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Espalier apple trees - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Espalier apple trees

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Believe it or not, this is an apple tree. It has been espalied. It been pruned to grow along one plain surface. When you prune to espalier a fruit tree you're trying to have different levels or branches growing horizontally off the main trunk. It's easiest to buy an espalier tree already started at a nursery, if you wanted to grow one  against your garage, your barn or a building like that.

Or you can create one yourself by pruning it from a young age and make an actual fence that goes along outside of a garden as a way to keep animals out or to just define a border.

When you prune an espalier apple tree, you want to have your horizontal branches going on either side of the trunk about at the same height. Sometimes the first layer of branches is about two feet tall and then the second layer five feet tall. In this one, they are about every foot or so.

And then you have to prune off all of the upward facing branches or all of these errant branches off, so you just have all of the branches going across on one plane. That keeps it nice and flat against the fence.

It will actually produce fruit, too. When you are doing this pruning you are creating fruiting spurs on the horizontal branches that will actually produce some nice fruits. You'll get edible fruit from this beautiful fence and you get something that is kind of cool to look at, too!

-Charlie Nardozzi

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