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Peach espalier fruit tree

Peaches thrive in the same mild climates as grapevines and are often found in the same regions. Cultivating them on warm facades or walls as espalier fruit allows to grow peaches even in cold climates with a lot of work and enthusiasm!

(lat.: Prununs persica)

Pear espalier

Requirements / Provenance

Sunny, unshaded south to southwest walls are optimal locations for peach trees, in some cases southeast walls might work. The peach trees are available with two kinds of grafting bases. On dry, light, sandy soils (wine-growing climate) the peach can be grafted on a peach rootstock. In heavy, loamy, moist or very fertile soils as well as in areas with high precipitation and in a harsher climate, peaches must be grafted on a plum base (e.g. "Brompton" or "Marunke"). The peach trees need a lot of water during their growth - the soil can never dry after flowering! Peach plants for espalier fruit can be obtained from regional nurseries and online.

Characteristics and Pruning

Growth habit on a facade: shaped trees. The flower is white, pink or red and the flowering is very early, wich also means that flowers may wither off because of a late frost. The characteristics of the fruit vary greatly between varieties. The variety should be chosen for the expected maturity time of the varieties. Cultivated as a wall espalier, the fruits will ripen 2 or even 3 weeks earlier as normally expected - don't forget them during vacation time. Peach trees grow mainly at their extremities, and may get bald at their base. Peaches are heavily susceptible to leaf curl (there are some resistant varieties available), as well as mildew or aphids. There is technical literature available for pruning techniques.

Wire trellises for peaches

The table at the bottom of this page indicates wich trellis designs should be used for a peach espalier tree. Chose a trellis in the heavy or massive ranges for a larger space between the facade and the fruits, or in the medium range or even in the Basic range of trellises. A wooden trellis may also be used.

Its difficult to train peach trees to strictly symmetrical shapes - they are most often trained to free "fan" shapes, preferably with a fork at the base of the trunk to avoid having only one dominant stem in the center. The wire trellis must anchor the tree to the facade and be stable enough, as well as providing enough space to air the foliage. The trellis should be built as described on the page about shaped trees. The main axes of the trellis should be between 35 to 45 cm apart. The peaches may be planted in front of the warming facade with no trellis, but they can damage the building in case of strong wind.

Suitable wire rope trellis

Click on the image to find a suitable facade trellis design.

Small peach tree grown on a wooden trellis
Peach espalier on a facade

Wire trellises for peach trees

Please click on the graphics to see a detailed view of each design!

= suitable       = sometimes suitable     = not suitable