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How-To

How to Espalier

Starting a young tree in this elegant form is a simple task

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Espalier is a technique that can add serious wow-factor to your garden. It means to grow your tree two-dimensionally. This saves space, and makes it easier to attend to the tree. Check out the nitty-gritty espalier how-to by Peter Thevenot.

My interest in espalier began when my wife, Beth, and I visited Mount Vernon. I remember being taken by the way the paths in the vegetable garden were lined with plants shaped into low hedges. As I bent down to inspect them, I discovered they were actually espaliered pear trees that bore fruit. On the two walls that bordered the garden, there were more espaliers trained into fan shapes that served as focal points. The way these trees were artfully trained made the garden seem so inviting, while also lending structure and balance to the garden’s overall design.

After returning home, I read all the books that I could…

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