Posted: 17/08/2016 at 13:56
first, after planting, you need to fasten galvanised horizontal wires stretched tightly against your fence. Ideally. keep wires a few centimetres off the fence, say 10 cm or more using blocks..?? This is to allow good air flow and room for fruit to grow. Wires will be spaced horizontally for every half metre or so, each wire to accommodate the next year's branches..one tier per year. My espalier has 4 wires. You can always add wires later but at least 3 should be attached now.
Take the 2 strongest lowest branches...one on each side....and tie them to canes tied to the wire at an angle of 45 degrees. The leading top branch is to be kept tied to vertical cane and remove every shoot apart from the leading one. Gradually during the summer lower the side branches to ultimately horizontal ....then you tie these to the wire.
Next year your leading vertical stem will produce shoots and you select 2 strong ones to grow at 45 degrees to continue the process. Again retain the top vertical shoot/stem to continue the process
many buy big trees with branches in (sort of) place and simply tie in all at the same time but I don't think this looks good. Branches are twisted and forced into place, etc.
mine were started as maidens and I made a tier every year
too late now to bend branches down now but you can tie them at 45 degrees. As summer and growth progresses next year begin the gentle lowering of the side branches.
don't be afraid of seemingly destroying your plants by pruning....apples and pears respond well. Treatment...pruning, shaping, spurring is identical for apples and pears.
a word of caution...your apple tree? Is it a spur bearer or a tip bearer? Do you know the variety? Another caution...pears need a companion plant, a pollinator, to produce fruit
n.b. Eapaliers are summer pruned....mid to late August ...but that is a couple of years away yet