Over the pas few years, we have planted our share of espaliers trees. For our projects, I prefer to use established trees, with about 18-24 inch root balls. This gives us a tree that is already established in its form, still allows us to plant close to a wall and provides the client with instant gratification of an established tree at a good value. This does not take out the continued work of training and maintaining the tree’s form, which is way we are very particular with the tools and method we used for installing the trees.
I wrote an article awhile back for Garden Design Magazine online about the forms, tree varieties and how to maintain an espalier (see article HERE), but never shared how we plant the trees. In this example, we planted a pair of classic Palmette Verrier or candelabra along a brick garage wall. We plan on these trees to mature at 10 feet (to match the height of the windows) over the next 3 years. After that will will maintain at that height. For this application, we provided vertical guidelines along the brick wall that the tree will be trained. If you were doing a horizontal T espalier, you would use the same process just running the guide lines along the horizontal branches.
Here are the specific tools and detailed shots of how we run the lines for the trees. I have a lot more detailed images if you are interested
*NOTE: Depending on the wall we are supporting the espalier against, we also use masonry anchors for the eye bolts. I have not included photos of the anchors, but generally we use these redheads. Below is the specific sizing of eye bolts, cabling, etc. with links to the actual products.
Sources for tools:
I hope this provided you with all the specific details that normally help me when tackling a project, but if you have any other specific questions just let me know.