Espalier trellis or support of wall, fence or trellis is to control woody plant growth. It is horticultural practice by controlling the plant to increase fruit production. Cultivators prune and tied branches of a plant into a framed structure. So, these plants become shaped as a structure. An espalier has been managed to rise in a flat surface, which describe the process by which a plant grows. Espalier-trellis was practiced first in ancient Romans. Later on, it is customized and got a new shape in Europe. This technique is managed as the thermal mass on south facing walls. Dwellers of Europe cities practiced this plantation system using fruit trees. It protected the trees from the hot and cold both time. Such system also improved the productive longevity of fruit plants.
Espalier trellis is managed by flat two-dimensional forms. This crop support techniques have decorative purposes and for limited gardening. In some moderate climate, espaliers are trained for reflecting more sunlight. It absorbs heat for whole night. So, they require managing as parallel to equator of Global line.
There is a restricted form for training of espalier-trellis. It is by controlling central stem and use numbers of paired horizontal branches. All branches are trained in same surface. By this form, the growth of branch is possible vertically too. Then gardener can reduce growth with more fruit production converting its shape horizontally.
There are different kinds of trees for adaption of such crop support. All cannot be managed for this kind of controlling system. But woody plants are more flexible, they are easily trained to grow on a plane surface for trellising-net. Horizontal T training is one kind of special crop support for apple or pear tree. These two fruits are correct species for espalier-trellis.
In spring season, gardener pruned the tree in the lowest wire. It is just fifteen to eighteen inches on the ground. Again at summer, the small plants become long and got branches all around it. Now this time, tree is trained. Then some trained little plants got vertically to the above wire and some plants are managed with the wires. At the same time, unnecessary, plants and branches are removed. Now autumn comes, the side branches are grown and down lowered. They require to be tied. Gardener tied extended branches with wires. It is the almost final level. Subsequently, next year, another level for the training is being created. After the completion of whole structure, it becomes an artistic form. Planted trees are then living sculpture, it becomes ornamental too.
Espalier trellis’s main benefit is space saving form. One can grow a fruit tree in a very limited space. One can trellises a line space of plants in open area. Even ornamental trees can be used from north to south facing. Therefore, both line and open trees are not shading each other. But they can create a high density orchard. Some gardener uses Espaliers trellis for creating living fences. And a fruit plant fence fits as more than one purpose very easily.
One can virtually grow any plant but he requires maintaining two-dimensional form. Flexible lateral branches of plants are suitable for trellising net. They may have beautiful flowers as ornaments. Fruit and foliage as productive choices for espaliers trellis. But for the very important matter is sturdy structure. Finally here, some important notes for espalier-trellis net;
- Ensure use of heaviest brackets,
- Cross-bracing form is required. Forming wires in a closed shape is required too.
- The plain “L” shaped brackets is not useful way of espaliers trellis. As they are not strong enough.
- Both the brackets must be used as sideways, they are not used as vertically. After adding the wires and tied them, they may exert by sideways force. For pulling poles inwards, this way is must.
- A horizontally running bracket must be braced strongly with simultaneous force.
- Using all holes in brackets for mounting them is also a requirement.
Finally we can say Espalier trellis is very much useful for
- In narrow space, to grow homegrown fruit.
- It is very easy for picking fruits and flowers, Ladder is not required too.
- Artistic gardening and for attractive neighbors on own wall.