NFR Garden Thread 2021

jesse clark

Active Member
Sunday we drove from Roseburg to Portland to buy three fruit trees. I have wanted to try espalier trees for a long time.
We bought two apples and one pear. They are pretty cool. They each have three varieties per tree. They are three tier horizontal cordon style.
The pear is already about 5 feet wide. Probably 4 year old trees.
Now the problem is fitting them in my very small lot. I have a perfect place in full sun, south facing in my backyard, but it is criss-crossed with underground utilities.
The 1-800 dig it guys are marking up the yard with their multi-colored spray paint.
I need a minimum 24 foot run to put in posts and plant the trees.
Has anybody done espalier?
Always looking for advice?
 

S.O.S.Canada

Active Member
Great thread.
The garden designs/grow selections are awesome.
Hope it keeps going throughout the entire cycle with progress pics/reports wherever/whenever possible.
Would be cool to watch from start to finish, especially from the different climates/grow seasons.
Still waiting a little longer for spring to plant here but looking forward to it for sure... store bought produce is more expensive and of poorer quality every year.

My Ma is getting older so we built raised cedar container beds to waist height for her 2 years back.
Quite deep.
For anyone considering it maybe also consider building them with hinged front openings at the bottom simply for the ease with which to continuously recycle nutrient used soil without as much of a hassle....
Wish I thought of it from the beginning.
Enjoy your gardens all.
 

Gary Knowels

Active Member
I planted tuscan kale last summer and have been happily eating it since then. I noticed today that flower heads were forming on the plants. Is the kale toast now? There are plenty of leaves to harvest for a few salads or soups or braised greens or kale chips or... Do I need to harvest all of the leaves now and pull the plants?
 

quilbilly

Big Time Hater
They get a bit bitter when flowering, some people don't mind it. We replace ours after it flowers, tear it out and toss it on the compost pile. Actually we try not to let it flower as they self seed everywhere in our garden.
It's a plant well suited for containers though, keeps the self seeding down.
 

wetswinger

Active Member
I planted tuscan kale last summer and have been happily eating it since then. I noticed today that flower heads were forming on the plants. Is the kale toast now? There are plenty of leaves to harvest for a few salads or soups or braised greens or kale chips or... Do I need to harvest all of the leaves now and pull the plants?
Pick a head and have a taste. The head can taste like broccolini before it flowers. The leaves will go bitter. On last treat before the end....
 

quilbilly

Big Time Hater
One thing about espallier and apples is rootstock choice. A dwarfing rootstock like an M27 can help keep the tree small, and takes less pruning.
Rootstocks have different hardiness, and disease resistance, as well as suckering tendencies, so knowing what your soils are and general site conditions can help choose the right rootstock for ultimate size of your espallier.
 

jesse clark

Active Member
I've done it and still do. I've had a much better time with the pears than I have with apples. Pears require far less pruning in early spring. The apples can get very unruly in a hurry. View attachment 274008 View attachment 274007
The trees I got were two multi variety apples, three tier, one tier each of Fugi, Gala, and Honeycrisp. They are on dwarf rootstock. I also got a pear tree with three varieties. A Bartlett a Bosc and a Clapps Red, but no partridge.
I am planting them 8 feet apart on 12 ga wire between posts 8' apart. The trees are 3-4 years old and already some of the laterals are 6' wide. The Bartlett pear lateral is already over 8'!
I am wondering should I prune the laterals on the pear to fit between the posts now? This is supposed to encourage budding and therefore fruiting? I have been reading a lot of pruning techniques and most of them say not to prune in the spring until after they flower.
I am learning on the fly here, but I don't want to screw them up right off the get go.
Jesse
 

tallguy

Active Member
My advice about apples, and most other things to grow at home: don't buy the same varieties you find in every store. Support some unique heritage and heirloom varieties, you might be way surprised about how things are supposed to taste (and look and store, but that's another post) when compared to the generic sugary commodity crop all the stores peddle.

If near gig harbor, stop by Butler's farm during apple season to see what's worth finding and planting. 500 or so varieties I think? My favorite apples ever come off an untended 100 or so year old tree next to a bike trail. They are good mid November or so after a few frosts hit them. Don't look so great, but take a bite, and it makes you sad about buying at the store.
 

Dr. Magill

Active Member
The trees I got were two multi variety apples, three tier, one tier each of Fugi, Gala, and Honeycrisp. They are on dwarf rootstock. I also got a pear tree with three varieties. A Bartlett a Bosc and a Clapps Red, but no partridge.
I am planting them 8 feet apart on 12 ga wire between posts 8' apart. The trees are 3-4 years old and already some of the laterals are 6' wide. The Bartlett pear lateral is already over 8'!
I am wondering should I prune the laterals on the pear to fit between the posts now? This is supposed to encourage budding and therefore fruiting? I have been reading a lot of pruning techniques and most of them say not to prune in the spring until after they flower.
I am learning on the fly here, but I don't want to screw them up right off the get go.
Jesse
Do you have pictures?
 

Dr. Magill

Active Member
All of my trees were bare root twigs when I got them. I trained them
They’re about 7 years old
They produce well but I do have that Apple maggot
I’m really trying to get a handle on it but it is difficult
 

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info

Latest posts

Top