Sad Ripper
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:34 pm
Location: Poland

Apple Tree Pruning - What are these Apple Tree Shapes?

Hi Guys, I am new here, so let me introduce myself quickly - I am form Poland:)

I translate a book on organic gardening - gorw organic by Nick Hamilton. And I got stuck.
I was defeated by the part on apple tree pruning.

You can shape your APPLE TREE in so many ways, that I got lost.

Here's my request: pls, help me and explain me differences between following tree shapes (with pictures!):

bush (this one is obvious. or maybe not?)
half standard

for me, as far as I undesrstood from the explanation teh author gave, edpalier, stepover, fan and cordon are the same. I googled up images of such shaped trees amd still, I cannot se any diferences. Pls, you are my last resort.

best regards,

sad ripper

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1416
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:40 am
Location: US

I am Eastern European. I tried to reply to you in poor Polish (not my native language) but it did not work well. Can you read or write Lithuanian or Russian better than English? I can write well in those languages and my keyboard can be switched over from English because it is set up to do that for those two languages but not for Polish.

I have two friends who are Polish. If you do not understand me, I will wait for them to come back home from holiday in Poland and have them translate for you to try to help you.

Te trzy oznacza rozmiar drzewa jabłka. Ta metoda podcinania (zmniejszanie) jest jak "Regulated" system. Wy będziecie wyłączać przepełniany albo przecinający (krzyżujący; przecinanie; wchodzący) gałęzie (oddziały). Wy będziecie przerzedzać poza bezużyteczny pędy. Wy będziecie wyłączać wszelkie martwe drewno do wysokości krzaka, półstandard (standardowy), albo standard (standardowy).

bush- wysokość .75m

half standard- wysokość 1.5m

standard- wysokość ? 3m + ?

pyramid- upper branches are pruned shorter than the lower branches. Your final result should look like a pyramid with well spaced horizontal branches. This is the best because you will be able to plant your apple trees closer together. Each apple tree will receive very good sunlight.
This is how I prune my apple trees.

espalier is a two dimensional pruning.

fan is another type of espalier shape. It is also two dimensional.

cordon is another type of espalier shape.
Good for grapes, not so good for apple trees.

stepover is a yet another type of espalier shape. It is a lower cordon system of pruning.
diagram of a low cordon/ step-over here-
I do not know why anyone would use this for anything other than ornamental species.

I have no idea how this applies to an apple tree.

This is the best I can do. I do not have any espalier trees here on my property.

editing to add, you read festooned out of context in the book.

Festoon is a suspended string of something. An elevated garland. It is a decorative representation between two points. A chain of flowers or leaves that are hung from one point to another. I think what you read referred to how blooms could best be "festooned" when an apple tree was pruned to one of the many espalier shapes.

festoon = Łańcuch kwiatu albo urlopy łańcucha drzewa

editing again- examples of garland/chains-

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