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By drc726


The photos show an example of Pleaching used to screen the raised road from a village house.
I have also seen Pleaching used on fruit trees in King John’s garden in East Sussex (these can be seen in my blog ‘Old Espaliers’ May 2010). The modern version is called a ‘Belgian fence’ – young fruit trees pruned to four or six wide Y-shaped crotches, in the candelabra form espalier called a ‘Palmette verrier’ fruit trees are planted about two metres apart, and their branches are bound together to makes a diagonal lattice
Pleaching is a technique used to train trees into a raised hedge, narrow screen or to form a quincunx (geometric pattern). Usually trees are planted in lines, and then shaped to form a flat plane on clear stems above the ground level by tying in and interlacing flexible young shoots along a supporting framework, branches in close contact may grow together due to a natural phenomenon called inosculation, a process similar to grafting. Smooth-barked trees such as Limewood, Linden trees, or Hornbeams were most often used in pleaching.
In late medieval gardens through to the early 18th century, shaded walks and pleached allées were a feature in many European gardens. Indeed they are mentioned in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. In the mid 1700’s the technique lost favour and was only done in the kitchen garden. 200 hundred years later English landowners revived the practice and were once again planting avenues and along sweeping curves of a drive.
Pleaching can be seen in a sunken parterre surrounded on three sides by pleached allées of laburnum which is a feature of the Queen’s Garden, Kew, laid out in 1969 to complement the seventeenth-century Anglo-Dutch architecture of Kew Palace.
A pleached hornbeam hedge about three meters high is a feature of the replanted garden at Rubens House, Antwerp, recreated from Rubens’ painting ‘The Walk in the Garden’ and from seventeenth-century engravings.
At Studley Royal, Yorkshire the avenues began to be pleached once again, as an experiment in restoration, in 1972.
A straight allées of pleached limes, as Rowland Egerton’s at Arley Hall, Cheshire has survived.

My local garden centre has from time to time pleached trees in huge containers ready for transplanting, I would love some but the cost!!!

More blog posts by drc726

Previous post: Country walk from Bedgebury estate to Kindown (Kent)

Next post: Visit to Bateman's Burwash, East Sussex.



Hi DRC - I've never seen this done before and am not sure about whether I like it or not.

16 Jun, 2011


I really like this as a screening option and am attempting to do something similar with a fig (shorter trunk). No idea what I'm doing I always find the instructions and pruning diagrams in books a bit confusing!

16 Jun, 2011


Its not for everyone Mariek. It works well in screening high up.
The RHS have a good photo and instructions on how to do it KarenF. Most of the pleaching shown on the internet is not in fact correct - one video has it as planting 2 trees in the same hole and twinning them together! but that's from the USA where they never did pleaching.
I dont think pleaching is difficult - have you looked at my earlier blog? because this shows the end product in pleached fruit trees and if you can get this in your mind! make your frame and away you go in the growing season.with young pliable shoots.

16 Jun, 2011


Hi Drc,

I have only one tree, so maybe it's just a candelabra espalier that I'm trying to achieve. I asked for a suitable fig in my local nursery (it's quite difficult to explain what I want when I don't often know the English terms for things, let alone try to translate into French!!) And he picked one out for me. It's still quite small, although it's not young. So far, I'm training the existing branches. It's concentrating on producing leaves and fruit at the moment so, maybe, next year it will start to make new pliable shoots and it will become obvious (hopefully!)

Am about to look at your earlier blog...

Thanks, Karen

16 Jun, 2011


the earlier blog shows what can be done quite clearly with a single tree Karen

16 Jun, 2011


Have been looking, but can't seem to find it....

16 Jun, 2011


Its titled - 'Old Espaliers' on the bottom of page 7 of my blogs May 2010 Karen. I put Old Espaliers in the search box and it comes up on that too.

16 Jun, 2011


Found it! (Ashamed to say that I didn't realise the search box was there :/)

It is quite obvious when you see mature ones like that and I think, maybe, I've got the right beginnings.

Thanks :)

16 Jun, 2011


Yes I think once you get your head around the objective, its not difficult so go for it. Good luck and dont forget to keep us posted.
Yesterday I posted a photo of an espalier fruit tree on a frame which again shows how its shaped, its on my blog about my visit to Batemans.

16 Jun, 2011


Now thats what I`d like to try with my young Plum tree, I think I`d spotted it when visiting one of the historic gardens we often visit, didn`t know what the training term was called though., Not sure whether I dare but will research it now. Thanks Drc...

16 Jun, 2011


Your welcome Lincslass

16 Jun, 2011


Very interesting subject.....

3 Jul, 2011


Thanks, I think so DD

3 Jul, 2011

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