Apple Tree Belgian Fence Espalier Planted - May 2020

Three weeks ago, I posted my fruit tree haul from Home Depot and talked about building my long-desired Belgian Fence espalier in our backyard.  About two weeks ago, I got around to planting the trees and....(gasp) lopping off the tops.  Here's the location that I decided to plant the Belgian Fence below.  On the right of the photo, you can see the first of the trees planted that I'm planning on leaving tall and proud.  In the foreground is the Azalea that you can see in this photo here.


Here's that same tree a little closer:



I planted the rest of the trees in a row - 16" apart.  And four inches (4") from the fence.  You can see them lined up below.  The trees from right to left are:

1. Golden Delicious
2. Honeycrisp
3. Honeycrisp
4. Honeycrisp
5. Golden Delicious
6. Honeycrisp
7. Honeycrisp
8.  Golden Delicious



Here's another few looks at the trees - in their full height below.




I planted them one afternoon and then had to sleep on things.  I didn't have the courage to lop these things off.  But, I knew that time wasn't on my side.  Each of these trees have *some* energy stored in their roots that you have to try to capture to spur some new growth.  Trying to time the pruning BEFORE they leaf out for the year is important.  These trees - as you can see - are just about to start leaf'ing out.

So...the next morning, before I could really think hard on it, I grabbed the bypass pruners, measured 16" up from the root flare and lop'd their heads right off.  I pruned back the middle six and left the two edge trees as they were.


You can see that on a few trees, I left some branches/limbs BELOW the 16" cut mark (#2, #5 and #7) all have limbs that I left on to try to give the trees a chance to survive.

I'm going to watch them closely and try to see if we get any bud growth from the tops of the trunks.  If we do, I'll have to hustle up an online curbside order from Home Depot or Menards to build the wiring structure to train the limbs in the Belgian Fence pattern.

For the history of trees on our property, here's the full list details.  This are trees #38-#45 planted.  39 of those trees still alive.

2017 (9 planted. 3 Died. 6 of the original annual total alive now):

1. Flowering Pear in backyard on north side.
2. Flowering Pear in front yard by garage. (LOST and replaced)
3. Japanese flowering cherry
4 and 5: 2 Lindens that I espalier'd and placed by the south fence line near our kitchen windows.
6. A Dawn Redwood from Earth Day 2017 (LOST and replaced)
7. Nat's Saucer Magnolia in our front yard
8. A Corkscrew Willow all the way in the back (LOST)
9. A Crimson King Norway Maple near the trampoline

2018 (17 planted. 2 Died and weren't replaced yet. 2 were replacement from 2017. 15 of the original annual total alive now):
10. Another flowering pear from Earth Day 2018
11. Red Maple Sun Valley tree from Earth Day 2018.
12. Weeping Cedar tree - our first evergreen.
13. The weeping flowering cherry tree that the Babe planted for Earth Day 2018.
14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. These Frans Fontaine Hornbeams
22. A replacement Chanticleer Pear tree (3" caliper) out front by our garage
23. Our second evergreen - a short Fraser Fir Christmas Tree out by the trampoline. (LOST)
24. This Canadian Hemlock that is the first of nine that our landscape plan calls for in the backyard. (LOST)
25. Our replanted/replacement Dawn Redwood. Same spot as the first.
26. This teeny-tiny Bald Cypress that I planted in the front yard, in between our driveway and our neighbor to the north.

2019 (9 planted.  1 confirmed dead.  2 troubled. 8 of the annual still alive.):
30, 31, 32.  This second set of three small Canadian Hemlocks along the north fence line.
33.  My new Weeping White Spruce that will only grow about 4' wide placed near the fence line alongside the espalier'd Lindens.
34.  A NEW Dwarf Alberta Spruce planted near the south fence line.  Our first "dwarf" tree.
35.  This new Hakuro Nishiki Willow (Dappled Willow) tree planted close to the flowering cherry on the southside.  

37.  A very thin Lombardy Poplar tree - columnar form - in the way back wood chip area.
38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45.  These apple trees in a Belgian Fence espalier.

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