Sunday, August 23, 2009

Espalier Update

I have only one previous post on the espaliered apples in my front yard. This is the third season and there are now two tiers along the fence.

It takes some work and patience, but it is rewarding to see that my vision will be realized. I remember the agony and apprehension I felt before I made those first cuts.
Now I get to agonize over the look of the branch structure and the fruit.

I should clarify that the 'Nittany' varieties have two tiers, but the 'Honeycrisp' has only one. The whip I received had unusual branching and needed a new leader. I took the old leader and tied it to the wire frame. The old leader will now be along the first tier. The branch from there will be the new leader.

I have also been removing water sprouts. These must be removed since they won't produce fruit and suck the energy away from the main branches. This is also a good task for me to do while I carry Oliver in the Moby.

Now for the fruit. I really wanted to leave the five apples we had on our southernmost 'Nittany.' But, it's best for future fruit set to glean a few during the third season. If you have fruit set before then, all of the fruit should be removed. It was hard to do, and even harder to break it to Eldon that his precious apples were sacrificed. I left two behind; one of which got knocked off by a squirrel. One still remains on the tree. I hope we are able to harvest it when the time is right.