Pruning Espaliers

Espalier Apples and Pears

Pruning espaliers after planting

  • Espaliers will have1 or more tiers already established and these will be at roughly 18 inches apart
  • Make sure you plant the tree first before putting wire up to get the correct heights
  • In order to produce another tier cut the main leader just above the next wire (but only if the leader is long enough to do so). If it’s not long enough prune leader back by 1/3 to promote growth and develop a new leader. In Spring several shoots should develop at the wire height and you can then tie in 2 new horizontals and a new leader (for another tier the following year).
  • Cut the side branch leaders back by 1/3 of new growth
  • Any side shoots (laterals) from the branch leaders should be reduced to 3 or 4 inches
  • Any other shoots can be removed from the main stem

Summer pruning espaliers

  • In late July all laterals on side branches should be shortened to 1-2 inches
  • Then shorten any sub laterals(growing from laterals) to 1-2 inches
  • Do not prune any shoots which are shorter than 8 inches
  • Do not prune leaders
  • Tie in main leader and the selected shoots for the next tier
  • Remove any unwanted shoots from central stem and tie in side branch leaders
  • This process can be repeated until there are as many tiers as required and side branches have extended as far as required, then prune back new growth to point of origin each year
Pruning Espaliers
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