Espaliered Fruit Trees: Small Space Orchard Garden

Espaliered fruit trees are the perfect way to turn a small area into an orchard garden. You do not need a lot of space – you can even grow espaliered fruit trees in container gardens. You don’t even really need a wall, a fence will do. Or a balcony railing, given enough sun. It’s amazing how much less space an espaliered tree takes up. And the incredible amount of fruit that you can harvest from one.

Espaliered Fruit Trees Candelabra

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It’s really a sustainable method of fruit growing, producing much more fruit per square foot. Pick a sunny spot – you can do it on a balcony in a pot but only if you actually get sun.  It’s the ideal urban garden. You can buy young espaliered fruit trees at most nurseries, some are even hybrids of two or three types of a single fruit (such as a combo Delicious/Granny Smith/Fuji apple, for example). Do pick a fruit that is suited to your climate. BHG has a great visual guide to espalier design styles online. You can choose the classic espaliered tree shape or the fan or the candelabra – depending on your space situation and your sunlight. Or make your own design. Follow along below to see espaliered apples, oranges, lemons, pomegranates, pears, peaches, cherries and olives. You can do figs, too.

Apple Works Well as an Espaliered Fruit Tree

Espaliered Trees Gala Apple

Apples are the choice for espaliered fruit trees, especially in climates that support strong apple growth. This example shows a Gala apple. Source

Espaliered Fence

These espaliered trees hug the fence – and they don’t shade the yard like a full fruit tree would. Leaf cleanup is also more centralized. All the more reason. Source

Espaliered Crab Apple

The Crab Apple is an easy espalier. People go crazy for crab apple jelly and this tree would be an easy one to do on a terrace in the city. Source

Espalier Pear Apple

Espaliered fruit trees (pear and apple) in narrow space – you can really trim them as short as you need to. And they’ll grow horizontally. Source

Citrus is a Little Tougher to Grow but Worth It

Tangelo

This Tangelo would so well in the southern states. Anywhere you can grow a regular tree, you can espalier.  Source

Orange Box

These espaliered box orange trees are a great choice for a patio or small terrace. Source

Espalier Lemon Container

You can plant espaliered fruit trees in a big pot and put it anywhere you would plant a container garden. Citrus works best. Source

oranges and hens and chickx

This espaliered orange is part of the landscape design. Such a lovely Mediterranean feel. Source

Lemon Pomegranate

Espaliered lemon and pomegranate give a constant harvest. Source

Pears are a Good Fruit to Choose

Espaliered blooming pear

Blooming pear blossoms in a small candelabra style frame – perfect for a small patio space. Source

Round Pears

You don’t have to follow convention when you espalier your tree. This great design was done with a pear tree. Source

Landscape Wall pear tree

You can use any wall you’ve got that gets adequate sun. And the best part is, you don’t give up any of your sun in the rest of your garden – there’s no shade from espaliered trees. Source

hanging Pear Harvest

As espaliered fruit trees go, the pear does very well. Source

Espaliered Huge Pear

Pear in fruit – what a monster harvest. Source

Plums are Attractive Espaliered Trees

Espaliered Fruit Trees Fan Plum

Fan-trained espaliered plum. Source

Plum Harvest

Plum in full fruit – another prolific espaliered fruit tree. Source

Peaches Can Be Prolific

peach fence

Peaches can be espaliered – this example shows one sculpted to a wire fence. Source

Espaliered Fruit Trees Peach Brick

Isn’t this a beautiful looking peach harvest? We love the espaliered tree bearing fruit against the brick. Source

Everyone Loves a Cherry Tree

garage Cherry Blossoms

Espaliered cherry tree in bloom against a garage wall.

Cherry Harvest

Espaliered cherry tree in fruit. Source

Espaliered Olive Tree

Olive

An espaliered olive tree isn’t for everyone. But it’s a nice landscaping touch. Source

Whole House

And finally, we have a full grown espalied pear tree – how long must he have been there. The flowers on the 2nd floor window boxes obscure the photo a bit, but this tree is loaded with pear. Source

About Beverley Wood 45 Articles
Beverley Wood is a freelance writer and communications consultant living in Mexico City - WhiteDogCreative.com