Espalier apple tree

just bought some espalier apple trees which have two side branches off each side about three feet long. The main stem is about two feet above the final lateral branch. On the main stem seems to be lots of flower buds. I have attached a photo. Not sure what I should do. Do I need to prune the top of the vertical main stem now. Should it have flowers on the main stem. Help. There is also flowers at the tips of the lateral branches. Will is continue to grow horizontally from there. Can you help. 
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  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,879
    edited 8 April
    it would have been easier for you to show us a photo of the whole tree
    each horizontal 'layer' should have two 'arms' (one on each side)
    so, on your vertical leader you need to decided the spacing between the 'arms' of your espalier,
    then you need to cut above three good buds, one for each 'arm' and another that will become your new leader.
  • mikebez1mikebez1 Posts: 16
    Hi. Can I do that now. What is the flower blossom on the main stems. Do they turn into the branches. 
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,879
    edited 8 April
    there will be new bud forming around the flowers that will form new growth on the branches,
    its getting very late to prune, but you might get away with doing the leader now,
    also any side branches from the 'arms' needs reducing to two buds/leaves in August
    it also needs to get into the ground ASAP and then once its finished flowering remove all the flowers and fruit as you want it to focus on growing roots not fruiting this year
  • mikebez1mikebez1 Posts: 16
    Ok thanks. 
  • mikebez1mikebez1 Posts: 16
    Hi treehugger80. I am growing scrumptious which is a partial tip bearer. What happens to the horizontal branch growth if it fruits at the end of one. Will it mean that I need to train another branch or will it carry on growing horizontally. 
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,879
    the idea is to get side shoots on which fruits form these are called spurs,
    in winter you tend to reduce the 'arms' of the espalier by about 1/4, this encourages side shoots to form that the following summer you reduce to three buds (or leaves as its summer) these new side shoots then become spurs that will fruit the following year.
  • mikebez1mikebez1 Posts: 16
    Ok thanks. Put one that is partial tip will also grow at the end as well as the spur. Will the arms still grow or will they also grow fruit on their tip. 
  • mikebez1mikebez1 Posts: 16
    Will the arms keep growing horizontally if you reduce them by 1/4. 
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,879
    if you tie them down yes, make sure you leave the end 20cm or so loose as it will encourage growth
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 56,593
    mikebez1 said:
    Will the arms keep growing horizontally if you reduce them by 1/4. 
    Cut back to a strong bud on what will be the upper surface of the horizontal branch ... that will form a new terminal shoot which should be trained in as a continuation of the horizontal. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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