Yesterday we discussed the idea of using espaliered fruit trees in an urban setting for fruit production. We thought today we would show some classic espalier designs and what we hope our espaliered urban orchard will look like when it is mature.
The following drawings are from "Espaliers and Vines For The Home Gardener" by Harold O. Perkins. Besides having great drawings, this book is a nice guide to espalier training trees.
The area of our yard where we want to plant our espaliered orchard is 40 feet long, running from the house to a mulberry tree adjacent to our raised bed garden. We decided to incorporate two different standard espalier designs along this section of fence. As you can see in the design below, we will be using two Palmette Verrier espaliered trees to frame twelve trees that form a Belgian Fence. The two Palmette Verrier espaliered trees will be pears, and the twelve trees making up the Belgian Fence will be apples.
There are a couple companies that offer trees already started in espalier forms. These are expensive and one can easily start their own much cheeper by purchasing feathered whips (1-2 year old trees) from local or mail order nurseries. We opted to start our own, and ordered bare root trees from several nurseries that had the variates of trees we wanted.
Here is what each tree will be:
1. Pear - Orcas
2. Apple - Newton Pippin
3. Apple - Scarlet Suprise
4. Apple - Ashmead's Kernal
5. Apple - Cox's Orange Pippin
6. Apple - Karmijn De Sonnaville
7. Apple - Spitzenberg
8. Apple - Ellison's Orange
9. Apple - Connell Red
10. Apple - Zestar!
11. Apple - Spartan
12. Apple - Braeburn
13. Apple - Libery
14. Pear - Ubileen
We choose five of the apples (9-13) based on the winners of a taste testing of locally grown apples we conducted last fall. The other seven apples (2-8) we have not yet tried. They have a reputation for tasting phenomenal but are said to lack commercial viability due to a lack of uniformity, ease of bruising, or short shelf life. It will be another three years or so before we find out if they taste as good as their reputation purports!
Once our trees enter production age, if each of them produces 20 lbs of fruit in a year (conservative estimate) we will be adding 280 pounds to our food production, just from our espaliered orchard. That will go a long way to reaching the Urban Ton!