An Espalier Update


Today I thought I would give you a long over due update. For those of you that have been following Inspired by Charm for a while you may remember when I first shared my attempt at an espaliered tree. You can catch up on that post here.

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It’s been three years since I first planted this $20 dwarf apple tree I bought at Wal-Mart, and I’m happy to report it couldn’t be doing better.

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She’s looking good, right!? Finally, this year, I officially have all the arms/branches of my tree. Now, they just need to grow, grow, grow!

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This little red sided building is connected to the Carriage House here at my little inn. Part of it holds the furnace and hot water tank, the other part is where I store outdoor supplies (lawn mower, rakes, shovel, etc.) and my garbage.

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I wanted to add a little greenery to this space, but with no exposed ground I was in a bit of a pickle. So, I decided I would break through the macadam driveway and plant a tree. Call me crazy!

Once I hit dirt I planted my $20 tree and started it’s training.

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Over the past three years I slowly trimmed and trained the tree to grow in rows across this little building. I found a few guides online like this one to help guide me, but pretty much figured out things on my own. I found the two trellis at Lowe’s last year. They were a huge help.

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It’s been such a fun process.  I even got two apples last fall! With a lot more blossoms this year I’m hoping for six or more apples. We shall see!

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Through the process I only broke off one branch (four row up on the right). Luckily, a new branch grew on the left so I’m training that one to grow over. See it? It’s small, but it’s there. And yes, I clearly need to paint or do something with those cinder blocks. It’s on my to-do list.

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I can’t wait to see how the smaller rows progress this summer. I’d say by next summer or the following, my tree will be completely trained.

Do you have an espaliered tree? Have you ever wanted to try growing one? (Go for it! You can do it!)

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Posted By at 1:40 AM
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  • Finding Home at

    Super cute, I am not sure that I ever seen this process before. You are a patient man!

  • Melissa at

    Michael! That is so cool! I’ve never heard of this technique before, it’s really beautiful.

    I love it. It looks like the perfect spot too! I really like the symmetry.

  • Miss Ellie at

    Hi Micheal,
    Your apple tree looks so very healthy. Nice job. I’ve read a lot about espalier in my garden books and seen them at the demo garden but never lived in a place where I was willing to try one. You are a brave and patient man. I applaud your efforts.
    Miss Ellie

  • Laurel Stephens at

    Wow, hard work and perseverance pays off. This is so cool!

  • Funky Junk Interiors at

    So beautiful! My brother grows one as well and gets the most incredible apples off his! What you’ve done looks so awesome. I’d love to see a full video tour of your place sometime.. it appears to have loads of character with every nook and cranny!

    And thanks for the mention.. very sweet! 🙂


  • Anonymous at

    I have always wanted to do this. Seeing yours may just prompt me to finally do so. Beautiful job!

  • DIY Show Off at

    I love it! I haven’t had the opportunity to try my hand at much more than house plants (so many indoor projects going on). I fear I’m not blessed with a green thumb. And your poor little tree is probably freezing! Isn’t this weather crazy? Stay warm. Have a great weekend!

  • Sam I Am...... at

    Beautiful and you’re right…I’ve always wanted to do this too but never did know how and now I do! Thanks to you!

  • Kathy at

    Awesome tree! My in-laws told me once, after a trip to Japan, that they do their pear trees this way. When the fruit begins to form they put little slings under them to hold the weight of the fruit! About the concrete at the bottom: why not build a little planter box and fill it with flowers, to hide the concrete on either side of the trunk?

  • limestone mantels at

    2010 and 2012 this is so long duration! Micheal, You are a brave and patient man. I applaud your efforts. Super cute. xoxo
    ~ Herman Swan

  • Ralph E.Wycoff at

    love the way you decorate your home. It looks terrific and awesome. You truly have a creative and wonderful idea.

  • Marji at

    Your tall espalier is adorable! No doubt it will begin to bear more fruit now that it is established. We have one too. Like you we cut an opening in the aggregate patio and built a trellis against the wall where our grafted pear tree is planted. What was once a barren hot wall with no imagination is now a leafy green ‘vertical garden’ in summer and a sculptural point of interest in winter. Our only problem is our dog likes to pick the pears before they ripen. I have to beat him to the tree! Three of the four varieties on it bear every year, the other is a late bloomer and we rarely have it fruit.

  • John S. Gilliam at

    I like the idea of having organic apples. I will have to try to extend the idea to my whole garden area.

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