Sugar Tyme Crabapple Espalier Tree Buds - Zone 5B - January 2023

A couple of days ago, I posted a photo of the Magnolia tree fuzzy flower bud that I spotted on the tree this Winter and talked about how observing tree buds has really shifted my mental gardening model from a Spring start and Winter finish --> Early Winter start and Fall Dormancy finish.  That means, after the trees shed the leaves, they start to set next-year's buds.  And, *that's* when the season starts (for me, now).  On the same day that I took the photo of the Saucer Magnolia tree, I wandered by the pair of early-espalier Sugar Tyme Crabapple trees that are planted on the south wall of our house.  

I planted the pair of these trees in September of 2021, so this was the first FULL growing season.  They bloomed white flowers this Spring - for their first set of flowers.  And set their first fruit (for us) this Fall.  

I've begun to train and prune these trees this season into an (eventual) Palmette Verrier espalier shape with three or four tiers.  As part of that pruning, I've begun to lop-off the apical meristems to try to flush out some sideways, limb-growth.  You can see some of that in the buds that are set in the photos below:

I've pruned these trees into a four-tiered setup that I'm pretty sure will work with the space we have - however...I'm reserving the right to think about going with THREE tiers.  I made a similar call with the pair of Greenspire Linden trees that I have espaliered into horizontal cordon form.  Starting with six tiers, I've pruned back to four in the final format.  


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