Branching Out: Difference Between Pleached and Espalier Trees | The Complete Guide to Pleached Trees

Branching Out: Difference Between Pleached and Espalier Trees

When it comes to crafting exquisite living screens and ornamental tree formations, two techniques stand out: pleached and espalier trees. While they share similarities, each method offers its own unique charm and purpose in garden design. Let's explore the differences between these two artful tree training techniques.

What Are Pleached Trees?

Pleached trees, sometimes known as plashed trees, feature a single clear stem and a crown of branches that have been expertly trained to grow horizontally on a supporting frame. Typically planted in rows with their young shoots intertwined, pleached trees create a continuous narrow screen, reminiscent of a hedge on stilts. While they bear foliage, flowers, and fruit like traditional trees, their growth is controlled and restricted.

How Do Espalier Trees Differ?

Espalier trees, on the other hand, are a variation, often referred to as pleached fruit trees. They are specifically designed to allow sunlight to reach the fruit. Unlike pleached trees, espaliers have horizontal branches on a single plane, evenly spaced along the main stem. These branches create tiered tiers, making them ideal for maximizing sunlight exposure to the fruit. Espaliered trees are typically not intertwined with neighbouring trees, unlike pleached trees.

Choosing Between Pleached and Espalier Trees

The choice between pleached and espalier trees depends on your specific garden design goals and preferences. Pleached trees are perfect for creating a narrow, living screen or hedge with their intertwined branches, offering both privacy and a distinctive aesthetic. Espalier trees, with their tiered branches, are tailored for fruit-bearing and maximising sunlight exposure rather than privacy screening.

While both pleached and espalier trees can be used in garden design, understanding their differences enables you to select the right technique to enhance your outdoor space effectively.

The Complete Guide to Pleached Trees
180cm / 16-18cm / 120x120cm / Planting service / Summer

Caring for Your New Pleached Trees

With Love & Care

For practical guidance and tips about looking after pleached trees, check out our Caring for Your New Pleached Trees series. This ensures your trees get off to the best start, from delivery through their critical first two years. Remember to check on your new trees regularly and provide essential care such as staking, watering, pruning, and fertilising as needed. This will help your pleached trees thrive. Happy gardening!

Caring for Your New Pleached Trees
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