An espalier is a fruit tree, shrub or vine trained to develop over a wall or lattice in a flat plane. Espaliers can also be grown in containers if a staked lattice can be used. The wire or bet used to prepare the plant is also called an espalier, and to espalier is also to train the plant. Espaliers can create lovely, space-saving layouts for the garden.

Andrew Renn

An espaliered plant gains from the glowing heat of a wall it grows against, which is perfect for fruit. This really is an espaliered apple tree.

Christine Darnell Gardens

Espaliers can fill in long, neutral walls in various desired patterns.

Andrew Renn

Vines were trained in meticulous designs in the formal gardens of 17th-century Europe.

Cedar Run Landscapes

This flowering dogwood creates a superb espalier using a slightly more informal form.

Apogee Landscapes LLC

Casual or formal, espaliers can take years to establish. The main stem of this plant has to be trained to develop upright next to the wall. Shoots must be pruned to develop at the desired places. When the plant has achieved its shape, just minor pruning is essential.

Susan Cohan, APLD

One of the easier espaliered layouts to increase is a main trunk with three or four vertical branches growing out of it. This espalier is trained on a lattice.

Designing Eden llc

Fruit trees are generally espaliered horizontally to maximize fruit growth.

Connelly Construction, LLC

When vines are trained in a diamond-shape pattern resembling a lattice, the effect is called a Belgian fence.

Sally Wheat Interiors

The chances for the design of an espalier could be endless, but typically fruit trees, shrubs with compact growth and vines that cling are the best options.


Espaliers aren’t limited to walls or fences, but they do need to grow in one plane, such as the curtain of vines within this patio.

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