Sunday, June 5, 2011

Espalier Growth

Most the fruit trees in the garden are espalier trained.  Sorry if the word “espalier” is misused.  Though the trees grow two dimensionally  along the XY axes sometimes they need to get their Z  clipped too.    Since the weather has been so incredibly tolerable, gardeners are out in force to doing what chores they can before someone opens the furnace door.  This evening a few of the trees got trimmed a bit.

Here’s some before and after shots:

Plum – Santa RosaStill growing strong, Santa Rosa is an excellent variety for this climate.  This is the first year that a harvest is expected.  There is still loads of fruit tucked up under that thick, green canopy.  Early June is the expected time to harvest.  This year things are going slower because of the cooler weather; but Santa Rosa should be the first of the fruits to harvest.

DSC_2229_6586       DSC_2236_6593

Peach – O’HenryThis tree has produced fruit before but this season is a bit heavier.  The leaves only grow on the tips of the branches but this season they are growing denser.  This should help filter out the sun and prevent sun scald.  Umbrellas will be planted next to the trunk and opened when the sun gets more intense.  The fruit may be harvested starting in mid August.

DSC_2231_6588       DSC_2237_6594

Nectarine – FantasiaThe peach and nectarine are similar in growth with the leaves growing at the tips of the branches.  The nectarine is doing a great job producing leaves.  This tree almost fell to pruning shears to make way for another tree.  I really thought this tree wasn’t going to work out.  An umbrella is set up already for this tree and has been opened to help shade the exposed trunk and branches and prevent sun scald.  Sadly, the one fruit that formed failed.  An future harvest should be from mid July to mid August.  I’m hopeful.

DSC_2234_6591        DSC_2238_6595

Apricot – Bleinheim:  The apricot produces an abundance of leaves.  It’s more productive than the successful plum tree.  No fruit has been harvested yet but it’s hanging under the cool shade getting plumper and more delicious with each day.  Harvest is expected in late June.

DSC_2235_6592        DSC_2240_6597

 

A couple of the trees didn’t warrant a pruning.

Apple – Granny SmithThese should be ready in August or October sometime.  There are conflicting opinions.  Regular sampling will be needed to determine harvest time.

DSC_2219_6576

Pear – WarrenNo fruit this year.  I have no idea when to expect a harvest; but this tree takes well to being trained espalier.      DSC_2233_6590

11 comments:

Lo said...

sigh......so much work!

MAYBELLINE said...

*Lo - It's really not much work. In fact, it's no work at all if you enjoy it. The pup and I were dancing to Buck Owens while enjoying the wonderfully cool weather and getting some much needed chores accomplished.

Lona said...

Hi Maybeline. I love seeing fruit trees espalier shaped and grown. You have quite the setup for yours. They look so pretty along the fencing. After you have shaped them once is it easier then to keep them trimmed up?

MAYBELLINE said...

*Lona - Thanks. Espalier is really simple plus the regular pruning helps detect and eradicate any pests or problems.

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

i love this pruning technique. my apples and pears always do wonderfully trained in this manor.

Far Side of Fifty said...

They look perfect to me! My mouth started watering at the thought of Apricots. You are very lucky to be able to grow your own fruit:)

Red Door Kitchen said...

They're gorgeous trees!

I found you via pws...love your blog :) (I comment as HollyJay over there).

MAYBELLINE said...

*Dirty - Any suggestions for espalier citrus?
*Far - Apricots are my poison. Love them.
*Red - Thanks for wandering in.

Aunt Snow said...

I love the fact that you are doing espalier! it is pretty labor intensive, though, isn't it? I have these two overgrown elderly fruit trees, and I can't get a handle on them at all.

If I were a regular, daily gardener, maybe, but I can't seem to find the time to be in the garden often enough.

Although I think the cold snaps this year have spurred my old apricot to setting more fruit that usual. Yay!

rustbeltrebel said...

I love the way these trees look and ease of harvesting fruit.

I cannot tell you the last time I tasted a proper apricot.

My husband and I are looking to start adding fruit trees this fall. This may well be what we do with the trees since we have limited space.

MAYBELLINE said...

*Aunt - It's really not labor intensive if you enjoy strolling through your garden each day/week.

*rust - Pick a variety of apricot that grows in your area. Like most all plants, give it some good soil, a source of water and fertilize regularly. It doesn't take much time to do the pruning. Honest.