Espalier Beginner Seeking Tips!

Bee Reynolds
July 28, 2019

I am about to embark on my first espalier. I am interested in any and all advice before I get started! I also have a few questions listed below. I know that it will take several years to get this tree into shape and bearing fruit; that's why I really want to do it right, not twice!

The photo shows my planned site and shape for the tree. I am in Zone 8 (inland South Carolina), and this is a south facing wall with plenty of sunlight. I will move all bushes currently in the way of the plan. The image is not to scale, but the measurements allow for 16" between each branch. Total width will be about 9', height 7-8' if I succeed. I will build a free-standing trellis for support.

I'd like to do an apple tree, and since I have space for just 1, I'm looking at various multi-graft trees. The options I have found are:

Honeycrisp-Gala-Fuji-Braeburn (Home Depot)


Gala-Golden Delicious-Red Delicious- Fuji

Golden Delicious- Red Delicious


-What kind of root stock do I need?

-If I buy a multi-graft tree with 4 branches, then grow two more branches above them, what variety will the top two branches be?

-What month should I plant the tree?

-Any recommended online sellers of multi-graft trees?

-Any thoughts on the variety combinations I've found?

-Should I avoid triploids? (They sound needy and complicated!)

-What height/age tree should I be aiming to begin with?

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