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espalier apple trees

paanpaan Posts: 23
Hi is there anyone who can offer some advice  on rootstock?.  I have a new allotment and am looking to plant apple trees - for those with growing experience what have they found to be  is best rootstock for espaliers ? ( I am in the north of england)   I have a tall fence to grow them against but the  fence posts face into the allotment , with the flat side facing out to the park, will it be okay to plant espalier that will not be flat against fence ? due to fence posts or would it be better to  do cordons and if so  what do people think it the best rootstock.  Please note there is hedging along  the other side of the fence, thanks !


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,544
    I have just planted 3 apple trees on MM106 rootstocks.  The Cox and the Braeburn are good for fan or espalier training but not the Bramley as it is tip bearing so will be left to grow as a small tree.

    It's best to have a gap between the trees and heir support if grown against a fence or wall as that allows for air circulation and improves health.

    Have a look at this article form the RHS website: 
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • paanpaan Posts: 23
    that's great thanks, glad to hear the gap will be beneficial!  I will go for MM106 and may also try a M26 if I have room 
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,817
    It may depend on partly on which cultivars you wish to grow
     Sometimes growing restricted forms such as fan or espalier benefit from a slightly more vigorous rootstock.  Worth checking with a good nursery such as Keepers and take advice. 
    AB Still learning

  • paanpaan Posts: 23
    ooh thanks for that, I will ring them , I want to grow Annie Elizabeth, Ashmead kernal,  saturn, red flalstaff, redsleeves and Irish peach.  Plus a pear and fan trained cherry !, as long as I have the room !, thanks 
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,623
    I do hope you have about 50 foot space then @paan 😁
  • paanpaan Posts: 23
      😂 yes it is a wish list!  I have now measured and my fence  length is 20metres ( with the fence posts at 1.83m gaps)  and the space for freestanding trees is a space measuring 5m x 3.2m and forms a L shape with a  bit measuring 3m x4 m.

     I do want at least one of them to be a stepover apple and some bush trees?  freestanding apples  , I may have to use a smaller rootstock also for espalier or cordons? - any tips welcome! 
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