Basic Espalier Shapes
A fig tree growing in one plane can be seen painted on the wall of an Egyptian tomb. This may be the oldest evidence of espalier according to Alan Edmunds, author of Espalier Fruit Trees: Their History and Culture (n.d.) Historians note that fruit trees in the 16th century were trained in France to grow next to walls to take advantage of the extra warmth of the wall. The French word ìespalierî can be traced back to the Italian ìspalliera,î referring to a support for the shoulder or back, likely referencing the shoulder-height trellis upon which the plants were trained.

Espalier came to the United Kingdom in the 17th century as a method to grow temperate fruits in a colder climate. By the mid-18th century, espaliers were a cardinal feature of European formal gardens, as seen at Versailles and Fontainebleau. The colonists brought the method to America. Espaliered plants were maintained at George Washingtonís estate, Mt. Vernon, as they still are now. The plant-shaping method called espalier has gone in and out of fashion for gardeners ever since.

Cordon Designs
Vertical Cordon Oblique Cordon Stepover

Multiple Cordon Designs
"U" Double "U" Multiple Cordon

Tiered Designs
Palmette Verrier/Candelabra "Espalier"/Horizontal T Palmette Oblique

Serpentine Designs
Serpentine Heart Crossover "Espalier"

Design Fence
Belgian Fence Drapeau Marchand Arcure

Fan Designs
Fan 2 Scaffold Fan Informal

Contact Information

Espalier Services
4410 Branson Street
Minneapolis, MN 55424


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