Formally patterned or spreading freely, espalier still often relies on walls, making use of their reflected heat to boost the yield of fruit trees and speed the ripening of the harvest, especially in climate zones that are borderline for growing fruit. But an espalier also may itself create a wall or a living fence, with the help of stout poles strung at measured intervals with wires. One common pattern, the horizontal cordon, features evenly spaced branches spreading in lines from a central trunk. The palmette verger resembles a candelabra, and the Belgian fence, a leafy, crosshatched lattice.
Shown: Planted in multiples and supported by rows of wire anchored to widely spaced poles, pear- and apple-tree cordon espaliers can serve as a living fence that also yields an orchard-like harvest.