jwlrymkr Love my girls! Never dreamed how much I could love a chicken. LOL
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I just love your channel. I get such great info. Your Friend from Florida
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I planted about 20 trees 2-3 years ago and the one apple that one of the trees produced last year was eaten by the chickens! I was sitting on the carport with a cousin throwing back some beer and watched as they 'bobbed' for the one, lonely apple hanging near the bottom of the tree. Ive several apples developing on a few trees this year...up higher than the reach of the greedy chickens. Maybe Ill get to eat a fruit of my labor some day...sigh. Either that or apple flavored chickens!
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Oh my gosh. You have me laughing hysterically. Do a search on 'espalier'. (By the way, did you mean 'too' close to the fence?)
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That looks wonderful and now your neighbors don't get all your apples!
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@planot171 I love coriander and will post a video today, that I shot a couple of nights ago, showing how I use it in my white chili. Be sure to check out the video. Thanks for watching and leaving a comment.
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I hope your trees thrive. We had an unexpected snow last week. I hope it didn't ruin my chances for apples this year.
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That's a pretty cool idea. I bet the tree's will look pretty awesome when the grow bigger. I've never seen this done before but I have the perfect fence in my backyard might just have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing Shawn
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Good video. I have to try that with one of my tangerine trees!
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New viewer here! From Estonia! Love your videos! Can not wait for this springs apple tree progress! Hope you post a new video on it!
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Thank you for sharing this information. You clarified a lot things for me ; )
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@baddogonline I never really thought of that, but you're right. Thanks for watching and commenting.
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It is also too wet here to even get the tilling done!
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I'll be sure to check them out. I've been pruning fruit trees for year already but there is always some thing to learn or remember. I've got Back to Eden as well Permaculture by Sepp Holzer saved to my desktop for easy viewing and watch them often. See something I've missed each time. MUCH better than watching the crap on the news at night. Doesn't make me angry or give me nightmares.
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Just signed up for youtube just to thank you for your video! It's AWESOME!! It's so helpful to see and hear your advice. I've been reading and trying to learn as much as I can but seeing this video has put it all together for me. My questions: Are the posts (which the eyebolts are screwed into) cemented in the ground? On another video the narrator commented he used stainless steel wire - did you? Did wire sag much during the season or during the winter? When did you notice more wire sag?
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This really was the only answer for us, if we wanted fruit trees. I'm excited for you. This is not hard, it just takes time and patience. Let me know if you try it. Grapes are another fruit you might consider. If there is anyway for you to construct a simple arbor, you could grow grapes up and over it, taking up virtually no ground space. Then you just pick the hanging fruit. Under the arbor you could grow cool crops like lettuce, spinach, etc. Love it!
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@fullagrace78 I plan to keep everyone updated on my trees. Thanks for commenting.
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i had some 3 in 1 apple trees that did great for several years then 2 of the grafts died off and they became a single variety tree...one out of every 5 years we get a crazy crop...the other 4 are pittiful...any suggestions? thanks
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I acquired a sad-looking brown turkey fig tree. I am thinking about doing this with it.
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I'm not sure. I am in no way an expert on fruit tree. Give Stark Bros. Nursery a call at 800.325.4180. They are so helpful and will answer any questions you have. (My trees get at least 8 hours of full sun a day.)
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@Psalm953 You're right. They're Buff Orpingtons.
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apple tree to near the fence
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Next spring I want to add some espalier trees to our property. As you have time this year would you please add an update or two on your trees? Love your videos
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Can't wait to see how this works for the apple tree. It reminds of of how grapes are grown...
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I don't know if you know this, but the ground up seed from your cilantro is called coriander. It is a wonderful spice that can be somewhat costly to buy at the store. Rather than chopping down the cilantro when it bolts, let it go and harvest the seed when it dries. You are doing a wonderful job with your garden. I love the apples. Keep it up. Thanks for posting this
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That's a beautiful backyard and I just love your hens!
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good video. I've often found it hard to understand the steps involved in espalier-ing a tree, your video walk-through really helped me understand it.
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Thank you! I'm so glad you signed-up. Now you'll be able to communicate with lots of good folks about myriad subjects. Yes, our posts are cemented into the ground. This is a long section of fence and we get 40 mph winds here, on occasions. The wire and bolts are stainless steel. This will be the third year for the wires and they have not sagged at all. Go back and watch my first tree video and you'll see the turnbuckles we used to cinch them up if they slack. Glad to have you aboard!
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