The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Espaliered Fruit Trees, Part 1

Espaliered fig at Longwood GardensWe're just back from five day trip through the urban mid-Atlantic states and what do I want to talk about?  Espaliered fruit trees, of course.  This photo shows an espaliered fig inside the conservatory at Longwood Gardens.

"Espalier" refers to a fruit tree trained against a flat surface, traditionally a space-saving technique used along the inside of defensive town walls in the Middle Ages.  Nowadays, people just think they're pretty, and I agree.  But as more and more of our readers begin to create their own mini-homesteads in small urban yards, I thought it would be worth focussing on espalier techniques for this week's lunchtime series.

Do you have an espaliered tree?  If so, drop me an email with some photos!  If not, stay tuned --- you'll soon be hooked.  If you can't wait until tomorrow, check out this page's extensive gallery of espalier fruit trees or read this longer explanation of the benefits of espaliered trees.

Note: "Espalier" is pronounced "

This post is part of our Espaliered Fruit Trees lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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