Espalier & Fan-trained fruit trees for sale
If you are interested in trained fruit trees we offer several options:
- Pot-grown espalier and fan-trained trees - with 2 tiers or 3 arms already in place, these provide instant impact
- Bare-root part-trained trees - excellent value, the initial training has already been done in the nursery to get you started
- Advice on how to grow your own trained trees from first principles
(1) Pot-grown 2-year Espalier and Fan-trained fruit trees
We have a small range of 2-year old container-grown trained trees. The range consists of:
- Espalier apple trees
- Espalier pear trees
- Fan-trained apple trees
- Fan-trained pear trees
- Fan-trained plum trees
- Fan-trained cherry trees
These trees have been pre-trained at our nursery so that you can get an immediate effect in your garden.
Click here for availability of 2-year espalier-trained apple and pear trees.
Click here for availability of 2-year fan-trained fruit trees.
There is a one-off delivery surcharge of approximately £50 - £60. We would confirm this with you before proceeding with your order. This surcharge will cover any number of trees, so it can be more cost-effective if you are ordering several other trees from us at the same time.
Unfortunately these 2-year trained trees can only be delivered to certain parts of mainland of England. You are welcome to contact us by phone or email to discuss your requirements before ordering.
These trees are usually supplied on a small pallet and it is useful if someone is available at the delivery address to help the driver unload it. The pallet is not particularly heavy, but it is an awkward shape.
(2) Bare-root 1-year part-trained Espalier / Fan fruit trees
We also have some bare-root part-trained trees. These trees don't have the instant impact of our trained trees, but they offer better value and by virtue of being un-finished are more versatile for different situations. They are also ideal if you want to have a go at growing your own trained trees but are not sure how to start, because the initial pruning has already been done for you.
Left: A 1-year bare-root part-trained espalier as supplied by us, just after planting in early April.
Right: the same tree 4 months later, with the leading shoot pruned-back to encourage the second tier of arms to start forming.
These 1-year bare-root trees are supplied as a single stem which has been cut back in the nursery to about 3ft / 80cm, with 2 short arms at a height of about 15" / 40cm. In the spring and summer after planting you should get considerable new growth from the arms which will form either the lower tier of your espalier or the framework of your fan. New shoots will also arise along the main stem and these can be trained-on as the start of additional espalier tiers, or additional arms for a fan, or removed altogether if you prefer a Y-shaped fan.
NB. Apples and Pears can be trained either as fans or espaliers. Plums, Cherries, and Apricots should only be trained as fans (of various kinds) - their fruiting style is not suited to the pruning needed to maintain espaliers.
These part-trained trees can be delivered to most parts of the UK mainland.
(3) Train your own
A further option is that you can train your own trees from first principles. This gives you the maximum flexibility in terms of choice of variety and rootstock, but will take a bit longer to achieve results. It is definitely the best solution if you have slightly unusual reqirements, such as needing branches at specific heights or wanting to train the tree in a specific shape or a specific rootstock.
The starting point is a 1-year bare-root tree on a suitable rootstock, which is then cut back to about 15" / 40cm to begin the fan or espalier training process. We can advise on the best choice of variety and rootstock depending on what you want to achieve.
More details about how to train your own fruit trees. We also recommend the RHS Pruning and Training book by Brickell and Joyce, which gives detailed instructions on fan and espalier training.
Spacings for trained fruit trees
A typical fan-trained fruit tree on a semi-vigorous rootstock will need a width of 3m - 4m / 10ft - 14ft and a height of 2m - 3.5m / 6ft - 12ft. The dimensions will vary dependent on the vigour of the particular variety you are planting. Plums and cherries will be at the upper end of this scale, while less vigorous apple varieties might be at the lower end of this scale.
Espalier-trained trees on semi-vigorous rootstocks will need a width of roughly 3m - 3.5m / 10ft - 12ft and a height of 1.5 - 1.75m / 5ft - 6ft per tree, but these dimensions are only approximate and actual height and spread could vary considerably depending on your local conditions and how you prune the tree.
You also have some control of the height vs width, in that you can train the tree as it grows to fit the dimensions you have available. Individual espaliers tend to look more pleasing if the width is greater than the height, whereas fans will work with various proportions of width and height.
Our espalier-trained trees have arms at approximately 15" and 30" with potential for a third tier at about 45". We recommend that you do not put your wire supports in place until you have planted the trees, so that you can match the positions to the tiers.
If training your own then you have much more flexibility to set the heights to meet your requirements, and you can use different rootstocks to achieve different overall dimensions - in general when growing trained fruit trees it is better to err on the side of more vigorous rootstocks.
The finished result
Here is a mature fan-trained plum tree with the central leader retained. Note how it has has been bent in a zig-zag pattern to encourage the tree to direct growth into the arms of the fan.
Photo courtesy of Keir Watson - see his blog for more examples of trained fruit trees.
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