Belgian Fence Espalier - Wired Up - July 2020
Number eight on my 2020 to-do list for the yard was to buy some fruit trees and plant them to start a Belgian Fence espalier. Why a Belgian Fence? Well, we already have a pair of Cordon'd Linen Trees in our yard, so I wanted to try a different form. And, on our trips to Disneyland, I noticed that they have a number of Belgian Fences that served as inspiration. And, on our trip to Luxembourg Gardens in Paris last Summer, we walked by their espalier garden a number of times and was struck by how they've worked their fruit trees a number of ways.
So, earlier this Winter/Spring, I identified the place that we'd plant them and then in April, I pulled the trigger and bought eight Apple trees. By May, I had planted them 16" apart and lop'd off their heads.
Then I held my breath and hoped that we'd see some growth. Turns out, the garden gods smiled on us and there was enough energy stored up in the rootballs and all of the trees have thrown off some new shoots and leaves.
That meant that I could get around to wiring up the system along the fence. Using a couple of different length screws and some landscape wire, I got started. The green is landscape wire. The grey/silver is just some thin wire I had on hand.
I didn't do the whole thing, but focused on the runs of wire that I knew I could affix a limb to immediately. I'll be keeping an eye on the trees and their new growth this Summer to see if any more need wiring up, but I suspect that I'll let these just go for the rest of the year and allow the new growth to harden off a little bit. Then, come late next Winter/early next Spring - before the new growth, I'll get them wired up and trained on their spots.
For now, I've left on a bunch of branches and limbs - both above and below the cut line - that I'm thinking will help these put down a healthy base of roots and (hopefully) survive their first Winter.