Pleached & Espalier Trees

Pleached trees are created by training trees to a square frame, tying in and interlacing flexible young shoots along a supporting framework; creating a slim canopy. Espalier trees is the term used for pleached fruit trees, designed so that sun can shine on the fruit. These trees can be extremely effective for improving privacy in gardens, without reducing the living space in the garden.

We can supply a number of these trees with clear stems of between 1.5m to 2m high and on a square frame size of 1.5m by 1.5m or 1.8m x 1.8m.

Please see the suggestions below, which make attractive pleached or espalier trees.

1. Acer campestre / Field Maple

Field Maple (Acer campestre)
Acer campstre pleached

Acer campestre is a medium-sized deciduous tree, available here on a pleached frame.  The leaves of this native field maple turn golden yellow in the autumn. This specimen makes a fine pleached tree.  As with many of the native trees, it is a tough contender and will tolerate drought, air pollution and soil compaction.

2.Carpinus betulus / Hornbeam

Hornbeam pleached (Carpinus betulus)
Hornbeam pleached (Carpinus betulus)

Due to Hornbeam’s ability to regenerate after pruning, this popular deciduous tree is ideal for forming espalier or pleached trees. It has a very compact and closed crown with a strictly vertical trunk with smooth dark-grey bark. The leaves are a fresh green colour in spring and turn golden yellow in the autumn. Carpinus betulus is hardy and can be planted in sun or shade and in all soil types.

3. Fagus sylvatica / Beech

Fagus sylvatica pleached
Fagus sylvatica pleached in autumn

Fagus sylvatica is very popular deciduous tree for pleaching  due to its ability to retain its leaves throughout the winter months. Bark is smooth silvery grey and the leaves are fresh green turning a splendid yellow-orange in the autumn. Beech prefers nutritious, well drained soils, it is sensitive to salt and soil pollution of all kinds. Can be planted in sun or shade.

4. Malus ‘Red Sentinel’ / Flowering Crab Apple

Crab Apple espalier
Malus Red Sentinel pleached
Crab Apple (Malus Everest)

Malus are small deciduous crab apple trees with outward growing branches. The green leaves emerge bronze coloured and have red-tinted stems. The can offer profuse blossom in the spring, followed by fruist that can remain on the tree throughout the autumn.

Varieties include Red Sentinel Malus evereste and John Downie

Fairly hardy, these pretty little trees will grow in sandy, clay or calcareous soils in sun to light shade.

5. Tilia platyphyllos / Broad-leaved Lime

Tilia platyphyllos pleached
Tilia platyphyllos pleached looking elegant

Tilia platyphyllos is a fast growing Broad-Leaved Lime tree which has luscious heart-shaped foliage which gives the tree a healthy appearance all year round; the leaves have a lime yellow autumn. This tough tree is capable of tolerating urban conditions and responds well to regular pruning. It will tolerate most soil types, including clay soils

6. Tilia x europaea ‘Pallida’ / Common Lime

Tilia europaea pleached
Lime (Tilia x europaea ‘Pallida’) 20-25cm

Tilia europaea is a deciduous tree with a straight, vertical stem and can be grown in all types of soil. The leaves are slanted heart-shaped, shiny dark green with a light green underside turning bright yellow in autumn.

This variety comes into leaf early in spring and looses it’s leaves early in autumn.

7. Prunus laurocerasus / Cherry Laurel

Prunus pleached Evergreen
Cherry laurel pleached

Prunus laurocerasus Novita

Prunus laurocerasus is a popular tree, with an upright and bushy habit which is perfect year-round screening  in its pleached form.  Its large leaves are elliptical, shiny and bright green and have small, sweet-smelling, white flowers, which grow in vertical racemes, followed by small, cherry-like fruit.  Prunus laurocerasus Novita also makes a fine pleached cherry laurel.

8. Magnolia grandiflora

Magnolia pleached
Magnolia pleached

Magnolia grandiflora is a classic ornamental evergreen with large glossy green leaves with a coppery, almost-furry underside. The beautiful, large, aromatic white flowers appear in late summer through to autumn. Magnolia grandiflora lends itself to being pleached, which does not affect production of their flowers and is therefore a great choice for screening above a fence line.

More information

Also see our news article for more suggestions – and of course, you can use our Tree Finder to select trees based on your own attributes.

Contact Us

Please use the enquiry form with details of the trees that you are interested in and we will provide you with a bespoke quotation.