Do you think it would work well to espalier Hazelnut trees?
I wanted to grow them along the garden fence (which will be 32 ft long and about 5 ft high). I know I've seen them grown as a shrub-sized thing before, but I wanted to check in and see if anyone out there has tried this, might have some insight into the project, or knows why it wouldn't work.
That being said, are there fruit/nut trees that are decidedly not good for espalier-ing?
I've only seen the bushy growth variants but in Gaia's Garden Toby mentions pruning them into a more tree-like form. One version of espalier that might work well is a fan design, just training each shoot straight so you have a fairly flat form. Instead of a single trunk with branches fanning out, you have shoots from the ground fanning out directly to fill the space.
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Hazelnuts are naturally a multi stemmed bush sending up new stems each year which are limber and easily bent to the desired shape so espaliering them should be no problem. They could even be woven into a fence hedge. The commercially developed filbert have larger nut and larger stems which are generally pruned to maintain a single trunk for convenience of harvest but ours was allowed to grow naturally and became a large clump with possibly 100 trunks up to 6 inches in diameter. The filbert got about 12 feet tall and thew hazelnut on the other side of the drive got about 8 feet tall with trunks about 3 inches in diameter and was covered in grape vines.