Espalier Fruit Trees At Luxembourg Gardens In Paris


What's that you say?  Want another post about Luxembourg Gardens in Paris?  Well, good news for you:  here's a post about espalier'd trees.  Yes...one of my favorite topics.

I've posted quite a bit about this place on the blog:
In one corner of Luxembourg Gardens there is a section dedicated to the art of espalier.  They appear to be mostly fruit trees and this NYT story from 1971 calls them "century‐old pear trees". That's amazing, isn't it? These trees were more than 100 years old in 1971, so that means that *some* of them are 150 years old today?

If you've been following along at home, you likely remember that I've started a pair of espalier Linden trees in our yard.  I bought them in May of 2017 and set up the system later that year.  Then, earlier this year, I took a big step of lop'ing off the apical meristems from both trees to try to induce some growth on the existing limbs. 

And on my list of things I wanted to try this Summer was to establish a Belgian Fence espalier like the one I saw at Disneyland

I really am drawn to espalier.  Like, really drawn to it. 

And what I saw at Luxembourg Gardens blew me away.  The setup they have is both amazing in it's breadth of offerings (cordons, candelabras, umbrellas, etc) and sophisticated in how they care for the trees (nets and 'cups' for fruit).  It made me want to think about how many more espaliers I can bring to life on our own property. 

The trees you see at the top of this post are a series of trees that have a round shape to them overall, but have been given a hard prune very low to the ground to get that circular-upright shape that the frame is providing.  Below, is a closer look at one of these.  You can tell that they're quite old based on the thickness of the trunk coming out of the ground that is quickly split into multiple uprights. 
 

I also was able to see a Belgian Fence that was just getting started.  Interestingly for me is that they hard-pruned the young trees about 18" from the ground and split the trunk two ways.  That gives them 2x the trunks to grow into the Belgian Fence.  In my mind, as I was planning my own Belgian Fence, I was thinking of a hard prune with one shoot going in one direction, but seeing this live - I know think that this makes far greater sense and gives the Belgian Fence double the coverage with half of the trees in the ground.


And in the center of the espalier section, there's row-after-row of fruit trees that are in various states of training.  Really quite amazing. 

Finally, here's a close look at one of the trunks.  Look at the size of that tree.  Decades old, I would think. 

My mind just explodes with ideas after our visit to Luxembourg Gardens.  Getting my hands on some cheap tree stock seems like the first big step in bringing my next project - a Belgian Fence - to life.  

Then...to decide where to put it!

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