I'm going to attempt to - drum roll please - espalier this tree. I've never done much in the way of fruit tree pruning, so it should be an interesting experience (sheila clears her throat nervously).
This photo doesn't really do justice to my
I'm using Christopher Brickell's wonderful Pruning and Training book as my
It also has a lot of very useful advice if you have, like I do, old and
(stop that snickering, this is cool stuff and yes, I do have a life outside the garden)
Here is a diagram of a two branched espalier. The idea is that you get a young tree, set the guideline about 18" off the ground and either find the nearest branches or clip the, gulp, leader just above this line. Wait for the sprouts to come out, train them along that line, wait for another branch to emerge and train that as your new leader, waiting for it to reach the next set of guidelines. Then you do this all over again once the leader reaches that line.
Now you know the reason for my trepidation. Not only am I commitment-phobic, but this is going to take several years. And a lot of careful pruning and observation.
But I speeded up the process by
But wait, there's more! Did you know that to properly espalier an apple tree one must use spur-bearers only? Not tip-bearers? Yes, boys and girls, there is such thing as a tip bearing apple out there, and I had no
I learn something new all the time.
Other things I learned yesterday in the garden:
Nasturtiums like my compost bin.
Pansies thrive no matter what chews on them.
My yard is much more photogenic than I am.