Apple trees can be
shaped like almost anything. This Belgian Fence was easy to
construct. The trees were planted 2.5 feet apart along the base of
the wall. I cut them off at the same height, a foot above the
ground. It is essential to cut the trees above the graft. Red
Vein Apples were recommended for a Belgian Fence Espalier. They have
1.5 inch crab apples that can be made into a wonderful apple sauce.
During the summer I only allowed 2 branches to grow. I rubbed off
any other shoots before they ever got going. I put eyebolts into the
wall on an even spacing. When the branches got long enough to reach
I tied them to the eyebolts. The bolts were covered by the
trees. I used twine to loosely tie the branches to the eyebolts but
I tied them snugly together. Each year after this I only allowed
fruiting spurs to grow. Everything else got rubbed or cut off so the
Belgian Fence Design can be seen. Eventually the branches will graft
themselves together if they are bound together at the eyebolts.
After a few years the ties can be removed entirely. I made several
apple arches and arbors. All were easy to construct. The trees
cooperate with almost any degree of pruning. And this allows for
more types of trees. My inspiration was driven by my pleasure in
tasting ever more varieties of apples fresh from the garden.