Damson Cottage Garden

Making Apple Cordons

My husband and I have been inspired by the beautiful cordons and espalier fruit trees in the walled garden at Wimpole, a National Trust estate in Cambridgeshire. If you are in the area I would definitely recommend a visit. They have fantastic gardens, a lovely tea room, walks around beautiful parkland and a working farm you can visit – perfect for a sunny day. In the Spring the cordons at Wimpole are full of flowers and in the Autumn they are heavy with fruit. We, of course, wanted to recreate this in our own garden.

Cordons, espaliers and fans are shapes produced from training fruit trees, usually against a wall or fence. They are a great way of fitting several fruit trees into a small area.

Ways to train fruit trees

Ways to train fruit trees

We chose to train our fruit trees into cordons to fit the maximum number of trees into a small area. We fitted 4 apple trees along this 3m section of wall. Once the trees are more established they will hopefully be so beautiful they will take the attention away from our rather ugly concrete wall!

Apple cordons

Apple cordons

To make the cordons we first prepared our south facing wall so the trees would have support. We screwed hooks into the wall in a row and ran wire between them, we did this 5 times to create 5 rows of wire, with the first support wire about 30cm from the ground.

Wires to train the trees

Wires to train the trees

We bought four dwarfing rootstock apple trees which had short side branches. We were careful to buy trees which would pollinate each other. The trees were planted at a 45 degree angle. To help support the young trees we attached a stake to the trunk and another stake in the opposite way to hold the tree. We used tree ties to tie the tree to the wires.

Our finished cordons, hopefully one day they will be as beautiful as the Wimpole ones

Our finished cordons, hopefully one day they will be as beautiful as the Wimpole ones!

White and pink apple blossom

Delicate, beautiful apple blossom

I will show you another photo in Autumn when, hopefully, the trees will be laden with apples. Jane

2 Responses to Making Apple Cordons

  1. Stephen Kean says:

    Beautiful photos and informative too. Looking forward to reading more from this blog. Thanks.

    • admin says:

      Thanks, glad you like the blog. I like making it! Jane

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