Video: How to Plant Bare Root, Espaliered Fruit Trees
Espalier, noun - a fruit tree or ornamental shrub whose branches are trained to grow flat against a wall, supported on a lattice or a framework of stakes.
When the local nursery you love has a 40% off Bare Root Sale, you take advantage of it. I took it as a sign that it was finally time to plant some more fruit trees in my front yard. Originally, I was planning on planting several columnar apple trees, but the temptation of the espaliered trees was too great and I caved in that direction. I was planning on planting them in an 11 foot space along a fence anyway, so why not go with espalier.I ended up coming home with an espalied apple tree with four different varieties grafted onto one tree: Gravenstein, Liberty, Yellow Delicious, and Jonagold. Besides the benefit of having a wide selection of apples of which to eat, the different varieties on one tree will help with cross pollination – a major bonus for a gardener with limited space. I also chose an espaliered cherry tree with Rainier, Bing, and Lapin cherries on one tree. Now, if I can devise a plan to keep the birds from eating all my future cherries, I’ll be set. I picked up three bare root rhubarb plants and a bunch of 25 bare root strawberries. The prices just couldn’t be beat! I ended up planting those rhubarb and strawberry plants in the bed around the espaliered trees, so now it will be an edible bonanza! I won’t actually get fruit on those trees or be able to harvest the rhubarb for another few seasons, but I’m certain it will be worth the wait.
Like most projects I take on, this ended up being more of a project than I thought. I might call it a Colonel Bob. It took me most of the day to complete. When you’re planting a bare root tree, you want to dig a hole big enough to spread its roots out nicely. That means the hole will have to be much deeper and wider than you’re probably thinking.
Because espaliered trees look so impressive, I always thought they were out of my league, but they are not as complicated to grow as I once thought. Well, at least they’re not as complicated to plant. We’ll see how the growing turns out.
I hope these pictures and video make the process of planting a bare root or espaliered tree a little less daunting. Growing so much delicious fruit in one small space makes me so happy! The fact that it will look super beautiful too is just an added bonus.