Archive | 9:59 pm

Citrus Espalier – Stage 1

29 Sep

Last weekend we bought the trees, but the backyard is not yet ready to take them. We still need to break up some garden beds, cut through some concrete, construct a huge planter box and erect some espalier supports before we can do that.

But I didn’t want to waste a growing season so I’ve started shaping the trees now. Luckily the railing of my back deck is made of tensioned wires that are perfect for training the trees against.

For the time being I planted the trees into bonsai bags. I had quite a few of these hanging about from when some trees were stolen. The bags are the same depth as the pots that the trees came out of, so perfect for the job. I filled the bags with potting mix enriched with dynamic lifter and mulched with lucerne.

You might recall that I’m aiming to follow Bob Magnus’ KNNN method of espalier, which looks kinda like this (excuse the terrible drawing):

I started of by bending the main trunks of the trees down to knee-level. This is the Eureka lemon. It wasn’t very cooperative.

And there’s the Tahitian lime:

And the Tarocco Blood Orange didn’t mind a bit!

Not sure yet what I’m doing with the cumquat on the right. I’m starting to think it would be better off in the front yard as an ornamental tree, but it grows slowly, so I have some time to think with that one.

And the Meyer Lemon and the Imperial Mandarin look good.

You can see that both are loaded with flowers and didn’t mind being coaxed into position, although not sure what I’m going to do with the mandarin because it really needs at least one of its main branches lopped off. Should I just go ahead and do it now?

And I’ll finish with a close-up of the lovely Meyer lemon flowers.

I have a good feeling about this one…