Espalier advice :-)

Marmot71Marmot71 Posts: 7
Hi, I’m after a bit of espaliering advice please :-) I’ve bought myself a maiden pear & apple with a plan to espalier them. I’ve put them in the ground but I’m panicking slightly about the first pruning that I need to do. Attached are a couple of photos where I’ve marked up what I’m planning to chop off! Does this look correct? On the pear I’m a bit unsure where I should be chopping at the top to start my new leader..... on the apple I think it’s more obvious which bud I should cut above.... Many thanks for any advice/guidance :-)

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  • Marmot71Marmot71 Posts: 7
    Oh and I forgot to add should I cut them now? Or let them settle in for a bit? They only went in the ground yesterday. Thanks
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICTPosts: 13,818
    edited 28 January
    Hello, right well, what you bought wasn’t exactly a maiden pear and a maiden apple. A maiden tree is just a single stem, a stick. A one year old growth. Also known as an unfeathered maiden.

    What you bought was a feathered maiden apple and a feathered maiden pear. The one year old stick grew side branches last year. Your trees are two years old now. 

    Harry Baker’s book “Growing Fruit” explains what to do more clearly and succinctly than I can.

    Take a look at this page



    For now, ignore the text on the left which talks about a maiden tree. A one year old stick. Look at the drawing and the caption. This is what you have, a feathered maiden with side shoots. Don’t worry about “November”, now is fine.

    Now look at the text on the right. Second and subsequent years. This is you. Follow the instructions there.

    Now go and buy a copy of the book. It’s the best one that I know of.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Marmot71Marmot71 Posts: 7
    That’s brilliant thank you! I’ll definitely get myself that book :-)
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Todmorden, West YorksPosts: 4,980
    Just a query about the position of the pear tree; from your photo it looks as if it's planted in a corner, with the fence turning a right angle immediately beyond the tree.  Hopefully this is an optical illusion... otherwise the RH branches on the tree will have nowhere to go...
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • Marmot71Marmot71 Posts: 7
    Ah I’m hoping to grow the pear at a right angle so one side grows on the back fence & the other side at 90 degrees along my side fence..... I’m hoping this is doable, a family friend suggested it would be 😊
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICTPosts: 13,818
    Just pray you don’t have to fix the fence or fence post at some time in the future.😊
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Todmorden, West YorksPosts: 4,980
    Ah, I see.  Novel... but I can't see why it wouldn't work...
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
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