The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Pruning an espalier apple tree


By Bobo

London, United Kingdom Gb

I've planted an apple tree as an espalier on the advice of a friend (I knew nothing about this technique!) who recommended it as a way to have an apple tree in my narrow garden. The tree is thriving and has a central trunk about four foot high. The side branches are each about three feet long and form a ten past eleven and quarter past nine pattern - if you see what I mean! At the moment there are several shoots growing vertically upwards from these branches. Should I leave them? I'm afraid I don't understand the pruning techniques I've found in books and online. Can anyone explain in simple English how I should deal with a tree like this. It's a Cox's Orange Pippin (self fertile) and on its label it says it has a potential height of 4m in ten years.

Thanks very much



The 'quarter past nine is the ideal pattern for an espalier.
You need wires running at right angles to th main trunk of your tree.Tie your side branches to the wires and remove any branches which will not fit the pattern. When you have this done, give me a bell and I will tell you where to go from there. The side branches (and wires) can be as close as I ft. apart.

4 Jun, 2009


I've done this - see my post - I've got a 9:15 and an 11:10 pattern - four branches, each one of about 3 feet each and each one attached to wires I've put across a fence. The question is do I do anything about the shoots I've now got growing up vertically from each of these branches - plus the other questions at the end of my original post.

4 Jun, 2009

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?