1 I recently purchased six Gravenstein apple espalier trees. They are approximately six-years old.
2 Malus 'Gravenstein' - This antique variety is well known for cooking, sauce, cider and eating out of hand. The fruit is large, with crisp white flesh and a distinct, juicy flavor.
3 I hope all of these lovely blossoms will become delicious fruit.
4 This is a fine example of what happens when espalier apple trees are not tended to. This stand of trees, at my farm, is very old.
5 You can see the espalier form, however, these trees were allowed to grow without supports.
6 This is a much more recently planted espalier orchard, growing very nicely on wire supports. Shaun has been busy pruning and training them.
7 To dig the area for the new trees, the thick grass has to first be removed. This edging tool helps make that job easier. We used a new Kawasaki product for the edging - it has 9 different attachments that are interchangeable. Shown here are the string trimmer, pole pruner, fixed and articulating hedge clippers. Model of this unit is the KMS27A - Power head.
8 For this task the edger was attatched
9 Fernando and Chhewang use shovels to lift and roll the sod, which will be used elsewhere on the property.
10 The rolled sod is loaded into a pickup.
11 When all the sod is removed, a backhoe is used to dig a trench 40-feet long and 3-feet wide so that the trees can be planted 6-feet apart.
12 Sheets of plywood are used to protect the remaining lawn from all the equipment.
13 When the soil is removed from the trench, it's dumped into a wheelbarrow.
14 That soil is moved to the dump truck.
15 Meanwhile, Shaun begins moving the new apple trees using a ball cart hand truck.
16 The trees are heavy and require a good deal of strength.
17 The cart moves quickly and Shaun gains momentum around the bend.
18 Three moved and three to go
19 When the trench is dug, all the soil removed is taken to the composting yard. This pile is rich composted soil.
20 Chhiring takes a load of that.
21 You can see how dark and rich it looks.
22 That composted soil is taken to the pile marked 'Screened Top Soil with Sand Mixed.'
23 Chhiring drops his load here.
24 He then uses the loader to mix the two together.
25 This super-rich soil is loaded onto the dump truck.
26 Proper placement is crucial when planting a tree. Getting six trees in perfect alignment requires exact measuring.
27 Tweaking here and tweaking there
28 The alignment looks just right.
29 Once the positions are set, the ropes and wires are removed from the tree ball.
30 Next, the composted soil is brought in.
31 The trench is filled in.
32 Once the site is cleaned up, Shaun gives these newly planted trees a good watering.
33 The trees will be getting posts and wires to support their lovely sculpted shapes.
34 This photos shows how nicely aligned the trees were planted.
35 I really love how these new forms look in the landscape.