Excerpts from "An Espalier for Every Garden" from Taunton's Fine Gardening. Dec. 1999 
by Peter Thevenot

Espalier designs

Peter Thevenot, Espalier Master
Peter Thevenot, Espalier Master

Peter Thevenot's GardenPeter Thevenot's Garden
Peter Thevenot's garden

The cordon, the candelabra, and the Belgian fence are three designs that the author has used effectively in his garden. The cordon and the candelabra are the easiest to master.


The candelabra is a more dramatic espalier. Its height and design command attention (photo, above). One adorns the entryway to our house, and serves as the focal point in our side garden. It is 80 inches wide and stands 81/2 feet tall, which is typical for this design. The space between each branch is 16 inches. This spacing may look too wide when the plant is young, but it fills in quickly as the tree matures.

Fruiting Candelabra Design 
Fig. 1
Candelabra design

Two Tier Candelabra Spring Fruiting Three Tier Candelabra


Two tier candelabra spring

Fig. 3 

Fruiting three tier candelabra

Belgian Fence

Belgian Fence Technique

To divide our driveway from our side garden, we planted a Belgian fence. This living wall functions as a see-through screen. Its real interest occurs in winter when its bare branches display its unique shape. Light and air pass through the diamond shaped gaps in all seasons, and this design blends into our landscape well without seeming as big and bulky as a stone wall or a wooden fence would.
Belgian Fence SpringBelgian Fence SpringBelgian Fence
Fig. 4
Belgian fence in spring
Fig. 5
Belgian fence in spring
Fig. 6
Belgian fence

Horizontal Cordon

The cordon, with its horizontal tiers, is the most common espalier design because it is so versatile. When used as a focal point, cordons typically measure 6 feet tall by 6 feet wide, but their design can be modified to fit into any space.

Three Tier CordonThree Tier CordonFour Tier Cordon
Fig. 7
Three tier cordon
Fig. 8
Fruiting three tier cordon
Fig. 9
Four tier cordon


Fan DesignFan Design
Fig. 10
Fan design
Fig. 11
Fan design


Tunnel DesignTunnel DesignTunnel/Arbor
Fig. 12
Tunnel design
Fig. 13
Tunnel design
Fig. 14

Illustrations by Beth Thevenot

Candelabra 2 TierCandelabraCandelabra Oblique
Fig. 15
Candelabra 2 tier
Fig. 16
Candelabra 3 tier
Fig. 17
Candelabra oblique
Horizontal Cordon 3 TierHorizontal Cordon 4 TierHorizontal Cordon 5 Tier
Fig. 18
Horizontal cordon 3 tier
Fig. 19
Horizontal cordon 4 tier
Fig. 20
Horizontal cordon 5 tier
Parisian GobletArch CordonCircle and Arch Cordon
Fig. 21
Parisian goblet
Fig. 22
Arch cordon
Fig. 23
Circle and arch cordon
FanBelgian Fence
Fig. 24
Fig. 25
Belgian fence

Other Images

A picture of the espaliered horizontal espalier fruit tree form
Espaliered S-Shape Fruit TreeSpecial Cordon Fruit Tree
Fig. 26
Espaliered horizontal fruit tree
Fig. 27
Espaliered S-shape fruit tree
Fig. 29
Special cordon fruit tree
Espalier UBC Botanical Garden
Fig. 30
Espalier fruit tree at Standen, West Sussex, England
Fig. 31
Belgian fence UBC Botanical Garden
Fig. 32
Espalier UBC Botanical Garden

Further Reading
The art of Espalier Video with Peter Thevenot ext. link
River Road Farms an Espaliered Tree Nursery Tour Video

Espalier Systems for Fruit Trees by Flemming's Nursery pdf

Back to
Espalier Page


Thevenot, Peter A. "An Espalier for Every Garden." espaliertrees.com. From Taunton's Fine Gardening. Dec. 1999. Web. 21 May 2014.


Fig. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,11,12,13,14 Thevenot, Peter A . N.d. espaliertrees.com. Web. 24 May 2014.
Fig. 16,23,24,25 Thevenot, Beth. Espalier Illustration Series. 2003. espaliertrees.com. Web. 24 May 2014.
Fig. 15 Thevenot, Beth. Espalier Illustration Series. 2004. espaliertrees.com. Web. 24 May 2014.
Fig. 17,18,19,20 Thevenot, Beth. Espalier Illustration Series. 2005. espaliertrees.com. Web. 24 May 2014.
Fig. 22,23 Thevenot, Beth. Espalier Illustration Series. 2008. espaliertrees.com. Web. 24 May 2014.
Fig. 26,27,28,29 KVDP. Espalier fruit tree forms. 2008. At a fruit treeform-test site near the castle of Gaasbeek. wikipedia.org. Web. 22 May 2014.
Fig. 30 Bould, Graham. Espalier fruit tree at Standen, West Sussex, England. 2006wikipedia.org. Web. 22 May 2014.
Fig. 31,32 Robitaille, Liette. Belgian Fence. 2013. growables.org. UBC Botanical Garden. JPEG.file

Published 21 May 2014 LR. Last update 24 May 2014 LR
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