Searching for Espaliered Quince Trees

Beautifully espaliered quince by andrea_hall (on flickr)
Beautifully espaliered quince by andrea_hall (on flickr)

TheGardenLady received this question from Elizabeth.

Can you tell me where I might be able to find a nursery/source for an espalier? I’ve been trying for years, to no avail, to espalier a quince. I would like to buy one that flowers.

Until you asked for a nursery to buy an espaliered tree, TheGardenLady
always thought that one had to create one own’s espaliered tree by training it yourself. Trying to check out your request, TheGardenLady discovered nurseries that sell already espaliered trees. But unfortunately, none that she called have espaliered quince trees for sale.

Espalier is when a tree, shrub or vine is trained to grow on a single plane and not allowed to deviate from it, that is known as the “espalier” style. Espalier stems from a 16th-century European practice.

Most people choose apple or pear trees to espalier not only to save space but to get more fruit in a small space. And there are nurseries that do sell espaliered apple and pear trees.

Quince can be espaliered but it can be trickier because many of the
shrubs have thorns.  See here.

There are many excellent sites on espaliering so that you might be
willing to try making your own espaliered quince tree.  See e.g. here.

TheGardenLady will continue to ask if there are nurseries that sell
flowering quince that is already espaliered and if she ever finds a place will post it on the blog; but thus far, she has not been able to find any nursery in the states that sell it already espaliered. Because Europe seems to do more with espaliered trees perhaps you can find a European nursery that sells

Do you know what espalier means?

For those who don’t subscribe to a website called Wordsmith which has definitions and etymologies of all sorts of words, TheGardenLady wants to direct readers to this week’s words and photos. This week the words are related to trees: espalier, topiary, pleach, bonsai and pollard.

TheGardenLady has only cut and pasted the first word of the week-espalier– so that the reader has to enter the “A Word A Day” Wordsmith website for the other words.

A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg

A few months back I featured this quotation from the journalist Hal Borland (1900-1978): “You can’t be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet.”

Astute linguaphile Mark Germer wrote in response: “Recent work on information processing (even kin recognition) in plants suggests that there may be more going on there than we now understand; as for birds and mammals, it has long been appreciated that they are perfectly capable of deception and subversion. For my part, I don’t find these things odd or disturbing, as it’s the continuity of all life that intrigues me most. Humans are not alone in their baseness — though a few may be alone in their desire to rise above it.”

Mark said it well. There’s more to trees and plants than we think (see So next time you pluck an apple from a tree or trim that hedge, be aware that it may not be as oblivious as you think.

This week’s words relate to what we do to the trees: chopping, trimming, twisting, bending, and stunting as we shape them.  espalier

(i-SPAL-yuhr, -yay)