Event August 2013 – Espalier and grafting workshop

About 25 keen participants came along to the Talbot Community House and Garden on Saturday 24th August 2013. An experienced horticulturist, John Taylor presented an informative session. John started a nursery called ‘Hortisculpture’ and has travelled overseas to learn about different techniques of espalier. He shared his extensive knowledge, tips and techniques with us.

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John’s PowerPoint presentation covered the benefits of espalier, types of espalier, uses of espalier and tools and equipment required. It contained photographs of examples of espalier from all over the world. The PowerPoint was extremely detailed and summarised a lifetime of John’s work. John also recommended books to help the home gardener with espalier and grafting. These are listed in John’s book which is available for download below.

John sharing the books he finds useful.

John sharing the books he finds useful.

Max Kau, a Central Goldfields resident, who has worked with John and who also looks after the espalier at the Talbot Community Garden addressed the group. He explained how effective his espaliered fruit cage is. For Max, the fruit trees are abundant, easy to maintain and care for and protect the fruit from birds. We look forward to visiting Max’s place at a future Goldfields Sustainability Group event.

Max Kau talking about his fruit cage espalier.

After a break for afternoon tea, John led the group to the Talbot Community Garden to see espalier, pruning and grafting in action. One of John’s best tips was to imagine that the branch or arm of the tree you are pruning has a 10cm radius around it. You should prune each shoot or branch out to this 10cm radius. This tip can also be used when pruning non-espaliered trees.
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John spraying the larger pruning cuts with Steriprune.

John spraying the larger pruning cuts with Steriprune.

 

John demonstrated two types of grafting. The chisel and the splice graft. These are outlined in his grafting book which can be downloaded from the link below. John stressed that grafting was actually quite simple. He showed us how to tie the grafts together using grafting tape and how grafting wax can also be used to assist in sealing off the graft to air.

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A chisel graft wrapped in grafting tape and grafting wax.

A chisel graft wrapped in grafting tape and grafting wax.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was an inspiring, interesting and informative day. Everyone went home determined to re-prune their trees, experiment with esaplier or try a grafting technique. We thank John for travelling up to Maryborough for our presentation, Max for organising the community house and finer details of the day, and the Talbot Comunity Garden members for allowing us to host part of the event in the garden. I recommend having a visit to the garden to see the esaplier and other thrving plants.

Click here to download John Taylor’s Espalier Book

Max sharing his tips about pruning the espalier.

Max sharing his tips about pruning the espalier apple.