Walls can bear fruit! Yes... the cultivation of espalier fruit is centuries-old. It requires, however, expertise, lots of care, and really belongs to the domain of enthusiasts. The person who is prepared to not only invest time, but also to overcome setbacks, should go for it! We provide here information for all kinds of espalier fruit.
You only have a small property, yet you still want to harvest some fruit? Or is it that special fruit you want to grow that, otherwise, only your granddad has in his backyard? In both cases, espalier fruit are a solution. Either for your house or backyard wall, here is a little orientation.
If you think about cultivating espalier fruit on a wall or facade, you should seek advice and read thoroughly about the subject. The choice of the right fruit and even the right cultivar is crucial for success. The fruits shouldn't be ready for harvest right when you are on vacation, or when the same fruit is available for cheap at the market anyway! And then there's the maintenance of the tree... Fruits cultivated on a free-standing trellis in the garden aren't as sweet and are ripe later but they require less work. This might be an alternative to facade-grown fruit!
Why should fruits be cultivated next to a wall anyway? A sunny wall creates conditions that fruit trees otherwise only find in southern countries. The wall is protected from the wind, and the stone walls accumulate warmth in the day to the benefit of the vegetation. Many types of fruit trees thrive in these conditions if they have an adequate water supply.
By carefully selecting the cultivar, you can find a fruit for any wall. as a rule of thumb it may be said that grapevines, pears and peaches profit from the blazing sun even at midday and can be grown on hot south-facing or west-facing walls. Apples, cherries, plums and apricots shouldn't be boiled in this way. They quickly lose their aroma and freshness (acidity). Apricots will bloom too early and can have their flower frozen by a late frost. Partially shaded walls are sufficient for these fruits. Summer pears and cherries even thrive on shaded north walls!
Fruit trees require more or less optimal conditions to thrive on a wall. The following fruit trees are listed as most difficult to less difficult to use as espalier fruit: <STRONG/>late grapevines, late winter pear, late winter apple, peach, fig, late autumn pear, real kiwi, winter apples, early grapevines, peach, early autumn peach, autumn apple, blackberries, apricot, summer pear, sweet cherry, summer apple, sour cherry. When growing winter sorts as espalier fruit, the location must be optimal.