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Support for trained fruit trees


We have a customer who bought few differently trained fruit trees (espalier and fan) which will be trained along the brick wall. 

Each tree has branches at different levels so probably the only reasonable way to do it will be to install wires separate for each tree. Could you advise what support systems you have used for that? Big eye screws? Some wire tensioners? 

It is the first time where we are going to install something like this so any advice is welcome! 


Thank you!

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  • PRO

    I generally use 75mm vine eyes, 7mm hole +plug. Then 2.4mm fencing wire and turn buckle strainers.

    Tensioners such as gripples are a bit much on a wall, but ideal on posts.

    There are 2 schools of thought on position of vine eyes, either in the stone/brick or in the mortar, I think it depends on the stone.

    If the stone is weak like white lias then use the mortar, if it is strong like granite, use the stone.

    If in mortar, have the vine eyes inbetween the blocks, not running along a course of mortar.


    • PRO

      Thank you Ben, this is super helpful!

      • Yep exactly as Ben says. The only thing I will add is to drill your holes deep enough to screw your vine eye right in otherwise it will bend. And to tap your wall plugs into the wall a little so that it does not 'pop' the mortar or stone around the hole when it expands 

        • PRO

          And for the gold star, the eyes at the end horizontal, and the ones inbetween vertical. Only the end ones need to be in deep like glen said, this gives a touch more working space for ties - for fruit trees I use rubber bands with a toggle.

          If doing a fan, (a pain, but necessary for things like clematis that don't go horizantal well) you need to have the eyes set between the horizontal courses.

          • Hi Ben,

            Iv always found vine eyes not strong enough for the ends.Certainly the ones available over here. I use high tensile wire around 3mm most of the time and I prefer a hexagonal wood screw , m10 I think at each end with a suitable washer. They give better resistance when trying to get the wire piano string tight in my opinion..


            • PRO

              Makes perfect sense if it fits between the blocks or if you're drilling into the stone, so much stronger.

              I think 10mm is a bit big for most wall applications. I tend to accept a bit of bend is inevitable and try to prevent it by drilling deeper for the ends. 

              I've never had one break, the bend irritates me but is generally soon covered by growth until the next person does it in 20 year's

              On posts I use an eyed m10 to bolt through the post, and gripple tensioners.


  • RHS Pruning and training book! It's all in there.

    Wire 2ft from ground, eyes 3ft apart, eyes 3inch from edge of wall, eyes three courses of bricks up for espalier and four bricks up for fan trained, use Cain's to train in new growth for fans. 

    Vines eyes from mole country 100 for £12, I use rolls of green coated wire 3mm, pull out from middle of cage, quick to install. 

    Is the wall brick or render?

    • Very good series of books! I tend to keep a copy of the pruning one in my van for reference / reassurance. 

    • PRO

      Thank you very much!

      Also, I have this book but totally forgot about it so will have a look.

      It's a brick wall.

  • PRO

    If client has budget and wants a smart solution go use S3i products.

    Have used a few times and impressive :thumbsup:

    3m x 3m Wire Trellis Kit - Stainless Steel Green Wall Trellis - 33cm Spacing
    Wire Trellis Kits | Stainless Steel Wire Trellis System. Cable trellis kits in different sizes for a contemporary and flexible trellis feature.
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