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Espalier Apple tree


Hello, I've been sorting out my garden after having an extension built. Finally got everything cleared so that we can start using it as a garden.

I decided after seeing lots of lovely examples in walled gardens that I'd like to try growing an apple tree 'espalier' along the brick wall at the back of the garden.

I've done all the necessary prep work and on Tuesday this week took delivery of a 1 year old tree.

How ever I'm a bit confused about whether I've pruned it correctly. I was expecting it to be unfeathered, but it arrived with several branches on the main stem - including a few that seem to have already been cut.

I cut the main stem down to roughly 40cm, just above a bud, however I'm unsure where exactly the side arms are going to bud from. There are several other buds but they're either on small side branches that have already been cut or much lower down the stem.

Am I best just to leave it and see where the shoots are in spring before doing anything else to it, or does it require further pruning?



  • Mr. Vine EyeMr. Vine Eye Posts: 2,181

    It didn't help that I was planting it by torchlight!

  • Hi - Just to say I'm watching your thread with interest - I was in this position last year - planting and pruning but feeling very uncertain. I'm still not sure if I did it right, but if its any comfort, I was pleasantly surprised at how the trees somehow turned from sticks and shot out little branches!

  • Mr. Vine EyeMr. Vine Eye Posts: 2,181

    I think I've found some advice online from a nursery website which helps.

    It sounds like there should be growth from the stubs left after cutting the side shoots.

    That would be good as there are two stubs on opposite sides that are in a good position for the horizontal branches of the first tier.

    Also it suggested that it's best to completely remove any side branches lower down the stem.

    so following that advice I should cut off everything lower down, just leaving the bud at the top to be the leader, and the two side stubs.

    However maybe it would be best to also leave a couple more stubs lower down just in case those top two don't gow anything for me?

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