(The term espalier is derived from the French word for shoulder, épaule.)

Espalier has a time-honored place in the history of gardening. Egyptian tomb paintings circa 1400 B.C. reflect images of espaliered fig trees growing in the Pharaoh's garden. In medieval times, European monks carefully trained fruit and nut trees to grow flat against the walls of great monastic gardens. During the 17th century in England and especially in France, espalier gained widespread popularity, appearing on humble village walls, as well as in elaborate configurations in the Versailles kitchen garden of Louis XIV.


36" Boxed Sycamore
With this in mind Shady Tree Farms continues this rich history with our new options for Landscape Architects and Developers: ornamental and flowering trees with branches meticulously trained to grow in horizontal tiers on bamboo trellises. The trees are marketed under the name Elegant Espaliers, a credit to the inspiration that stuck in one of our friendly Landscape Architects that is a friend of ours.  On a visit back to Europe, he observed the strikingly elegant trees with symmetrical, tiered branches that are widely grown, and he thought they would be appreciated.

Shady Tree Farms started with experiments using the California sycamore tree (Platanus x racemosa), which proved highly adaptable to the shaping process. Shady Tree Farms now offers a selection of beautifully tiered trees, that includes three varieties of Maples (Acer r. ‘October Glory’ and Acer r. ‘Red Sunset’ and Acer x freemanii ‘Autumn Blaze’) and two other varieties  (Prunus virginiana ‘Chokecherry’ and Betula nigra 'Dura heat'). The elegant formality of these trees is popular not only for use in confined areas, but also on large estates, where they are used to line long driveways or to establish privacy screens, and in commercial landscapes where they stand out as unique statements.


36" Boxed "Dura Heat" Birch

Chokecherry in Ground

36" Boxed Maples