Espalier Trained Fruit Trees for Sale

Two tier espalier trained apple tree as supplied

What are espalier trained fruit trees

Espalier trained trees consist of a vertical trunk and a set of horizontal arms or tiers extending either way bearing short lateral branches or spurs on which fruit is produced.

Espalier trees are useful for growing fruit trees where space is limited and as a decorative feature on walls and fences. The shape is brought about by pruning and training. The arms would typically be 18 inches (0.5m) apart. Mature espalier trees usually have between two and six tiers giving heights of 5ft (1.5m) to 10ft (3m). The span can range from 10ft (3m) to 15ft (4.5m).

Espalier trees need a set of horizontal wires for support. They also need appropriate summer pruning to maintain and develop the form. Espalier training is usually done with apple and pear trees. Plums, cherries and other stone fruit trees are less suited to espalier training and are more commonly trained as fans. 

Espalier trained tree options

There are two options available to you If you wish to grow an espalier trained trees.

The first option is to buy a ready trained tree. We supply a large range of over 30 varieties of espalier trained apple and pear trees. This is a far larger range than any other nursery. Unlike most other nurseries which produce container grown espalier trees ours are field grown and supplied bare-root in the winter. As a result they are larger and more robust. Our espalier trained trees have two sets of arms already trained and a continuing centre leader to allow more sets of arms to be trained if required. The two tiers are at approximately 50cm and 100cm above ground. The apple espaliers are on MM106 rootstock and pears are on Pyrodwarf rootstock. They are suitable for a mature size of at least 3 tiers and a spread of 12ft (4m)  or more. The normal planting distance between trees would be about 12ft (4m) but this could be reduced if you intend to go higher than 4 tiers. In addition to the two year old two-tier espalier trained trees we also offer more economically priced one year old one-tier espalier trained apple trees We are also planning to offer espalier trained apple trees on dwarfing M9 rootstock suitable for smaller spaces from winter 2018/19.  As there is usually a limited supply of these ready trained trees and considerable demand we advise ordering early. Please click on the links at the top of the page for lists of available espalier trained trees.

The second option is to train you own from scratch. To do so you need to start with a maiden (untrained one year old) tree on a suitable rootstock. Two year old trees trained in other forms would not be suitable. Training your own tree gives the additional flexibility of choosing from a larger range of varieties or rootstocks as well as training  trees with non-standard tier spacings etc. The rootstock most commonly used for apples is MM106 but  M26 or  M9 can be used for smaller espaliers and MM111 for very large ones. Quince A and Pyrodwarf are the commonly used rootstock for pears, but Quince C can be used for smaller espaliers. Most varieties are suitable for training, but tip bearers should be avoided. You can find out if a variety is a tip or spur bearer by referring to the characteristics page for that variety on our website.