Jan, Feb, Mar, Nov, Dec
Prepare your soil well - the better the soil, the better the plants will establish and the sooner you'll have fruit. Add lots of organic matter and some sharp grit.
Espaliers need to be trained to a wall or on wires fixed to posts. The posts need to be secured in the ground. We screwed timber posts to old fence posts that were concreted in.
To create a joined up line of espaliers, plant trees around 3m apart. Before planting, give the roots a thorough soak, submerging in a bucket of water for at least 10 minutes.
Use several trees to create a beautiful, see-through screen in place of a fence or hedge.
The horizontal branches on ready-trained espalier trees are usually at regular spaces. Measure the spaces, then transfer the measurements to the posts with pencil marks.
Drill a small pilot hole, then insert a steel hook. To this, fix a barrel strainer. Attach a length of steel wire to the strainer, and repeat on the opposite timber post. Tighten the wire.
Dig a pit twice as wide as the roots. If against a fence, position the trunk 20cm from the base; 30cm from a wall. Fan the roots out and ensure the graft (stem bulge) is above ground.
Tie the branches to the wire, by making a loop around the wire, then a second loop around the stem. This prevents damage or disease caused by the stem rubbing the wire.
Firm the roots in well using your heel, then water thoroughly with a full can of water. Water once a week during the first growing season, more during dry weather.