Caring for Your Trees

5 Reasons To Grow Espaliered Trees

Tree trimming may result in a healthy natural-shaped tree, or if a more specialized type of pruning is used, you can end up with topiary or even espaliered trees. Espaliered trees aren't the most common since they do require quite a bit of pruning and maintenance, but they can be both attractive and useful once established.

Here are some reasons why you should consider growing espaliered trees in your yard or garden.

1. Espaliered trees have a tiny footprint

A dwarf fruit tree can have a footprint similar to that of a bush, but an espaliered tree can take up even less space in your yard. Often, espaliered trees are grown against the side of a fence, which keeps them completely out of your way and takes up no appreciable real estate even in the tiniest yard.

2. Espaliered trees mean kids can reach the fruit

If you have small children or grandchildren, chances are you don't want them climbing for fruit. An espaliered tree can provide fruit at eye level even for relatively young children. And if you train your tree to stay short, children won't be able to climb it to an unsafe distance even if they wanted to.

3. Espaliered trees provide a stylish aesthetic to decorate the fence

While it won't cover up an unattractive fence as quickly and completely as a flowering vine would, an espaliered tree can be a wonderful way to dress up a boring fence or garden wall. It can even provide an elegant, formal look or a more casual, whimsical look depending on how rigidly you train the tree.

4. Espaliered trees can provide a rewarding hobby project

Espaliering is a little like bonsai for fruit trees. Training these trees can be a rewarding project as you see how pruning and training affect the tree's growth. It's also a long-term project that doesn't require a lot of work all at once.

5. Espaliered trees can increase privacy

If you so desire, you can espalier your trees into a shape that will eventually form a light privacy hedge. A candelabra shaped espalier, a lattice-shaped crisscross espalier, or even a fan-shaped espalier can provide an elegant and attractive privacy screen. Espalier as many trees as needed to screen the entire area where you need increased privacy.

As you can see, adding espaliered trees to your garden or yard requires almost no investment of space and can provide numerous benefits for a modest investment of time. But whether you choose to have your trees espaliered or not, don't forget to have them pruned regularly by a tree trimming service to remove dead branches and damaged wood and keep the tree healthy.