Reasons For Growing Trees As Topiary Or Espaliers

Posted on: 2 April 2021

Topiary and espaliers are two types of strictly controlled tree growing styles. Topiary is when you trim the outer edges of the tree into severely defined shapes (such as a heart). Espaliered trees can be even more limited, since they're only allowed a few branches growing in the desired shape, typically a two-dimensional shape so they grow along a wall or fence in a pattern.

Either of these tree-growing styles can take a lot of work for your tree service company since the trees have to be pruned frequently to keep them from reverting to a more natural-looking growth habit. But these strictly controlled types of growth can provide benefits as well. Here are some reasons to have your trees grow like this.

1. Fitting in with a certain garden type

An espaliered hedge can be a quintessential part of a historically accurate old-fashioned garden. For example, if you want to grow a garden in an early American style that's accurate to the 18th or 19th century, you may want to include espaliers since they were in common use back then.

And if you want a maze garden or a knot garden, you'll generally need to use topiary. So depending on what type of garden you're going for, especially if you're looking to recreate a historical style of garden, topiary or espaliers could be a central ingredient.

2. Creating a specific aesthetic

Even if you're not trying to recreate the specific gardening forms where espaliered trees originated, they can provide a lovely aesthetic for your garden. For instance, growing an informally shaped fan espalier up a brick wall can give your garden a very homey look. Alternatively, sharply defined topiary trees can give your yard a very formal look. So these styles of tree growth can add to a variety of gardening aesthetics.

3. Keeping trees in a small space

Espaliers and topiaries both have something in common other than high maintenance requirements: they both help you grow trees in limited spaces. This means you can have trees in your yard and garden even if you have very limited amounts of room.

An espaliered hedge can let you grow several fruit trees in an area that's hardly any larger than the space taken up by the fence supporting the trees. And when you're growing topiary trees, the frequent pruning needed to keep their formal shape can also help keep them smaller.

These are just some of the reasons that could lead you to try one or more topiary or espaliered trees in your yard and garden. Get in touch with your local tree service company to learn more.