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This espalier tree, taken at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa., shows a typical ‘’Cordon” design with its vertical trunk and multi-tiered horizontal branches. The lateral shaping eases harvesting, simplifies mowing, maximizes sunlight and helps trees fit into tight areas. (Dean Fosdick via AP)

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Espalier design is an ancient pruning practice that fashions fruit trees, vines or flowering shrubs into artistic, two-dimensional forms. This lateral shaping makes it easier to harvest and mow, maximizes sunlight, and helps trees fit into tight areas.

By DEAN FOSDICK, Associated Press January 10, 2019
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