Sharing the art of espalier


With extensive experience in the agricultural and horticultural industries, Lesmurdie consultant Peter Coppin is well-known for his gardening design tips and growing know-how.

Peter, who has been involved with Karragullen Expo since its beginning, said the foundation to a sustainable and successful garden was "growth through knowledge".

This year, Peter will be discuss the art of espalier, the practice of controlling plant growth by pruning or tying branches to a frame so they grow into a flat plane against a structure such as a wall, fence or trellis.

"I will be covering the basic designs and three training methods that are more suitable here, rather than the complicated process of tying branches down horizontally - it actually doesn't work that well," he said.

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Peter said nearly all fruit trees and many ornamentals were suitable for espalier.

"Deciduous species such as apples, pears and stone fruit are particularly suitable," he said.

Generically called hedgerow planting, Peter said espaliered trees were smaller and easier to manage, and produced more fruit earlier than conventionally grown trees.

Espalier plantings also allow growers to fit more trees in a given area because they were kept smaller.

"They can fit into narrow spaces or smaller gardens where space may be an issue," Peter said.

The frame can also be used to attach either bird netting or fruit fly exclusion netting.

Peter will also be highlighting the importance of summer pruning in his presentation.

In addition to presenting at Karragullen Expo, Peter regularly conducts workshops explaining sustainable gardening and property management.

He actively promotes the planting of trees for fruit, nut or timber production, not just as ornamentals.

His passion for tree crops, especially macadamias, has grown to include a fascination for Australian native culinary and medicinal plant species.

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